With the recent additions of the line coaches to the Titans' staff, Ken Whisenhunt has finished making the major moves to the department. What do we know right now?
These coaches come with a history of success. A lot of it. It's a tremendously talented group.
Fans should be positively giddy about what Ken Whisenhunt has accomplished in his first week or so here. See, people always want to evaluate the head coach hire right away but a lot of the head coach's success will come from what sort of people he surrounds himself with. It looks like Whiz has done a great job with that so far.
Let's break this down to both sides of the ball. Whiz is a great offensive mind but he will still need plenty of help. Jason Michael is the only coach that doesn't completely fit the previous description of "history of success." The only reason is that he has only worked as a position coach. His results there have been positive but perhaps you are concerned about his inexperience. That's valid. Those concerns should be lessened though when we continue to look at the whole staff. Mike Mularkey has had proven success as an offensive coordinator in the this league and has experience (with not-so-great results) as a head coach. Here he will be the tight end coach - a position that one could say he is over-qualified for. It gets better though. John McNulty was rumoured to be an OC candidate but Whiz has been able to bring him on board as the QB coach. McNulty's recent work with Mike Glennon is solid and he has quite a lot of experience in the NFL. This is another example of Whiz bringing on a qualified coach for the role he's supposed to fill. Bob Bostad was hired for the offensive line coach. Most of us weren't familiar with his name until we associated him with the lengthy list of NFL offensive line prospects he's tutored.
This isn't including the small group of coaches Whiz retained as position coaches. Sylvester Croom and Shawn Jefferson will be back for another season and that has a lot of people (players and fans) thrilled.
After looking over that list it's easy to see why there has been so much optimism around MCM lately. It only gets better when looking at the defensive coaches. Ray Horton has been a head coach candidate for several teams the past two teams. He's created stellar defenses in Arizona and Cleveland (Cleveland!). The Titans were able to land him as their defensive coordinator. Another coach well-versed in the schemes and philosophies they want to employ was the defensive coordinator at UCLA the past two seasons. Enter Lou Spanos, yet another proven, qualified coach. Add on Louie Cioffi and Giff Smith and its easy to see the type of coaches Whisenhunt zoomed in on.
These coaches haven't been chosen simply because there were no other candidates or the Titans didn't have enough time to go through a proper search. These coaches have excelled at either the roles they were hired to fulfill here or have evidence to demonstrate they excelled at their former jobs and deserve a chance at a promotion.
There is never a guarantee of success in the NFL. Great coaching staffs have been created and failed before, and these early evaluations will have to be reviewed yearly. Right now there is reason to be excited. They are proven and they can be hopefully be powerful.