At first blush Tommy Smith seemed like my kind of owner. My personal opinion is that the best owners are ones that hire their football people, sign the cheques and then stay out of the way. Meddle too much and you end up with Dan Snyder comparisons.
Tommy Smith has taken a hands-off approach to running this franchise so far, and he is unfortunately taking that mantra to the extreme. What concerns me is that it may be a trend.
Flashback 12 months ago when this decision came down to keeping Ruston Webster and Mike Munchak. Smith retained Webster and then came the decision on Munch. We all know the story by now: Smith and Webster wanted to keep Munchak but for him to make changes to his staff.
The fact that Smith continued to show faith in Webster and Munchak despite falling below expectations yet again was concerning. Considered as an isolated incident, Smith can be forgiven. Webster's roster hadn't completely fallen apart by then, and Munchak is both a tremendous person and team legend. Demanding changes to the staff was a way to show trust in both of them, while still hopefully fixing the problem.
We're starting to see a similarity again though with the Smith-Webster-Whisenhunt trio. Smith has been adamant that these are the men he trusts to turn the team around, despite quite a lot of evidence to the contrary. There are very few bright spots on the roster and only a few players that the team can build around. That's on Webster. The coaching clearly has underwhelmed as well. Whisenhunt has struggled to get much out of his team and continually makes head-scratching decisions during the game. That's about as nice as I can put it too. Combine all this and you wind up with a 2-12 football team.
Now, maybe, Smith is just playing this smartly. Perhaps he intends to fire them all at the end of the season. I understand the strategy, but most of the beat reporters believe this isn't a bluff.
I appreciate Smith's willingness to stick with his football guys. There comes a time when you must stop blindly trusting them to build a team and start evaluating their work. This is what Keith Bulluck had to say regarding the Titans' scouts, via Paul Kuharsky:
In his weekly visit with my radio show, Keith Bulluck said: "I honestly feel like some guys in the (#Titans') scouting department are blind."
There are two games left in this horrendous season. Tommy Smith has to make the hard decisions, because if not, the fingers will start pointing at him too.