For better or worse (mostly worse in the past few years) ever since Chris Johnson signed the lofty contract to become the highest paid Tennessee Titans, he became the face of the franchise. Sure Vince Young, Kenny Britt, Cortland Finnegan, and some others were in the mix across that time, but the sea of 28 jerseys overwhelmed every competitor.
Likewise, the talking heads constantly recited the same scripted phrases about CJ over and over, mostly to the effect of "if the Titans want to win this game, then they need to get the ball to CJ2K." Ugh.
So now that the Titans have cut ties with Johnson, there is a clear answer of who should be the face of the franchise to me, though it likely won't fall this way. The face of the Tennessee Titans should be: Ken Whisenhunt.
Obviously a little unorthodox when you think of NFL icons like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, but honestly who else is even a contender? Jurrell Casey had an outstanding year in 2013, and deserves to be mentioned but too often a defensive lineman has one good year and fades into oblivion. I'm not saying that is what will happen with Casey, but with a scheme change and one year left on his contract, buying 99 jerseys right now could be a poor investment.
McCourty is an outstanding cover man who honestly outplayed Verner for most of the year, but cornerback is a hard spot to draw attention to in this league unless your name is Richard Sherman or Darrelle Revis. Also, a game is rarely won by a cornerback unless he is a lethal playmaker, and as good as McCourty is, he isn't that kind of player.
I think fans should hitch their wagons to Ken Whisenhunt. He is an outstanding coach that built the Arizona Cardinals into a viable playoff team only to be shown the door when his team was just one year away from coming back. Additionally, he has proven that he can take a sluggish team and turn them into an efficient offensive machine. In one year in San Diego his most lethal weapon was DANNY WOODHEAD and he took that team to the playoffs on the back of the league's fifth best total offense.
In case everyone forgot, just one year before the Chargers were 31st in offense, five spots below the Titans.
When Whisenhunt is calling the plays, he is a devastating force that can put pressure on a team's weaknesses. He has learned that just being a head coach isn't enough, he will have to wear two hats despite hiring an actual coordinator. Fans should recognize the coaching talent that he has assembled and realize that in the next two years with some solid additions, this team could become very good. All thanks to the new face of the franchise, Ken Whisenhunt.