Ken Whisenhunt has no one to blame but himself. That's the ugly, honest truth here. From day one there was an incredible sense of arrogance surrounding Whisenhunt. In the end it was his refusal to adapt that ultimately cost him his job.
Whisenhunt opened each of his two seasons with dominant wins. His team took apart a really good Kansas City team in 2014, sending waves of optimism through the fanbase. We all know how that season panned out.
Then again in 2015, Whisenhunt and Mariota exploded onto the scene with a blowout win in Tampa Bay. The Titans followed that performance up with a clunker in Cleveland, blowing a big lead to the Colts and allowing the Bills to steal one in the final moments at home.
The deficiencies on offense were apparent, but the gameplans never changed. Whisenhunt kept five tight ends on the active roster, but couldn't be bothered to leave one in to help his struggling right tackle handle some of the best pass rushers in the league. Jeremiah Poutasi has been the clear weak link on the offensive line, but time and time again he was left without any help. Marcus Mariota paid the price for that.
Whisenhunt's love for the passing game kept him in trouble as a play caller. It didn't matter who was under center, Whisenhunt was going to throw it. No matter how effective the rushing attack was that day.
Perhaps the biggest example happened against Atlanta just two weeks ago. Instead of riding the hot hand averaging five yards per touch in Antonio Andrews, Whisenhunt decided to drop back Zach Mettenberger 35 times instead. The Titans scored just seven points on that day. This was a microcosm of the Ken Whisenhunt era in Nashville.
Whisenhunt could very easily be sitting here with three or four wins. His comments after games remained positive, saying "we're close." They were close. He was very close, but that's just how fine the line is in the NFL.
I thought he did a nice job of adapting his concepts to fit Marcus Mariota's strengths, but nothing changed after week one. It was like he expected his week one gameplan to work every week. Teams caught on and the offense became dormant.
Now at 1-6, the seemingly dormant ownership group has shown signs of life. They have stepped up to the plate and fired Ken Whisenhunt. I'm not sure anyone saw this coming at this point, simply because of how quiet ownership has been to this point. It's a very good sign, just knowing that the owners are somewhat in touch with what's going on. To this point, we didn't really know if they were invested in the future of the team. Now I think that it's clear.
One key factor -- as far fetched and crazy as it may sound -- is that the Titans are sitting just two games out of the lead in the AFC South. Ownership saw that the writing was on the wall and decided that now was the time. There is still time to turn the season around, considering how bad the AFC South is.
Mike Mularkey will step in and try to salvage 2015, then the search for a new head coach will begin. If ownership can make it clear who is in charge, I think that Nashville could be an attractive gig. A franchise quarterback, solid front seven and a potential top five pick will be very appealing on paper.