The Houston Texans are a disaster. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a disaster. The Indianapolis Colts are on the brink of becoming a disaster. The Tennessee Titans are thriving and most of their success can be attributed to one person, Amy Adams Strunk!
It wasn’t that long ago that the Titans franchise was a disaster. It really started at the end of Jeff Fisher’s tenure with the team. There was obviously a strained relationship between Fisher and Vince Young, who by all accounts, Bud Adams had forced the Titans to draft with the 3rd overall pick in the 2006 draft. In January of 2011, it was announced that the Titans and Fisher would part ways. The final straw seemed to be the fact that Fisher wanted his son on the staff. Bud Adams, the owner at the time, had a policy against nepotism.
That left the Titans in a tough spot because the coaching hire cycle had basically played out at that point. The franchise turned to long-time offensive line coach, Mike Munchak, to be the next head coach. The Munchak era wasn’t a complete disaster, the team went 22-26 in his three years at the helm, but it was apparent that he wasn’t cut out to be an NFL head coach. Tommy Smith, the son-in-law of Adams, had taken over as the controlling owner of the team after Adams passed away. He and Ruston Webster decided to move on from Munchak following the 2013 season.
That’s when things really went downhill. Again, the call to move on from Munchak was the right one. The real problem was what they did next. They hired Ken Whisenhunt. That turned out to be a disaster. In Whisenhunt’s first year the Titans went 2-14. That earned them the second pick in the draft which they used on Marcus Mariota.
Although we didn’t know it at the time, the offseason following the 2014 season was when things started to change for the better. The ownership group removed Tommy Smith as the controlling owner because he was a disaster. They replaced him with Amy Adams Strunk.
She wasted no time making changes. After a 1-6 start to the 2015 season, she fired Whisenhunt. Mike Mularkey was named the interim coach. The rest of the season didn’t go much better, but the culture change had started.
Following the 2015 season, Ruston Webster was fired as general manager and replaced by Jon Robinson. Mularkey was retained as the head coach and got things going in the right direction. He went 9-7 in each of the two seasons he was the head coach. They won a playoff game in Kansas City in Mularkey’s second year.
Mularkey had changed the culture. He did a nice job, but it was fairly obvious that he wasn’t the guy to take the team to the next level to be a true Super Bowl contender. Adams Strunk made the tough decision to fire Mularkey. She and Robinson hired Mike Vrabel and that set up the run of success this team has had since.