A week and a half after the Tennessee Titans fired Head Coach Mike Munchak, it was announced Monday afternoon that Ken Whisenhunt will be the head coach in 2014.
Whisenhunt was the San Diego Chargers Offensive Coordinator and did a great job in his role. The Chargers were 31st in total offense in 2012. The team finished fifth this past season. With the success the Chargers had in 2013, it was no surprise Whisenhunt was at the top of a lot of teams’ lists for head coach.
More specifically, Ryan Mathews improved greatly from 2012 to 2013. His 285 carries and 1,255 rushing yards are both career highs. He was 28th in the league with 4.4 yards per carry. In 2012, Mathews finished 58th with just 3.8 ypc. For the first time in his short career, Mathews played in all 16 games.
Mathews average draft position in 2013 was 69.0, late in the seventh round, as the 25th-best running back. He ended as the 10th-best with 175 fantasy points.
Now, onto Whisenhunt’s new running back. Chris Johnson had one of his worst statistical seasons of his six-year career. He had 1,077 rushing yards, his second-lowest total, and averaged 3.9 ypc, 64th among all running backs. Johnson was drafted as a top-20 running back and surprisingly still finished as the eighth-best fantasy rusher.
Johnson is the best player on the Titans and its not even close. He’s heading into his seventh season, and seven is a lucky number. Even though he finished in the top-10, Johnson should still be drafted as an RB2, in the fourth of fifth round. The lack of touchdowns and 100-yard games in the first half of the 2013 season has to be kept in the back of owners’ minds.
If Whisenhunt and the coaching staff use Johnson to the best of his ability and feed him the ball, Johnson will finish 2014 as a top-five running back.