San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, front-runner for the Detroit Lions vacancy, has decided to join the Tennessee Titans organization. This is a turn of events that swung for the AFC South rather than the NFC North.
For about a month, it was obvious Whisenhunt was the prize for a lot of organizations looking for a new head coach. This week the Lions, Titans and the Cleveland Browns interviewed Whisenhunt while he prepared for the playoff game against the Denver Broncos. The Titans were the only team that interviewed with Whisenhunt in Denver while the other team’s executives met in San Diego.
By hiring Whisenhunt, the assumption is that the team believes in Jake Locker and together they can turn around the team’s fortune. The Chargers saw a healthy Ryan Mathews benefit from the change in offense, so the early assumption is that the Titans’ Chris Johnson will benefit too with a new offense.
It’s uncertain what this means for the Lions because all the signs were pointing toward his hire. I’m assuming Matthew Stafford was excited for the opportunity to have a coach like Whisenhunt mentoring him to the next level.
Could it be something within the Lions organization that is flawed? Maybe it’s the lack of faith showed to Jim Schwartz during his underwhelming last season as head coach. Or maybe it could just be the idea of living in the city of Detroit. San Diego’s coldest day is Detroit’s warmest.
Whisenhunt was the Arizona Cardinals head coach from 2007-2012 with one Super Bowl appearance, and now he resumes head coaching duties with the Titans. No reports have surfaced on which current Chargers assistants will follow Whisenhunt to the Titans. Current speculation suggests that San Diego quarterbacks coach, Frank Reich, is to assume the vacant offensive coordinator position.