JOE BIDDLE: Spotlight shines on Titans GM Webster

JOE BIDDLE: Spotlight shines on Titans GM Webster (Image 1)

The coaching carousel is going full speed ahead, both in the college ranks and the NFL. Titans General Manager Ruston Webster is charged with making his first head coaching hire.

It's gotten so crazy that major sports outlets have the Titans interviewing Vanderbilt coach James Franklin to replace Mike Munchak.

If it is true someone please tell me why. I fully understand Penn State interviewing Franklin and think he would be a big hit at the school.

But are the Titans, or any other NFL team, going to hire a college coach who only has three seasons under his belt. Will they hire a college coach who hasn't won a conference or even a division championship? Yes, by all means Franklin has worked miracles at Vanderbilt, for the longest a wasteland of college football.

But let's not go crazy. The NFL is not college football. Far from it. How did Steve Spurrier fare when he went from winning everything at Florida to being out of his element in the NFL? Nick Saban didn't stick around long with the Miami Dolphins before taking the Alabama job.

Franklin's name is also being mentioned as one of those who will be interviewed by the Redskins. Anyone who works for Daniel Snyder needs his head examined. Study the history.

Here is a list of coaches I would find most viable to replace Munchak.

Ken Whisenhunt – Currently Chargers offensive coordinator. Former head coach at Arizona. He took Arizona to a Super Bowl and that is a much more dysfunctional franchise than the Titans. He coached two years at Vanderbilt under Rod Dowhower. He played in the pros and the Augusta, Ga., native played at Georgia Tech. He understands the pro game, especially the importance of having a quarterback who can hit his targets. Titans are playing catch-up on this one, as they would fire Munchak five days after Black Monday. The Lions are said to have the lead, but he is said to be willing to talk to the Vikings, Browns and Titans. OK, let me see. Would you rather live and work in Minnesota, Cleveland, Detroit or Nashville? Case closed.

Jim Mora Jr. – Has been a West Coast guy most of his career. Was with Titans GM Ruston Webster at Seattle. Currently at UCLA and has been successful there. Has turned down several college offers.
He is an offensive coach, and given the option, I believe the Titans should go for that side of the ball.

Greg Roman – Is San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator, although Jim Harbaugh is heavily involved in the offense. Roman is young, energetic and has a solid football mind. He is a coach the franchise could grow with. Other NFL teams are looking at him.

Jay Gruden – Younger brother of Jon Gruden. Was an assistant in the Arena Football League team here. Was head coach of AFL team in Orlando. Currently offensive coordinator in Cincinnati and has made progress working with quarterback Andy Dalton until Dalton imploded in the Wild Card loss to San Diego with three picks and a lost fumble. Certainly worth a look and is thought to be in Titans mix.

Darrell Bevell – Seattle offensive coordinator. Knows Webster from Webster's Seahawks days. Has tutored Russell Wilson, one of the top quarterbacks among the young elites. Wasn't drafted as high as others, outplayed most of them. Seattle's offense is what fans would want the Titans' offense to look like.

Rich Bisaccia – Webster is high on this Dallas special teams coach. Prior to this season in Dallas, he was special teams coach two years at San Diego. Matter of fact he is pretty much a lifetime special teams coach and has not been a coordinator. He spent 2002-10 in Tampa Bay where the Webster connection was formed. But how good can Bisaccia be if he has been in the league a dozen years as a special teams coach? For the previous 19 years he was a college assistant coach with his last stint at Ole Miss. He has interviewed in Washington and will get an interview with Titans.

My top three on this list? Whisenhunt, Mora, Gruden.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s