Titans' coaching staff not exactly flush with 2013 playoff appearances

Say this for the Tennessee Titans coaching staff: It is not a group that likely will battle complacency in its first-year together.

Ken Whisenhunt primarily has pulled from four franchises – Cleveland, Buffalo, Tampa Bay and Tennessee – to fill the 18 spots under him.

Six coaches were retained from Mike Munchak’s last Titans’ staff, five came from Cleveland and two each from Buffalo and Tampa Bay. The latest addition was quality control-defense coach Cannon Matthews, hired Monday after one season as a coaching intern with the Browns.

None of those teams had a winning record or made the playoffs last season, which has a lot to do with why they were available in the first place.

“When you’re trying to put together a staff you just never know,” Whisenhunt said last week. “You never know about availability of coaches, if you can get them out their contract or what their status is. The coaches we’ve hired here, I feel like, all of them [are] good teachers, good coaches, good leaders. … They’re good coaches. That’s my assessment of them.”

A look at the staff and where they were last season:

• Head coach: Ken Whisenhunt
2013 team: San Diego – 9-7 regular season, 1-1 playoffs

• Offensive coordinator: Jason Michael
2013 team: San Diego – 9-7 regular season, 1-1 playoffs

• Defensive coordinator: Ray Horton
2013 team: Cleveland – 4-12, no playoffs

• Quarterbacks coach: John McNulty
2013 team: Tampa Bay – 4-12, no playoffs

• Offensive line coach: Bob Bostad
2013 team: Tampa Bay – 4-12, no playoffs

• Defensive line coach: Giff Smith
2013 team: Buffalo – 6-10, no playoffs

• Running backs coach: Sylvester Croom
2013 team: Tennessee – 7-9, no playoffs

• Defensive backs coach: Louie Cioffi
2013 team: Cleveland – 4-12, no playoffs

• Tight ends coach: Mike Mularkey
2013 team: None (Jacksonville 2012 – 2-14, no playoffs)

• Wide receivers coach: Shawn Jefferson
2013 team: Tennessee – 7-9, no playoffs

• Linebackers: Lou Spanos
2013 team: UCLA – 10-3, won Hyundai Sun Bowl

• Special teams coach: Nate Kaczor
2013 team: Tennessee – 7-9, no playoffs

• Assistant secondary coach: Steve Brown
2013 team: Tennessee – 7-9, no playoffs

• Assistant offensive line coach: Mike Sullivan
2013 team: Cleveland – 4-12, no playoffs

• Assistant defensive line coach: Nick Eason
2013 team: Cleveland – 4-12, no playoffs

• Assistant special teams coach: Steve Hoffman
2013 team: Tennessee – 7-9, no playoffs

• Offensive line/tight ends assistant: Arthur Smith
2013 team: Tennessee – 7-9, no playoffs

• Assistant wide receivers coach: Kevin Patullo
2013 team: Buffalo – 6-10, no playoffs

• Quality control, defense: Cannon Matthews
2013 team: Cleveland – 4-12, no playoffs

Feb 5, 2014 6:32 AM

McNulty knows there's no question about Titans' quarterback situation

For John McNulty, being named the Tennessee Titans quarterbacks coach is something of a do-over.

The last time he served in that role under Ken Whisenhunt, 2012 with the Arizona Cardinals, he was not so much a coach as a carousel operator. Four different players started at quarterback this season – none more than seven games.

With Jake Locker firmly in place as the starter and Ryan Fitzpatrick the backup, the 23-year coaching veteran faces no such uncertainty this time.

“I am excited to get to work with Jake, Ryan and the group,” McNulty said in a release from the Titans. “Jake, as everyone knows, is a competitive, smart, tough football player that the team rallies around. I think everyone knows his best days are ahead of him. So I am excited about the opportunity to work with him – a guy who is talented, hungry and smart.”

McNulty was one of three assistants formally added to the staff Wednesday. Former NFL head coach Mike Mularkey was named tight ends coach and Kevin Patullo was named assistant wide receivers coach, a position he had last season (he was also offensive quality control coach) at Kansas City.

Last season McNulty was quarterback coach for Tampa Bay and guided third-round draft pick Mike Glennon, who threw for 19 touchdowns with nine interceptions in 13 starts. Before his one season as quarterbacks coach in Arizona he was Whisenhunt’s wide receivers coach there for three years. He was offensive quality control coach at Jacksonville from 1998 through 2002, wide receivers coach for the Dallas Cowboys (2003) and made several stops as a college coach, including at Michigan and Rutgers.

It’s tough to imagine that he had a more challenging season anywhere than his last at Arizona. John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer all started and combined to throw 11 touchdown passes and 21 interceptions.

Whisenhunt, who was fired following that season, either was willing to forget what happened or simply would rather not remember.

“… I felt good about the job he did for me, but what I am really excited about was seeing him grow in this profession and seeing the job he did with the young quarterback in Tampa,” Whisenhunt said. “That position is so important for us, it is nice to have a coach with his track record and had success working with a young quarterback, because that position is so critical.”

Jan 22, 2014 6:38 PM