If I had told you late last night that an AFC South head coach was going to be fired this morning, you probably wouldn't have guessed the Tennessee Titans' Ken Whisenhunt - but if you had, you'd be right. The Titans announced this morning that they have fired Whisenhunt and that assistant head coach Mike Mularkey will take over as the interim head coach.
Whisenhunt was 3-20 during his tenure with the Titans, not even lasting two full seasons as he lost 16 of his last 17 games with the team. They finished 2-14 last year and were off to a 1-6 start this year, losing five games in a row after a win in week one thanks to a perfect passer rating by quarterback Marcus Mariota. With Mariota out the last two weeks, however, it has given people a chance to see just how bad this team really is (many, including myself, thought they were the worst in the league last year), which makes what Mariota has done more impressive for sure. Prior to his stint in Tennessee, Whisenhunt was the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals for six years (2007-2012) and went 45-51, with two division titles and an NFC Championship victory. Overall, he is 48-71 as a head coach in the NFL.
Perhaps a part of the reason for firing Whisenhunt mid-season has to do with the dismal state of the AFC South. The Colts and the Texans are currently the leaders in the division at 3-5, while the Jaguars are 2-5 and the Titans are 1-6. It seems like quite a stretch to think that the Titans could crawl their way back into the picture, but then again the division is awful and has four bad teams. That might have led to the Titans being more willing to make a move mid-season to try to spark the team to perhaps making a late season push to winning the league's worst division. Either way, though, it seemed clear that Whisenhunt wasn't getting it done and that his time in Tennessee was drawing near to an end.
This is how bad the AFC South is: one coach has already been fired, another might be next week, and the other two could be gone by the end of the year. It seems almost certain at this point that the Colts will fire Chuck Pagano, with the big question now being when that will happen. The Texans just hired Bill O'Brien last year, but the team has not impressed this year and his status could be in jeopardy too. Lastly, the Jaguars have yet to turn things around and that could call Gus Bradley's job into question too, though at this point the indications seem to be that the Jaguars will be patient with him. Either way, though, one coach is already out and the other three are on the hot seat. What a year to be in the AFC South.