Matt Leinart played for Ken Whisenhunt for three seasons in Arizona. Leinart was not impressed with his coach.
Asked on FOX Sports Live whether Whisenhunt will succeed in Tennessee, Leinart expressed skepticism, saying that Whisenhunt is wrongly credited for getting the 2008 Cardinals to the Super Bowl. According to Leinart, it was Kurt Warner who ran the offense that season, not only on the field but in meetings, where Leinart says Warner devised the game plans and Whisenhunt did nothing more than go along for the ride.
“I don’t think it’s a great fit, and I don’t think it’s great timing, and here’s why,” Leinart said of the Titans hiring Whisenhunt. “You look at his tenure in Arizona — only two years, he had success, and in those two years, Kurt Warner ran that football team — I was a part of it. Every single Monday, Kurt Warner would come in and implement 20 to 30 new plays which he would say ‘I want these in my game plan.’ We became a spread offense and we became Kurt Warner’s offense. Then Kurt Warner retires, they go 5-11 twice and they go 8-8.”
For his part, Warner said on NFL Network that he thinks Whisenhunt will do a great job with the Titans. Warner added, however, that he thought the Lions — who also wanted Whisenhunt — would have been a better choice for what Whisenhunt brings to the table.
“I’m excited for my old coach Ken Whisenhunt and the job down in Tennessee,” Warner said. “I think I’m a little bit surprised like my most people; you felt like a better fit might be in Detroit just because of the pieces that he had, specifically the quarterback he had there.”
Leinart said he doesn’t think the Titans will succeed with Whisenhunt because Jake Locker isn’t the answer at quarterback. Asked directly if he likes Whisenhunt, Leinart laughed incredulously and answered, “Do I like Whisenhunt?”
I’d take that as a no.