New Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt had to flex a little muscle in his first game with the team.
On the receiving end was linebacker Zach Brown. Per Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean, Whisenhunt benched Brown for the opening series of the game against the Packers, due to the violation of an unspecified team rule.
“Zach had a little issue where he did something he wasn’t supposed to and that was punishment because of that,” Whisenhunt said. “It wasn’t a curfew situation, but it was a team rule that was not adhered to. . . . In the grand scheme of things I wanted to send a message. . . . Hopefully he got that message.”
The intended recipient of the message declined to say what he did.
“People can always jump to crazy conclusions,” Brown said. “At the end of the day, I still played in the game. I am not surprised by it. He told me what he was going to do, so I can’t really be mad at him. . . . It’s a punishment. Everybody messes up every once in a while, it’s how you respond to it. He said I broke a team rule.
“You have to do what the man says. I can’t really elaborate on it if he’s not going to elaborate on it, so I have to leave it at that. It was a mistake on my part. Everybody makes mistakes. I have to put it behind me and turn the page.”
The Titans hope to see Brown, who was benched last December by former coach Mike Munchak, reach his potential. The 2012 second-round pick has appeared in all 32 regular-season games of his career, with 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns in his rookie season.