Survey says Whiz is third-tier head coach

ESPN.com Insider Mike Sando asked a broad range of NFL people -- eight current general managers, four former GMs, four personnel directors, four executives, six coordinators and four position coaches -- to provide a 1-5 rating for every head coach in the league.

Those votes landed coaches in one of five tiers.

Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt landed in the third tier, tied for 20th with San Diego’s Mike McCoy.

All of the coaches behind Whisenhunt have less experience as a head coach than he does. None of them has more than three years leading a team while he has six.

Sando writes that Bruce Arians producing a 10-win season as Whisenhunt’s replacement with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 didn’t help perception.

One survey participant thinks Whisenhunt’s offensive experitise shows up better when he is a coordinator, not a head coach.

"The head coaches have to have a specialty, but as a head coach, I do not know that his genius comes out as much as it did when he was an offensive coordinator, whether in Pittsburgh or in San Diego. ... If they play lights-out above and beyond in Tennessee, I would gladly change my grade on him. I see him as damn good offensive coordinator."

That second act in Tennessee will do a lot to define Whisenhunt as a head coach.