Ken Whisenhunt coming off as looser, more forthcoming in second season

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Titans prepare to kick off their mandatory minicamp before summer vacation, coach Ken Whisenhunt has come off as looser and less reserved.

It’s a media-centric change that obviously can have a direct bearing on me and indirectly has an effect on people reading about the team.

While a coach and reporter are going to have periodic tug of wars -- and they can be more difficult and prolonged in the context of a 2-14 season -- I had no issue with Whisenhunt on that front in his first year as the Tennessee Titans coach.

It was a surprise to me, however, how frequently listeners to the Nashville radio show I co-host expressed concern or even disappointment about the way he answered questions when they listened to or watched news conferences.

During OTAs Whisenhunt has offered up some details I would never have expected. We're not allowed to report details of the practices open to us. But when I see DaQuan Jones working as a starting defensive end, I can later ask Whisenhunt about Jones' status.

Last year I'm not sure we would have learned of a lineup alteration. This year, Whisenhunt told us that Jones is now a starter.

That's just one example. We've learned more from Whisenhunt's media availability this year than we did last year and it hasn't been begrudging.

“Maybe it’s figuring out what’s best for the team,” Whisenhunt said of changing things a bit. “I’m trying to do what’s best for everybody, I’m trying to grow as a coach.

“I don’t think I had the same issue with our team and our players that I necessarily had with our media, or the perception with the media. No one on the team pointed fingers or did anything last year, they all worked hard, they all believed in what we were doing.

“I don’t know if it’s a question of being looser. I’m just trying to get better, I’m trying to be more open with you guys.”

One of Whisenhunt’s best players, tight end Delanie Walker, said the coach's demeanor with players has remained the same.

“I haven’t seen any change,” Walker said. “He’s just the way he is. I don’t think he loosened up. I don’t think he got any harder. He’s just in between.”