Marcus Mariota ranked Titans' No. 1 asset by every GM, coach candidate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Tennessee Titans interviewed 10 men for their general manager and head coach jobs, they asked them about the appeal of these jobs.

The team’s CEO and president, Steve Underwood, said there was a unanimous answer regarding what was most appealing.

“We asked every one of those men what appealed to them about the idea of working here," Underwood told The Tennessean. “The first answer we got from all 10 of them was (Marcus) Mariota. That’s a true story, not an exaggeration. The second thing was having the first pick in the draft, and among the other things mentioned was what a great town Nashville was.

“We think all those things are important for our franchise, but the quarterback is the most important thing. You need a general manager, you need a coach, you need great fans and you need a great place for ballgames. All those things matter. But the teams that have the most success on a consistent basis have an elite quarterback and we think we have that.”

Very few people get GM or coaching jobs in the NFL with a young, highly-regarded quarterback in place. It’s unusual for a coach and GM who brought in such a player to be gone so soon after he arrived.

But Ken Whisenhunt’s scheme was doing very poorly protecting the team’s most valuable asset, and Ruston Webster did insufficient work surrounding him with talent.

Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk fired Whisenhunt after 23 games, in which he went 3-20. She didn’t renew Webster's contract when the season ended.

Enter new GM Jon Robinson and coach Mike Mularkey.

There's a major rebuild ahead of them, but the biggest piece is in place.