What GM candidate Ted Sundquist said about Titans puts priorities in question

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Before the Tennessee Titans hired Jon Robinson as their new general manager, the team interviewed a total of six candidates.

I bet the Titans now wish it had only been five.

In a thorough piece for Bleacher Report, former Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist detailed how he would have gone about changing the Titans if he'd gotten the job.

But in setting up his plan, he also disclosed his feelings about the team's willingness to change.

Wrote Sundquist after reviewing the pieces he feels the Titans already have in place:

"However, there were some early indications that ownership wasn't necessarily looking for a complete diagnosis of its problems.

That led into the team's feelings about Mike Mularkey, who went from interim coach to head coach not long after Robinson was hired.

"It was also clear ownership wanted to stay the course inside the halls of the complex," Sunquist continued. "I was told, 'We don't want to blow up the building. This is a staff that works well together and avoids the internal politics and bickering that can and has brought down others in the past.'"

This is a very telling and disturbing reveal, one that we presumed was part of the team's reasoning regarding Mularkey. Now we have a first-hand account of them saying it.

It's nice for a staff to get along, but if it doesn't produce ascending players and wins, it's hardly the most important thing. Internal bickering may have ultimately undone former head coach Jeff Fisher and his people, but not until after a long stretch of peace and stability that produced the team's best years. I came to believe much of Ken Whisenhunt's staff didn't believe in him, but that was predominantly a testament to the team's failure to hire the right head coach who couldn't convey a message or plan.

President and CEO Steve Underwood said publicly he wasn't expecting a new coach and general manager to be in lockstep, but a peaceful building was apparently at a premium.

I'm not advocating for people to be on pins and needles in the office, as many were with Whisenhunt in charge. The Titans needed a nicer head coach who could work as an effective collaborator.

But over-correcting is a mistake the Titans have made before and should have been more wary of in this instance.

Vince Young, drafted No. 3 in 2006, didn't work hard enough and he didn't understand all it took to be a successful NFL quarterback beyond his physical gifts. When the Titans drafted his replacement, they ignored Jake Locker's accuracy issues and insufficiencies as a prospect and overdrafted him at No. 8 in 2011 because he was the anti-Young. That didn't make him the right guy.

Mularkey being the anti-Whisenhunt doesn't make him the right guy either.

We don't have the Titans' side of Sundquist's commentary. He put the team's vice president of football administration, Vin Marino, in a really bad spot with this piece by sharing their initial emails. But I am not certain what the team could say about Sundquist's recollection of his interview and his feel for their stance.

I certainly think that was his final chance at a GM job since he pulled back the curtain on what the team certainly expected would be a private three-and-a-half hours.

What he shared will hover over this team moving forward as we wonder about its priorities and sensibilities.