INDIANAPOLIS — Even in the offseason, teamwork still matters to Titans general manager Ruston Webster and coach Ken Whisenhunt.
The fifth week of the partnership is filled with work that included each participating in media sessions and other interviews Thursday at the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
|General manager Ruston Webster discusses the Titans at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. Click here for a slideshow.|
Both men have talked about how they quickly connected when Webster met Whisenhunt for the first time to interview him for the job last month, and said they are excited to work through this important part of the offseason and an opportunity to learn more about each other.
“I think one of the things that kind of put us together in the first place was similar philosophies, so from that standpoint, I don’t think it’s going to be too hard because we hashed a lot of that out in the (job) interview,” Webster said.
The Titans will interview 60 potential pros out of the more than 330 draft eligible players who have been invited to the annual evaluation that also includes medical exams, and on-field workouts and timing and testing drills. Offensive linemen, tight ends and specialists led the way on the first day of media sessions and will do the same in workouts on Saturday.
This is Webster’s third combine as the Titans’ GM, but his scouting experience began with Tampa Bay in 1988. He worked up the ranks with the Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks before joining the Titans in 2010 and was promoted to GM in January 2012.
Whisenhunt told Titans season ticket holders earlier this week that he has “tremendous respect for what (Webster has) done in football, but even more important than that is the working relationship, that you think along the same lines. I’m excited about working with him, about talking about personnel, about getting his view on things.”
He said the evaluation effort will involve input from the personnel department and thoughts from his assistants as the Titans work toward the NFL Draft in May.
“Well, I think it’s a team effort,” Whisenhunt said. “Obviously Ruston and his scouts have put in a lot of work with these guys. I think coaches are a little bit behind the curve because they’ve been working on the season, but they get involved with this process now.
“This is an important piece of it at the combine because you get a chance to spend some time with these players,” Whisenhunt continued. “You can evaluate what they do from the standpoint of height, speed, weight, all those kinds of things, but when you get a chance to sit down with them and see where their football knowledge is and a lot of those things that are the intangible part of it, that’s a big piece of it. Once that’s done, we all sit in a room and talk about it and work to get it right on these players.”
Webster said he wants to reach a consensus with Whisenhunt and other members of the organization, but also stressed the importance of Whisenhunt shaping his own opinions during evaluation of the roster, potential free agents and prospects.
“I think it’s just getting on the same page. That’s the biggest thing, is for us to make sure we’re on the same page,” Webster said. “We haven’t been through this before. We’re working through it.
“We talk all the time about what we’re looking for and rehash things over and over just to make sure we are on the same page from a scheme standpoint from the type of player we bring in, whether it’s their height, weight and speed or just the makeup of the player, what he’s looking for at certain positions, especially for him, the head coach, when it comes to offensive players because that’s really his thing, but we’re working through that and it’s been good so far.”