Leinart questions Titans’ hiring of Whisenhunt
It’s not quite the Hatfields and the McCoys, but the Ken Whisenhunt-Matt Leinart feud still has legs more than three years after their unexpected split before the 2010 regular season began.
During the one-timers segment of FOX Sports 1’s FOX Sports Live on Monday, Leinart was asked what he thought of the Tennessee Titans’ decision to hire Chargers offensive coordinator and former Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt as their new coach, less than two weeks after the Titans fired Mike Munchak.
"I was a part of it," Leinart said, speaking specifically about the two winning seasons. "Literally, every single Monday, Kurt Warner would come in and implement 20 to 30 new plays — every single Monday — which he would say, ‘I want these in my game plan.’ We became a spread offense; we became Kurt Warner’s offense.
"Kurt Warner retires, (the Cardinals) go 5-11 twice and they go 8-8. Then (Whisenhunt goes) to the San Diego Chargers this year (and coach) Mike McCoy, heavy offensive influence (and QB) Phillip Rivers implements (McCoy’s) offense."
Warner had just retired, unexpectedly with one year left on his contract, and Whisenhunt anointed Leinart the starter during 2010 OTAs. But Leinart fell behind retread Derek Anderson during the preseason when he had a poor game against, oddly enough, the Titans. Then, when Leinart responded with a better performance against the Bears in the third preseason game yet didn’t earn the starter’s role back, Leinart was clearly miffed when two reporters caught him coming off the practice field in Tempe.
And when discussing newly appointed No. 2 QB Max Hall, Whisenhunt made certain everyone knew that quarterback evaluations were based on more than completion percentages.
Of all the statistics to choose, Whisenhunt chose the one that most Leinart supporters had trumpeted as the reason for handing him the starting job: His 78.6 percent preseason completion percentage.
The reference was no accident.
He is currently a free agent.