Titans GM Ruston Webster is “far from safe,” according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Just last week, Webster spoke with ESPN about the preliminary efforts he and other members of the Tennessee front office were making to find a new head coach, but per Rapoport, Webster may not be around to see the fruits of those labors. As one high-ranking source told Rapoport, “when you’ve won five games in the last two years, no one is safe” (Twitter link).
Webster has served as the Titans GM since 2012, and has been with the organization since 2010. Since that time, the team has gone 18-42, has seen two coaches be fired, and has failed to make the playoffs. Some of that, of course, is not entirely Webster’s fault. For instance, as ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky wrote early last month, the two coaches that have been fired–Mike Munchak and Ken Whisenhunt–have been forced on Webster by ownership, and Webster drafted players for a 4-3 defense only to see the team’s coaching staff switch to a 3-4 scheme.
On the other hand, Webster’s track record in free agency, with a couple of exceptions, has left much to be desired, and although he did draft Marcus Mariota last May, he also drafted underachieving players like Jake Locker, Justin Hunter, and Bishop Sankey. Plus, as Kuharsky points out, it is almost always preferable for a new coach and GM to come into an organization together rather than have two men on two different clocks that never sync up.
So while CEO/team president Steve Underwood gave Webster a vote of confidence last month, adding that Webster has a “solid” track record as a personnel executive and could “collaborate with virtually anyone,” that show of support may not mean much when the season ends. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk observes, the Titans could be in position to land a high-profile head coach this offseason, and such a coach would likely want to install their own GM, or to have final say over personnel decisions. If that’s the case, then Webster could certainly follow Whisenhunt out of Nashville.