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Titans fire head coach Ken Whisenhunt

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They're cleaning house early in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Titans fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt on Tuesday morning, the team announced. He'll be replaced by Mike Mularkey as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Tennessee's only win of the season came in Week 1, a 42-14 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since then it's been rough times for Whisenhunt's team. The Titans have lost six games in a row. This is Whisenhunt's second season at the helm. During that stretch, the Titans are 3-20.

News of Whisenhunt's firing came as a shock in the locker room. One player told Josina Anderson of ESPN that he hadn't heard the news until she asked about it. "Oh shit. Give me a second," he told the ESPN reporter.

Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk released a statement announcing the move:

"After thoughtful consideration, the decision has been made to relieve Ken Whisenhunt of his head coaching duties. We have expected more progress on the field, and I felt it was time to move in a different direction. I would like to thank Ken for his efforts with our team, as he worked very hard to try to move us forward."

Whisenhunt entered the season with higher expectations than last year's 2-14 effort ... but not that high. The team used the second overall pick in the draft on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. He's missed the last two games after he suffered a sprained left MCL in a Week 6 loss to the Dolphins. Whisenhunt was criticized for leaving a clearly hobbled Mariota in the game after he was injured in the first half.

"My family and I are grateful for our time in Nashville and my opportunity to work for the Titans," Whisenhunt said in a statement Tuesday. "I am sorry we weren't able to get it done in our time here. Our players and staff were great to work with and I want to thank them for their dedication and hard work. I also want to thank the fans for their support and I wish the organization success moving forward."

Whisenhunt was head coach for the Arizona Cardinals for six seasons, from 2007 to 2012. He took the team to one Super Bowl, in 2008, but was able to guide the Cardinals to just two winning seasons during his tenure.

Mularkey was Tennessee's tight end coach before being named interim. He has head coaching experience, at the helm for the Jacksonville Jaguars during their 2-14 season in 2012. He was 14-18 as the Buffalo Bills head coach in 2004 and 2005.


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