A Good Start for Whisenhunt and Titans

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt met with the media Monday following his first win in Tennessee – an honor that was commemorated with a game ball given to him by quarterback Jake Locker.

Whisenhunt began his presser with an unfortunate blemish from an otherwise sterling report from the Titans defense. He gave an update on linebacker Zach Brown, who left Sunday's game early in the first half.

"Coming out of the game from an injury standpoint we're in pretty good shape except for Zach [Brown]," Whisenhunt started. "Zach's got a torn pec muscle and we'll know more tomorrow. I can't answer much more than that right now."

The injury will keep Brown out for some time and could potentially be season-ending per Whisenhunt. Brown is in his third year with the Titans and has started 27 games over the past two seasons making 140 tackles.

Whisenhunt challenged Brown to improve during training camp after evaluating game film from

last season. Brown answered the call which makes it even harder for Whisenhunt to see him go down.

"He was one of the guys I've enjoyed seeing make the progress that he did. He was really doing a nice job. I'm disappointed for Zach," he said. "To me it means a lot when you do what's being asked of you and change the perception of you. I was hopeful that would continue in terms of him having a good season."

Second-year linebacker Zaviar Gooden filled in for Brown the rest of the way and finished with four tackles. Whisenhunt said he liked what he saw from Gooden.

"Zaviar did a good job," said Whisenhunt. "He went in there and filled in nicely. It's one of those situations where you don't know what to expect but you've seen him grow through camp and it was nice to see him perform on the field the way he did."

The Titans marquee accomplishment defensively was shutting down Chiefs star running back Jamaal Charles, who finished with just 34 total yards (19 rushing 15 receiving) and zero touchdowns on the day.

"First of all I think it's a credit to our defense," Whisenhunt said. "Charles in my opinion is one of the best backs of the league and they do a nice job running the football. For us to go in there in an opening game and be effective against the run was something we hadn't done well in the preseason."

Whisenhunt took the time to point out other defensive standouts from Sunday – most notably being the big game from cornerback Jason McCourty that included two interceptions off Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.

"I was really happy after not forcing any turnovers in the preseason to get a few. I respect how Jason goes about his business – the way he prepares and the way he works," Whisenhunt said of his number one corner. "You want to see guys have success when they do that. He's a great pro, he's a good leader, and it was exciting to see him have a day like yesterday."

Defensive lineman Karl Klug also received recognition from Whisenhunt on Monday. Klug has already made his mark on the season with one of four Titans sacks against the Chiefs, giving him 13.5 for his three-plus year career with the Titans.

"There were a number of guys who contributed when you talk about bringing pressure," said Whisenhunt. "I think it's a mentality with those guys. It was good to see Karl Klug get a sack after what he did in the preseason. It's a team game for us and we're excited for all of our guys to have success.

"Karl worked his tail off in training camp to earn a spot on this team and a lot of it was because he was disruptive and had production and then he gets a sack yesterday," Whisenhunt continued on Klug.

The Titans posted three interceptions and four sacks but Whisenhunt knows it all goes for not if the team can't make it a consistent performance.

"Our guys played a good game yesterday but it's one game. We've got to continue with that. We've got a real challenge this week playing against Dallas," he said. "They have a lot of weapons and a lot of ways they can hurt you. It really doesn't mean anything if we don't make this a consistent thing."

Tuesday serves as the team's normal off day before resuming preparations for the home opener on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. For Whisenhunt and all the new members of the organization, it will be their first taste of regular season football in front of the home crowd at LP Field.

The ruckus environment at Arrowhead Stadium provided Whisenhunt with added excitement for his home debut.

"It's exciting to go in there 1-0, that's for sure. I'm excited about being there," Whisenhunt said. "Yesterday all I could think about was that crowd at Arrowhead and how supportive they were of that football team. That's the kind of atmosphere we want to get at LP Field. I'm excited to come home and play."

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