Titans pick Bucs' Robinson as GM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans finally have found their new general manager just as they start talking to possible head coaches.
They agreed to terms with Jon Robinson, Tampa Bay’s director of player personnel, Thursday as their new general manager, said a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Titans have not announced the deal.
The Tennessean reported Robinson said he had agreed to a deal with the Titans.
Robinson interviewed with the Titans last week. A native of Union City, Tennessee, Robinson just finished his second season running Tampa Bay’s scouting department and overseeing both college and pro scouting.
He started in the NFL as an area scout for the New England Patriots in 2002, then a regional scout in 2006 before becoming the Patriots’ director of college scouting between 2009 and 2013. The Patriots won 10 division titles, four AFC titles and two Super Bowls during his tenure.
Robinson replaces Ruston Webster who was fired Jan. 4 after the Titans went 5-27 record the past two seasons.
His first job will be helping the Titans hire a new coach – their third since Jeff Fisher left in January 2011. Tennessee fired Ken Whisenhunt on Nov. 3 after he went 3-20, and the Titans have had only one winning season since their last playoff berth in 2008. Their last playoff victory was January 2004.
The Titans started that process with Doug Marrone, former Buffalo head coach and Jacksonville assistant head coach, who was scheduled to interview on Thursday, said a person familiar with the schedule. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Titans are not confirming candidates until interviews are completed.
Robinson is one of six candidates Tennessee confirmed interviewing for the GM position. The Titans also talked with Chris Ballard, Kansas City’s director of football operations, former Lions general manager Martin Mayhew, Giants vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross, former Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist and Jaguars director of player personnel Chris Polian.
But Robinson was with the Patriots when they drafted Julian Edelman in the seventh round in 2009 and Rob Gronkowski in the second round in 2010. He also interviewed for the Jets general manager opening last season.
Now Robinson has the No. 1 pick overall in the NFL draft for a second straight year after Tampa Bay selected Jameis Winston with the top pick in 2015. The Titans already have their quarterback in place after using the pick after Winston on Marcus Mariota, and now Robinson’s job will be adding more talent to both help Mariota and rebuild a franchise that is 18-46 over the past four seasons.
Robinson went to the Air Force Academy out of high school before transferring to Southeast Missouri State where he played for three years. He coached at Southeast Missouri for a season after graduation before going to Nicholls State and coaching there for three seasons.
AP Sports Writer Mark Long in Jacksonville, Florida, contributed to this report.
AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker