NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk wrapped up her first public appearance with Tennessee fans by making it very clear to them that the team her father founded in 1960 is staying in the family.
''The team is not for sale,'' Adams Strunk said Thursday.
With that, Strunk ended a five-minute conversation with the team's broadcaster Mike Keith before approximately 3,000 season-ticket holders at a lunch Thursday that was part sales pitch and part outreach from the Titans. This also was the first chance for fans to hear directly from the woman who took over as controlling owner last March.
Adams Strunk told fans Thursday she wanted to get answers first to avoid making promises she couldn't keep, but believes the franchise is headed in the right direction with a new general manager, coach and the No. 1 draft pick in April.
She also tried to dispel concerns that she and the family of the late Bud Adams are not committed to the franchise. If anyone doubted the commitment, she said look no further than Nov. 3 when she fired coach Ken Whisenhunt with three seasons left on his contract.
''I mean, that was some serious money to move Ken away,'' said Adams Strunk, who lives in the Houston area in Texas. ''I just thought the changes needed to happen. But we're going to continue to make changes, and continue to commit to whatever will make us a winning team.''
Strunk missed an NFL owners meeting on relocation in January taking part in the team's search for a new general manager. She chose to hire Jon Robinson on Jan. 14 and then decided to keep Mike Mularkey as head coach Jan. 16.
''Jon knows some things that need to be done, Mike knows some things that need to be done,'' she said. ''I have faith in those guys and I am ready to roll up our sleeves and get going on it.''
Adams Strunk told fans the team's struggles are ''unacceptable'' in her letter inviting season-ticket holders to either lunch or dinner at Nashville's convention center. The Titans are 5-27 the past two seasons and have not made the playoffs since 2008.
The NFL also has questions about the team's ownership split among Adams Strunk, her sister Susie Adams Smith and the children of their late brother. Commissioner Roger Goodell said Feb. 5 the league requires a single owner to be responsible for how a team is being run locally and that league officials will be meeting with the Titans in the next few weeks.
Terry Givens, 30, of Lyles, Tennessee, has been a season-ticket holder since 1999 with his grandfather, and was glad to finally hear from Adams Strunk. He said he was reassured to hear the team is not for sale with the recent decision by the Rams to leave St. Louis for Los Angeles.
Troy Lamastus of Murfreesboro, a season-ticket holder since 1998 with his father, said Adams Strunk was very personable and genuine, but he wanted to hear from Adams Strunk sooner. He's watched the number of season-ticket holders around him dwindle to five in recent years.
''They want answers from us on our ticket renewals a whole lot quicker than they're willing to give us answers back,'' Lamastus said. ''I think that's where as fans you get frustrated and you have to think about writing that check.''
Mularkey swayed fans' support his way during the event. He noted that while this is his third job as a head coach, this was the first time he actually hired his own coaching staff. Mularkey also promised a simpler offense featuring less language that will allow quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Titans to get out of the huddle faster.
Mularkey also thanked Adams Strunk for changes inside the Titans' headquarters from the locker room to the walls, and even the turf on the practice field.
''We're going in a different direction,'' Mularkey said, ''and the players will recognize that immediately.''
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