#3 – Replenish Assistant Coaching Staff

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Offensive Coordinator

Mike Heimerdinger (OUT) – Chris Palmer (IN)
The Titan offense finished 27th in yards and 29th in first downs per game in 2010. And although this was not entirely Coach Dinger’s fault, he could not escape accountability. Palmer brings an impressive resume of developing young passers. We wish Coach Dinger a speedy recovery.

Offensive Quality Control

Richie Wessman (OUT) – Not yet filled
The Titan offense committed 128 offensive penalties (4th worst) last year for 1040 yards (3rd worst). Wessman never had a chance of staying with the Titans in 2011. This is one of the few open vacancies on the assistant coaching staff.

Offensive Line

Mike Munchak (OUT) – Bruce Matthews (IN)
Okay.  Coach Munchak is not out, but he will not be able to give the offensive line his full attention next season. Matthews is quite possibly the best successor the Titans could find. Still, Matthews has his work cut out for him with a line that struggled at times last season without Kevin Mawae.

Running Backs

Craig Johnson (OUT) – Jim Skipper (IN)
Johnson left to coach QBs for the Minnesota Vikings, which is really his strength. Skipper comes from the Carolina Panthers with an impressive resume of RBs including: Stephen Davis, DeAngelo Williams, and James Stewart. Skipper also has head coaching experience in the UFL.

Wide Receivers

Fred Graves (OUT) – Dave Ragone (IN)
Ragone was a former player and assistant for new coordinator Chris Palmer. Unfortunately, his hiring may be a little bit of a stretch, given his expertise is quarterbacks and not receivers. Hopefully, he will prove me wrong and be able to develop Kenny Britt into the Pro Bowler the Titans need.

Defensive Coordinator

Chuck Cecil (OUT) – Jerry Gray (IN)
Both coaches have defensive back expertise and learned under quality defensive coordinators (Cecil under Jim Schwartz and Gray under Gregg Williams). However, the Titans finished 29th in passing yards per game and Cecil could not get the defense off the field. It is unlikely Gray will do worse.

Defensive Quality Control

Rayna Stewart (OUT) – Arthur Smith (IN)
The Titan defense was on the field far too long, far too often in 2010 finishing the season with 853 tackles. More tackles than any NFL team and 100 more tackles than each Super Bowl team. Stewart, like his offensive quality control counterpart, was doomed to find work elsewhere.

Defensive Line

Jim Washburn (OUT) – Tracy Rocker (IN)
After Jeff Fisher, this is the biggest coaching loss moving forward. Washburn’s reputation and results over the years with the Titans speak for themselves. However, Rocker brings a reputation of his own, mentoring players like Nick Fairley, Demarcus Ware, and Osi Umenyiora in college.


Dave McGinnis (OUT) – Frank Bush (IN)
This hire is perhaps the most interesting.  McGinnis was promoted to Senior Assistant Coach to create an opening for the ex-Houston Texan defensive coordinator. Although, Bush’s DC tenure was a failure, it is good to see the Titans massing assistants with previous leadership experience.

The new Titan assistants have head coaching experience at the coordinator level and coordinator experience at the skill position level.  This should create the quality support staff a rookie head coach can lean on and rely on for expertise in their area of responsibility.

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