I would like to wish all of you Happy New Years. I hope you had a great holiday season to finish 2013. We have officially moved into a new year which comes with a new season of Tennessee Titans football (unfortunately eight months away) with much higher expectations than the previous season.
In a previous article, I discussed my “wish list” for the Titans. In the next few articles, I’ll dive more in depth with a few of those bigger wishes I desire.
I would like to first address head coach Mike Munchak’s future. The longer he doesn’t hear from new CEO/President Tommy Smith, the better his chances are of sticking around. We are just four days outside the conclusion of the NFL regular season and the two biggest coaching candidates have already been secured by dismal teams: the Houston Texans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have agreed to terms with Lovie Smith, the former Chicago Bears coach, and the Houston Texans snagged the coveted college coaching candidate Bill O’Brien from the Penn State Nittany Lions.
That is fantastic news if you are Mike Munchak or one of his supporters. All of the teams that find themselves with underachieving and unimpressive records at the end of the season are trembling. Munchak has handled the media very well when it comes to questions about his “future” as the Titans head coach. Now if that is truly how he feels, that remains to be seen. What I can guarantee is that he is jumping for joy that the two biggest threats to his job have now been signed to other franchises.
I said it before, and I will say it again…at this point I truly feel keeping Munchak is our best option, especially now that we missed out on the two best replacements. The only two other names that would make me change that stance is Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden. Both coaches seem content with their analyst gigs unless they are truly waiting for a specific opening.
Munchak seems to be losing support from Titans’ fans but doesn’t seem to be losing support from GM Ruston Webster or CEO Tommy Smith, or the players he coaches throughout the year. If the players had “given” up on Munchak, I am confident he would have been ousted already, but that’s not the case.
While every day that passes seems to increase Munchak’s chances of returning, he’s still not out of the dark yet. He must convince Webster and Smith his vision of the team and will be challenged to answering some tough questions such as what to do at the defensive coordinator position between Gregg Williams and Jerry Gray, picking up Jake Locker’s option, and what to do with Chris Johnson and his $8 million salary. He can’t just say what they want to hear without actually turning those words into actions.
I would be honestly shocked if Munchak was “relieved” of his duties. It really wouldn’t make sense to me. I feel that he should be given one more year, no exceptions if failure, due to the Locker injury. At the same time, the Titans could find themselves in a tough spot when negotiating for free agents this summer when they have a coach who is on a short leash.
In the comments section below, I welcome comments of your opinion. Do you agree? Do you “respectfully” disagree? Who would you want to see as the next head coach if there is a change at this point?