“Man, this is hard. Maybe if I put this guy over here….” Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Breaking Down The New Tennessee Titans Coaching Moves
Thursday afternoon there was a flurry of information coming out of Baptist Sports Park, as Jim Wyatt broke all of the new coaching hires/promotions for the Tennessee Titans. In the beginning the information was baffling and disheartening as the reports were solely of internal promotions and guys changing name tags. My blood pressure regressed a little as a few more names became available. Let’s recap what happened:
- Nate Kaczor has moved from assistant offensive line coach to special teams coach.
- Chet Parlevecchio has moved from special teams assistant to become the linebackers coach
- Dave Ragone has moved from coaching the wide receivers to being Jake Locker’s new quarterbacks coach
- Shawn Jefferson has been brought in from Detroit to coach the wide receivers
- George Henshaw will coach the tight ends
- Sylvester Croom is the new running backs coach
The previous releases this off-season were Frank Bush (linebackers), John Zernhelt (tight ends), Jim Skipper (running backs) and most notably Alan Lowry (special teams).
Got all that?
The New Guys
Only one of these hires has me excited, and that’s getting Shawn Jefferson from the Lions after Calvin Johnson breaks the single season receiving yards record. Johnson has been quoted saying how integral a role in his development that Jefferson played over the years, mainly on getting his “head right”. Sounds phenomenal for our receiving corp.
I know very little about Croom, other than he was part of Jacksonville’s running back’s staff last year. The Titans were forced to look elsewhere when Sherman Smith decided to stay in Seattle . Chris Johnson has said he would personally like to have Earnest Byner back.
Then comes George Henshaw. Henshaw will be in charge of continuing the development of Titans’s project Taylor Thompson, as well as Jared Cook and Craig Stevens. The problem is that Henshaw hasn’t coached in 5 years!
The Old Guys
Outside of these three, there’s currently no new blood on the staff that promised changes. This doesn’t count as the changes we were promised as far as I’m concerned. Were the struggles the Titans faced all year solely due to position coaches? If so, then they don’t get the credit they deserve on a regular basis. I can only assume that Munchak couldn’t get the guys he wanted (i.e. Sherman Smith), and was therefore forced to shuffle the deck. Shawn Jefferson was a good get and they didn’t want to let Ragone go, so they just move him to Dowell Loggains old post. As for moving the offensive line coach to special teams and moving the assistant special teams coach to linebackers, I am at a complete loss.
Loggains was confirmed as offensive coordinator and it looks as though Gray will continue on as defensive coordinator. I can understand Loggains getting a shot due to his relationship with Locker. I can offer no explanation on retaining Gray who had our defense looking pathetic against every team that had a pulse. I know, I know, it wasn’t all his fault. The offense sucked and we had key injuries, but the defense was way worse than those excuses make up for.
I have been a staunch supporter and preacher of patience for Mike Munchak this entire off-season, but these moves are trying even my patience. I’ve constantly debated that it takes time to get a good staff in place, and that Munchak is working with extenuating circumstances. But I am at a loss for explanation on how weak some of these moves are. I’m not one to think you have to go get the big name, there’s a reason they are available as well, but the constant promotion form within is becoming nerve racking.
Maybe this was the best he could do. Maybe no one else wanted to come here. Maybe Mike wanted these guys in place all along.
I’m not really buying any of that though. It looks to me like they are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as the ship is about to go down.
Even this optimist has the coaching staff on a short leash now.