Dec 17, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak watches his team play against the New York Jets during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak- USA TODAY Sports
Jerry Gray stays. Dowell Loggains stays. Alan Lowry fired. Special teams assistant becomes linebackers coach. Offensive line assistant becomes special teams coordinator. George Henshaw, who hasn’t coached since 2007, returns as tight ends coach.
Those were some of the most noteworthy moves and non-moves that Mike Munchak made on his coaching staff. Those decisions have raised many eyebrows and created plenty of concern as the Tennessee Titans prepare for the 2013-14 NFL season.
Was anything more surprising than the promotion of Chet Parlavecchio? For the last two seasons, Parlavecchio was an assistant behind special teams coordinator Alan Lowry. When Lowry was relieved from his duties, many people assumed that Parlavecchio would take over that role. Instead, he replaced Frank Bush as the linebackers coach.
Where was Parlavecchio before he joined Munchak? Like Manti Te’o would say, “It’s complicated.”
From 1986-91 and 1994-09, Parlavecchio coached high school football in New Jersey. He coached Bloomfield (1986-90), Irvington (1991), Passaic Valley (1994-98), Clifton (1999-03) and Elizabeth (2006-09). In 2006, Parlavecchio led Elizabeth H.S. to a state title. Three seasons later, they finished with a 1-9 record.
That’s right. 1-9. One win. Nine losses.
Parlavecchio resigned after that season. About one year later, that 1-9 coach was offered a position with the Tennessee Titans. All courtesy of his former college buddy, Mike Munchak.
Parlavecchio does have experience as a linebackers coach. From 1992-93, Parlavecchio held that role with Temple University. He was credited with the development of Al Singleton, Lance Johnstone and Tim Terry. Furthermore, Parlavecchio played linebacker and was a co-captain for Penn State University.
Akeem Ayers, Zach Brown and Colin McCarthy will headline a group of linebackers with gobs of potential. None of them have more than two years of experience. Starting in 2013, Parlavecchio is responsible for getting the most out of these pups. He’s responsible for teaching them how to tackle premiere running backs such as Maurice Jones-Drew, Arian Foster and Jalen Hurd.
Oops. Parlavecchio isn’t coaching high school anymore. He doesn’t have to worry about Hurd for another four to five years.
The Titans needed a fiery individual on the staff. That’s what Parlavecchio brings. However, when coaching against professional football players, the question is whether Parlavecchio is out of his league.
For Munchak, this is a significant risk. He understands that 2013 is a “Playoffs or bust” type of season. He believes in Parlavecchio. Otherwise, Munchak wouldn’t bet his job security on him.