Tennessee Titans: Thoughts on Coaching Search


Dec 29, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak during warm ups prior to the game against the Houston Texans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Well, for the Titans’ fans that follow my posts, you now know that one of the big items on my wishlist will not come to fruition: keeping Mike Munchak.

The Tennessee Titans announced on Saturday that Mike Munchak would not be returning to the sidelines for a fourth season.  Based on a number of sources, Munchak was offered a multi-year extension along with a pay raise nearly double what he was making. However, he couldn’t agree with new CEO and team president Tommy Smith and general manager Ruston Webster on firing more than a dozen of his assistants.

There’s not too many people out there that sacrifice their own livelihood for the sake of “co-workers.”

The Titans joined the “head coach search” almost a week late. This gave the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans all a jump start.

I didn’t agree with the firing of Munchak to begin with, but then lost out on two of the biggest candidates—Lovie Smith (Bucs) and Bill O’Brien (Texans)—shortly after relieving him of his duties.  Talk quickly began of Smith and Webster interviewing other candidates with the likes Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden (now in agreement with the Washington Redskins), Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, and future interviews scheduled with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn,  and Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

Reports stated that Jay Gruden (not to be confused with older brother Jon Gruden) preferred the Titans job over the Redskins, but the Titans had not completed all their interviews yet.  So again, we lost out on another “top” candidate.

Now reports are suggesting that Quinn is the favorite for the head coach vacancy.  The good thing about Quinn is that he is, in part, responsible for the Legion of Doom (Seattle’s cool nickname for their defense).  The defense in Seattle has been a Top 10 defense in every statistical category.  The bad thing about Quinn coming to the Titans is that if he is hired he is almost guaranteed to let our defensive assistant Gregg Williams go, who I really wanted to see return as the new defensive coordinator, replacing Jerry Gray.

The only person I don’t want to see brought in as head coach is Caldwell.  That is no disrespect to Caldwell, I just don’t think he is ready to be a head coach again.  He had a short stint as the Indianapolis Colts head coach, replacing Tony Dungy. He rode to victory on the coattails of Peyton Manning.

Caldwell started the 2009 season 14-0 before benching all his players in the final two games and finishing 14-2.  The Colts made it to the Super Bowl only to lose to the New Orleans Saints 31-17.  Caldwell took the Colts into the postseason again, behind Manning, and lost to the New York Jets.  The 2011 season is what I feel like really showed what he was made of when the Colts fell to 2-14, earning the No. 1 draft pick to later begin the Andrew Luck era with Chuck Pagano.

At this point in time, I really don’t know who I prefer to be the new Titans’ head coach.  I like what Quinn brings to the table, I just don’t like the fact that a Williams departure is almost certain.  A guy like Zimmer feels like he has a lot to prove and could be a risk-taker, something that the conservative Titans organization could use.

I’ll leave the head-coaching search fall on Smith and Webster.  I mean, that is what they’re paid the big bucks for, right?

Who do you want to see on the sidelines as the Titans new head coach?