Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Williams, Mularkey could have better Act II
By Paul Kuharsky
The Titans are broadening their pool of coaching candidates.
Chris Mortensen reports one-time Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will interview on Friday and that the Titans have been granted permission to talk with Atlanta offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.
Look, it’s a parade of former Buffalo Bills’ head coaches!
Both will fare far better in their second stints as head coaches if and when those chances arrive.
Williams would return the franchise to the sort of super-aggressive defense it played back when it made a run to the 1999 Super Bowl and posted the league’s best record in 2000. He spent 11 years with the organization.
His son Blake, an assistant with the Saints, could become an issue for the Titans if Williams is determined to bring him along. The team has a long-standing rule against hiring the children of employees in supervisory roles. Adams can make an exception, but did not two years ago when Williams was in play for the defensive coordinator job.
Mularkey has a good history with young quarterbacks and helped Matt Ryan make an instant impact once the Falcons spent their top pick on him in 2008.
Bud Adams recently used the number five in talking about coaching candidates with Jim Wyatt. Too many people have pounced on the numerical memory of the 88-year old owner as gospel.
Two members of Jeff Fisher’s staff, Mike Munchak and Mike Heimerdinger, have already interviewed and a third, Dave McGinnis could be interviewing today.
Those two plus Williams and Mularkey would make five, and unless Adams wants to pay a hefty fine, the team will still need to speak to a minority to address the Rooney Rule.
Schefter tweeted early this week that Mortensen reported that Ray Sherman will fill that interview slot. The most recent indications, however, still say Sherman has still not been contacted.
I don't believe the Titans would be wasting the time of veteran coaches like Williams and Mularkey if Munchak's hiring is as as mush a certaintly as we've been hearing. And I don't think either would travel to Nashville if he did not think he had a legitimate chance at the post.
The Titans are announcing interviews at the end of the day on which they are conducted.
UPDATE: 4:42 pm: Several sources now say Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has been given permission to talk to the Titans. The Titans will meet the Rooney Rule requirement by interviewing him.
Like Williams and Mularkey, Fewell has served as head coach of the Bills -- he coached seven games in 2009 after Dick Jauron was fired.
UPDATE II: 5:25 pm: Schefter now says Gregg Williams has withdrawn. Jim Wyatt said it's unclear if, while the Titans received permission to talk to him, Williams ever agreed to an interview.
I reached Williams around 6:15 and he said: "Yes, I withdrew. The timing is just not right. I love the organization, I love the city of Nashville."