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Sunday, December 15, 2013
Lame-duck status an issue if Munchak stays

By Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If the Tennessee Titans keep Mike Munchak in place, he’d be going into 2014 as a lame-duck coach.

While I am averse to extensions created simply to avoid lame-duck status, there are issues created by having a coach who is potentially a short-timer.

Munchak spoke recently about making changes if he stays in place.

But it can be hard to make such changes when the people you are trying to get aboard know the commitment on one level doesn’t extend beyond a year.

A free agent is likely to go to the highest bidder, but all things being equal he’d be likely to choose a team with a coach set in stone.

As for an assistant coach, anyone Munchak might want to bring aboard would be more inclined to go to a team where he could get a longer deal.

And if things go badly at the start of a season, players might stray from the message knowing that it's only going to be around for a few more months.

Relocating a family for a one-year deal, or a deal longer than the head coach, is not going to be the most attractive option.

When he met the press in Nashville on Sunday, president and CEO Tommy Smith admitted lame-duck status could be an issue going forward.

“Absolutely, sure it is (a concern),” Smith said.

Is there potential for an extension if he decides to keep Munchak?

“We’ll have to sit down and talk about all of those things,” Smith said.