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Saturday, January 4, 2014
Titans now Ruston Webster's show to run

By Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans general manager Ruston Webster will be the central figure in selecting the team's new head coach.

Working for a new president and CEO, Webster will have a great degree of power.

Tommy Smith took over the franchise in late October, after his father-in-law, the team’s founder and owner Bud Adams, died.

Webster and Mike Munchak went home Friday evening after returning from a meeting with Smith in Nashville and slept on it. They spoke by phone Saturday and concluded Munchak could not continue as coach.

“In the end we were not able to agree on the future or direction of the franchise and I felt it was time to make a change,” Webster said. "So we move ahead into the next phase of the Tennessee Titans and look for the next coach and for great things.”

To a follow up question about that answer, Webster said he and Smith decided.

Webster is hardly a power monger. And maybe it was just a default word choice. But I thought his use of “I” was significant here. It, and his tone through 15 minutes at a podium alone for the first time, says Webster was the key decision-maker. I believe that to be the case given Smith’s inexperience.

Now Webster will make his first coaching hire, calling on the situation he’s watched in Tampa Bay, under Rich McKay, and Seattle, the two places he worked before joining the Titans front office in 2010.

He said a person in his position will always have a list of potential coaches in case this situation arises. At least one is part of a staff in the playoffs, he said, and there could be an in-house candidate interviewed. That would almost certainly be senior assistant/defense Gregg Williams.

Two outside candidates for the job, according to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, will be Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Dallas special teams coach Rich Bisaccia.

Munchak’s staff has not been told anything, and Webster intends to talk to them Monday.