AFC South: Bill Callahan

Considering Munchak's OC search

February, 15, 2011
The Titans aren’t exactly being forthcoming about their search for assistant coaches. Who is?

It’s understandable to a degree. If you’re getting turned down for half a dozen permission requests, it doesn’t make you look good even thought it doesn’t really implicate you in any way.

We need to be careful as we learn of some requests that we keep in mind we don’t know all of them.

We know head coach Mike Munchak wanted to talk to Bill Callahan about the offensive coordinator job and wasn’t allowed by the Jets. We know he wanted to talk to Mike Tice and wasn’t allowed by the Bears.

It’s a jump to say Callahan was No. 1 on Munchak's list and Tice was No. 2. The order of reported denials does not necessarily correlate with Munchak's ordering of candidates, if he has one.

This does not appear to be like the defensive coordinator search, where Munchak targeted Jerry Gray from the start and was able to go get him.

I’m hearing that Munchak’s intention on the other side of the ball has been to try to talk to multiple people and see what he thinks.

Just because we’ve learned that Callahan and Tice were on the list doesn’t make them candidates No. 1 and No. 2. If Munchak has a prioritized list, we don’t know how it’s prioritized. We don’t know who else he’s asked for permission to talk to at this point. We don’t know if there have been other denials.

It’s easy to look at it and panic. Former coach Jeff Fisher and owner Bud Adams, with their late divorce, left Munchak in a terrible hiring situation.

Maybe he finds a position coach whose head coach is willing to let him talk, they hit it off and he’s got his guy.

Maybe he doesn’t.

Maybe he has to dip into the college ranks.

Let’s admit what we don’t know. Let’s admit we have to wait and see. Let’s admit if Munchak winds up with his sixth choice as coordinator, it doesn’t mean he’ll be a bad one.

I’d like to judge the new coordinator on how the Titans’ offense plays rather than on how he came to be hired.
The Tennessee Titans staff might have included three coaches with offensive-line backgrounds. But John Clayton reports the Jets declined Tennessee’s request to talk to Bill Callahan about its open offensive coordinator post.

New coach Mike Munchak is a Hall of Fame offensive lineman who coached the position before being promoted, and he’s already hired another Hall of Fame lineman, Bruce Matthews, to coach the Titans’ line.

Callahan is assistant head coach offense for Rex Ryan, but Brian Schottenheimer is the coordinator and play-caller.

Other names floating around as offensive coordinator candidates remain unconfirmed.

Green Bay Packers quarterback coach Tom Clements' name surfaced Thursday in write-ups citing Nashville's ABC affiliate as the initial source. But an official there said the station did not report that Clements is a Munchak target. And the Packers said they do not confirm or deny information about requests for permission to interview their assistants.

Meanwhile, John Glennon spoke with Frank Bush, the former Houston Texans defensive coordinator, who confirmed he’s talked with Munchak about a position on the defensive staff.

And it appears Jerry Gray isn’t yet sure if he will be Munchak’s defensive coordinator.

Stat nuggets to hold you over

January, 24, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS -- Honestly, I don’t know if you can handle this, but I’m compelled to see.

Here’s a buffet of nuggets on the Colts and Jets provided by ESPN Stats & Information:

  • The Colts are in the AFC Championship Game for the second time in the last four seasons and sixth time in team history. The Colts have never lost an AFC Championship Game at home, beating the Patriots in 2006 and the Raiders in 1970, both times going on to win the Super Bowl.
  • The Jets are playing in the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1998. The Jets have won two playoff games in a season for the first time since 1982 and the second time in team history. Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco (last postseason) are the only rookie QBs to win multiple postseason games.
  • The Jets are 7-0 this season when Darrelle Revis records an interception and 7-1 this season when they hold their opponent scoreless in the first quarter.
  • The Colts’ Reggie Wayne has a touchdown reception in four straight playoff games.
  • The Colts have lost to the Jets both times they’ve met in the playoffs: 41-0 in a 2002 wild-card game and 16-7 in Super Bowl III.
  • The Jets won their one Super Bowl (III) in Miami. The Colts have won two Super Bowls (V and XLI) in Miami. The winner of this game goes to Miami for Super Bowl XLIV.
  • Indianapolis’ regular-season winning percentage was .3125 higher than New York’s. Teams with a regular-season winning percentage .300-plus higher than their opponent are 19-3 all-time in the playoffs, 18-2 in the Super Bowl era and 18-1 at home.
  • Either Rex Ryan or Jim Caldwell will become the fifth head coach to take a team to the Super Bowl in his first season as an NFL head coach, joining Bill Callahan, George Seifert, Red Miller and Don McCafferty (of the Colts in Super Bowl V).
  • After struggling against top defenses early in his postseason career, Peyton Manning has gone 4-0 since the 2006 postseason against scoring defenses ranked in the top 3. He was 0-4 from 2000 to 2005 and the Colts scored an average of 13 points. In the four such games since, they’ve scored an average of 26.
  • If Manning throws for 300 yards, it would be his seventh 300-yard game in the playoffs. He would pull into first place in that category ahead of Joe Montana and Kurt Warner.
  • The Jets were 9-7 in the regular season. Teams with fewer than 10 wins in a conference championship game since 1980 are 1-7. The 2008 Cardinals were the lone winners.
  • Only three teams in the Super Bowl era have started 7-7 as the Jets did and advanced to the conference championship game. The 1996 Jaguars, the 1984 Steelers and the 1983 Seahawks all lost.
  • In 18 games this season, the Jets are 0-5 when they allow 20 points or more and 11-2 when they allow fewer than 20. They’ve allowed fewer than 20 in their last eight, including two playoff wins.
  • Field goal kickers hit 19 of 23 attempts against the Jets this season (.826). They’ve missed all five attempts against New York in the postseason. According to Elias, they are the first team since the 1983 49ers to have opponents miss at least five field goals in the playoffs against them.