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Sunday, December 29, 2013
For 2013 Titans, not a big step, a baby step

By Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The baby step is complete.

A team with a miserable 6-10 season in 2012 bumped it up to 7-9 this year and expressed a degree of satisfaction, at least for how it ended.

The Tennessee Titans beat the Houston Texans 16-10 in the final game for both teams. The Titans finished with division wins over the Jaguars and Texans, teams that won the first matchup in their AFC series with Tennessee.

Mike Munchak’s fate won’t be determined Monday, but it should be known by the end of the week. Can a coach with a 2-20 record against teams who finish the season with a winning record sell himself as a man who deserves to work the final season if his four-year contract?

Players largely supported him after the game while talking about the good things the team has and the promise that comes with it. It was offseason tone just minutes after the season ended.

“It’s something to build off of knowing that we do have most of the pieces here,” left tackle Michael Roos said. “I think it’s just those one, two key pieces you’ve got to put together to finalize the puzzle. You just don’t know what it is, that’s the hard part. You don’t know if it’s changing this thing or that thing, this coach, this player.

“That’s obviously for the upstairs people to figure out and piece it all together. We’re close and we’ve got all of the rest of the people here. We just have to win games next year.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick, the backup who started nine games at quarterback, said he had a great time on this team.

“I feel like it’s a good staff, there are a lot of good things going on in our building,” he said.

Munchak offered the same sort of defense we’ve heard over the last month or so. There isn’t a timetable set for his meeting with Smith or for a decision by the man who took over as president and CEO after his father-in-law, Bud Adams, does in late October.

“Again, I will say it again, I don’t think we are that far off,” Munchak said again. “I mean I think you saw that in the way we played this year. I don’t think you saw a team that last year had a hard time hanging in game. This year, we were right there. We just got to find, get a few closures. We just need to find a few more guys to help us close out games and we’ll be in great shape.”

Sounds like this team in intact in Munchak's eyes, in need of only additions. It doesn’t account for free agents who could leave or contracts that need to be addressed.

He makes something very complicated sound very easy.

He and his team made some easy things very complicated. See that Week 10 loss to the Jaguars.