Friday, January 3, 2014
Interpreting lack of word on Munchak
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mike Munchak returned Friday evening to the Music City, but the Tennessee Titans issued statements from president/CEO Tommy Smith and general manager Ruston Webster saying things are not yet resolved regarding the coach's job status.
"I said all along that we would review every aspect of the football operations at the conclusion of the season -- in early January," Smith said. "Today I sat down with Ruston and Mike and we discussed every coach and player on the roster. We had good discussions, but no final decisions were made."
Said Webster: "The three of us met all day today in Houston. We had a good conversation in regards to the team and moving forward. Nothing final has been decided at this point, but we hope to have a decision soon."
Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reported that Munchak will return, saying after the statements were released that Munchak has conditions but is expected to meet them.
I interpret that as meaning Munchak will sacrifice part of his staff to retain his job.
Jerry Gray has an expiring contract, but when his phone rings he's likely to be told he won't get a new deal. Munchak should be trying to promote Gregg Williams to the defensive coordinator post, but Williams is also about to become a coaching free agent.
Others who might be in trouble: offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, Munchak's best friend and fellow Pro Football Hall of Famer; linebackers coach Chet Parlavecchio; special-teams coach Nate Kaczor; defensive line coach Tracy Rocker; and pass rush coach Keith Millard.
I wrote previously about some of them being at risk.
I fully believe Dowell Loggains is safe if Munchak is back. The last thing the Titans need is a third offensive coordinator in three years for young quarterback Jake Locker.
If staff changes are the primary conditions for Munchak's return, the easy part may be firing assistants. Hiring quality replacements while heading toward a lame-duck season will be difficult. And there is no indication at all that Smith will consider an extension for Munchak.