Monday, December 30, 2013
Munchak now deserves faster track
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This morning, I wrote about how the Tennessee Titans taking some time to make a decision on Mike Munchak didn’t strike me as unreasonable. I’m not retracting everything I said there, but after talking to several Titans in the locker room and participating in a 35-minute news conference with Munchak, I’m adjusting my stance.
Team president and CEO Tommy Smith hasn't even told Munchak when they will meet. And asking Munchak and his staff to tread water and wait on a verdict is quite awkward.
“I think he pretty much announced that this is how he foresaw it happening when the season ended,” Munchak said of Smith. "Be deliberate. Let a couple days go by. Give some good thought to it, then have a meeting and make a decision.”
But six teams -- Houston, Cleveland, Minnesota, Washington, Detroit and Tampa Bay -- already have vacancies. The ownership of those teams can start the process of finding their next guy. If Smith joins the group, he’ll be a latecomer. There is no advantage to that, and there is no real advantage to asking Munchak to stand in front of his press corps and sort through questions when he doesn’t know the answer to many of them.
I’ve been critical of Munchak's coaching performance, particularly as his teams have posted a 3-20 record against teams that have finished the season with a winning record. I feel the Titans would be best served with an infusion of new thinking. But I felt badly for Munchak, an honorable man who's been loyal to the franchise since 1982, as he was put in that situation.
Per Munchak, Smith isn’t even in Nashville. He was at the Titans’ season finale Sunday, a 16-10 win against Houston. But, he should have stayed in town and initiated a meeting with Munchak by Tuesday.
Munchak promised that if he's retained, he will meet with us again to address the things he couldn’t today.
Whether the coach winds up staying or going, Smith should accelerate the process. One can be deliberate but work on a fast track at the same time, and that’s what this situation calls for now.