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Sunday, January 5, 2014
What becomes of Steve Watterson?

By Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Strength and conditioning coaches in the NFL are a different breed.

Many of them are a little off kilter, combining humor and intensity and working as major button-pushers to drive players to get bigger or faster or more flexible. No one else on a coaching staff works with every player in the organization the way a strength coach does.

Just-fired Titans coach Mike Munchak was with the franchise for 31 years as a player, assistant coach and head coach.

Titans assistant head coach/strength and conditioning Steve Watterson's tenure is almost as long. He has been on the job since 1986, working for Jerry Glanville, Jack Pardee, Jeff Fisher and Munchak.

Watterson is part scientist, part nutritionist, part rehab expert, part strongman, part prankster (though that was toned down during Munchak’s tenure), part team historian. (See a full bio here.)

He once had back surgery and returned to work incredibly quickly. If memory serves me correctly he missed one day.

He’s a real part of the fabric of the team, as Munchak was.

General manager Ruston Webster did not talk to assistant coaches about their fate on Friday. He plans to talk to them Monday.

Tennessee could keep guys under contract around long enough for the new head coach to consider them.

Even if that is the scenario going forward, the odds are against guys staying.

Munchak’s time with the team ended after 31 years. Will Watterson’s end after 27?