Tuesday, January 7, 2014
On the status of Munchak's assistants
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans assistants who have contracts for 2014 who were in town met with general manager Ruston Webster on Monday morning.
None of them were fired.
That doesn’t mean the Titans intend to keep them. Webster and team president and CEO Tommy Smith wanted four to six of them fired in order for Mike Munchak to remain.
Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray (who's got an expiring contract), offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, offensive line coach Bruce Matthews and linebackers coach Chet Parlavecchio were definitely guys the brass did not want back.
But it makes sense to hold on to guys under contract until a new coach is hired and to give that new coach a chance to see if there are any he’d like to work with.
I see four guys who were not ruled out by Smith and Webster who’ve done good work with the Titans and could deserve consideration from a new head coach.
If he arrives without a guy lined up to coach a certain position, perhaps he’d ponder an incumbent or two.
The worthy four in my eyes:
Receivers coach Shawn Jefferson: He’s got Kendall Wright on a fantastic course and has said he thinks Wright can "revolutionize” the slot position. Jefferson is a very tough coach who operates at a high-volume. He’s not for everyone, but he can certainly help tough-minded receivers excel.
Running backs coach Sylvester Croom: The Titans have had a load of turnover at this spot, and Croom is a well-traveled, mild-mannered coach with vast experience. He and Webster have ties from Tampa Bay when their work with the Buccaneers overlapped from 1987-90. Webster won’t be hiring the staff, but his endorsement could help a guy.
Secondary coach Brett Maxie: Maxie was an NFL safety for 13 seasons, and appeared a good influence on Michael Griffin, who was good in tandem with Bernard Pollard this season. There aren’t many positions where the Titans have developed young guys the last few years. But cornerback Alterraun Verner grew into a Pro Bowl player this season and nickelback Coty Sensabaugh is an improving corner as well.
Assistant secondary coach Steve Brown: While Maxie played safety, Brown played eight seasons as a Houston Oilers cornerback. See above under Maxie on the progress of Verner and Sensabaugh as a reason Brown could be worth consideration for the new coach.
A note on senior assistant/defense Gregg Williams: He also has an expiring contract. He was a good influence who did good work this season. But he's not irreplaceable. The Titans got better on defense this year, but they still weren't very good.