Mike Munchak not worried about job

Updated: December 9, 2013, 6:52 PM ET
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After losing seven of the past nine games, Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak said Monday that he still feels good about his team and that he's worried about the final three games, not his job status.

"We are headed in the right direction, as much as it doesn't seem that way at times, and you can make a leap fast," Munchak told local media.

Munchak is under contract through 2014, but his team has posted a 20-25 record in his three seasons. In a weak AFC South, the Titans are 0-4 this year and 1-9 over the past two seasons.

While the Titans have not been eliminated from the playoffs, much of the outside focus has turned to the issues that will face the team after the season.

Tommy Smith, son-in-law of late team owner Bud Adams, is now team president and CEO and will face a tough decision on his coach.

[+] EnlargeMike Munchak
Wade Payne/AP PhotoDespite losing seven of nine games, Mike Munchak says the Titans are headed in the "right direction, as much as it doesn't seem that way at times."

Munchak, a Hall of Fame offensive lineman who played for the Oilers, has been with the franchise as a player or coach since 1982 and was a favorite of Adams, but the former owner spent more than $100 million on free agents and indicated before he died on Oct. 21 that it was a make-or-break year for Munchak.

In addition, the Titans also have to decide on the futures of running back Chris Johnson and quarterback Jake Locker.

Johnson's production has not matched his pay. He's due $8 million in 2014. He told reporters Monday that coaches shouldn't be blamed for mistakes by players, such as his lost fumble in Sunday's 51-28 loss to Denver.

He reminded reporters he's under contract and has never missed a game.

General manager Ruston Webster and Munchak -- or a new coach -- would certainly have a say in Johnson's future.

The team also needs to decide on an option for 2015 for Locker, who's on IR with a serious foot injury.

He's affordable in 2014 and is expected to be on the team no matter who the coach is. The option for 2015, however, is for more than $13 million. Locker would be a free agent after the 2014 season if the Titans do not execute the option.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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