NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Newly promoted Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak has fired offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger one day after taking over the top job.
In a statement, Munchak said, "These are not easy decisions, but I have a responsibility to move things in the direction that I have laid out for this team."
The Titans also released Defensive Assistant Rayna Stewart and Offensive Assistant Richie Wessman on Tuesday.
Munchak was introduced Monday and promised that changes were coming. He wasn't kidding.
Heimerdinger, who is continuing cancer treatment after he was diagnosed in November, was the second coach the Titans interviewed to replace Jeff Fisher and was under contract for the 2011 season.
Munchak added, "As it relates to Mike, I have a great deal of respect for him as a person and admiration for the way he is fighting against cancer. He is an innovative offensive mind and we have worked well through the years, but I believe we need to go in a different direction at offensive coordinator."
The Titans said their decision to let Heimerdinger go had nothing to do with his health.
"This wasn't about his health - he is feeling good - it is a change of direction for us," Munchak said. "This is not something that I take lightly and I wish him and his family the best."
"Our organization is deeply appreciative of Mike's dedication to his work, especially in light of his ongoing medical issues," Senior Executive Vice President Steve Underwood added. "…A new head coach will often make changes in his staff, and it is never easy to make this kind of transition."
Underwood said the team would honor Heimerdinger's existing agreement with the team and that they "continue to wish him a complete recovery."
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