JOE BIDDLE: Titans should give Munchak another season - WKRN News 2

JOE BIDDLE: Titans should give Munchak another season


In Texas, they are called hangin' judges.

As it pertains to Titans Coach Mike Munchak's future, new CEO/President Tommy Smith is the appointed hangin' judge. Oh, be assured Smith will get ample input from a variety of sources.

But in the end, it's his call. The immediate future of the Titans rests in Smith's hands.

Is a 7-9 season and no playoffs a reason to bring Munchak back? No. But there are also reasons to give him the final year of his contract.

The late Bud Adams made it clear before he died that he expected Munchak and this team to make the playoffs.

They forked out $100 million to free agents in hopes that was enough to get them over that dratted 8-8 speed bump this franchise has visited all too many times in the past 30 years. Some disgruntled Titans fans are convinced this franchise is destined to be a perennial .500 or so team.

"There are a lot of question marks for the staff and the players,'' Munchak said after his team closed the season with wins over Jacksonville and 2-14 Houston, the two worst teams in the AFC South.

"We were 7-9. You want to be much better,'' Munchak added. "We didn't reach our goal, but I think we got better in a lot of areas. I have a great feel for how we go forward and how we've grown.''

In the end I have a feeling that Smith will give Munchak another year. Smith came aboard during the season after franchise founder Bud Adams passed. Smith is not what is considered a football man. He has said he will surround himself with highly qualified people and let them do their jobs.

As for personnel upgrades, General Manager Ruston Webster has said the Titans will be active in the free agent market, yet not as active financially as they were a year ago. It's a foregone conclusion Kenny Britt has played his last game as a Titan. They have to debate whether to bring Chris Johnson back and determine if he is worth the check they will have to write to keep him.

Munchak will sit down with Webster, Smith and others to present his case.

If I wanted to continue to coach the Titans, I would look at several ways to improve the current model. One, I would make some staff changes. I would make Gregg Williams the sole defensive coordinator. If having co-coordinators is such an ideal situation, why doesn't every team do it that way?

I would upgrade the offensive coordinator position. Dowell Loggains hasn't convinced me he is experienced enough to run a quality, imaginative NFL offense. This offense under Loggains had no personality, no ID to hang its hat on. And, where does quarterback Jake Locker fit in?

I would also recommend Tommy Smith hire an experienced, quality NFL general manager to oversee the Titans football operation. A younger Bill Polian type who can evaluate personnel and wheel and deal with the best of them during free agency and the college drafts. If one's not available, let Webster carry the load and consider adding a consultant to help him.

Munchak will fight to keep his job. A quality NFL head coach in this era is usually not made in three short seasons.

When you break down the nine losses, two of them were in overtime. Only two of them were by double digits, 14 points at San Francisco and 23 points at Denver. Both are considered Super Bowl possibilities.

The average margin in the nine losses was 8.3 points. Those type things can quickly be reversed in this league.

"The encouraging thing for me is there is a lot less to be done than there was last year when I stood here,'' Munchak said. "Again, I think it's things we can do. We have to make good decisions. There are a lot of good things going on.

"Yes, there is disappointment. Yes, there are things we're not happy with. … I've seen it work as a player and a coach. We're bringing in the right kind of people here. These guys, it means a lot to them. They're just hard workers and good (leaders).''

Will Smith give Munchak a chance to see it through? I think he will, although that decision will be met with mixed feelings. There are probably more fans that want to see him go than stay.

What's another year of mediocre football in a long line of Titans teams that break their hearts?

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at 

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