Mike Munchak is open to bringing in a defensive coordinator who can transition the defense to a 3-4 scheme. We'll be locked into a 4-3 scheme for next year just due to the personnel on hand and the lack of preparation time if there is a work stoppage, but the fact that Munch is open, and perhaps even leaning towards, that possibility is a great sign that he's not just a Fisher clone like many people feared when it became clear that the next head coach of the Titans already had a parking spot at Baptist Sports Park. Will Witherspoon said he believes this kind of change could be a great way to "start blending looks and opening up the defensive playbook." In other words, we can get this defense back to playing chess, not checkers.
I mentioned that McCormick had brought up the biggest upside in hiring Munchak: he's a great combination of familiar but refreshing. In line with that thought Munch really laid down the law about expecting a higher level of professionalism from the players on this team. I think the front office is absolutely behind that mindset, as witnessed by last year's draft (full of heady, leadership-ready guys) and free agency moves (solid, respected veterans with upside like Babin and Witherspoon).
Despite having 13 coaches and coordinators under contract, Munchak has reportedly been given the ability to clean house as needed. While a lot of those guys got extensions, there haven't been any reports saying those extensions were multi-year. If Munch believes that any of those guys are part of the mentality problem that has set-in, or if they just aren't as good as another option out there, Munch will have a lot of latitude to make changes. Of course there are budget and rules concerns, so it's not like he can just poach some other NFL team's coordinator (teams can deny permission to speak to their guys who are under contract for any position other than head coach). The greatest part about that is no coach on this staff will be here just because Fisher saved their butt, they'll be here because the new coach believes they are someone who can help this franchise get back on track.
I'm a bit luke warm on Jerry Gay as the next DC. The upside on him is that he's been a longtime assistant to Gregg Williams. He's followed Williams from Tennessee to Buffalo to Washington, then worked in Seattle last season after Williams landed in New Orleans. The down side is that Gray was just hired as the DB coach at the University of Texas (not even as the DC? ugh), and he doesn't have a great track record of success as a coordinator anywhere. We need someone better than that, especially since we don't have that defensive-minded coach who can bail out a struggling coordinator if needed (like Fisher did with Schwartz and Cecil at times).
Paul K writes about the tightrope Munch is walking when it comes to Jeff Fisher. There's no doubt that Munch is very grateful to Fisher for giving him his first coaching job and really grooming Munch for this spot, but munch has his own set of ideas about how this franchise should be run. You can't look at this transition as, say, like the Dungy-Caldwell hand-off. Caldwell has basically tried to run the Colts while wearing a Dungy mask and hope nobody notices. Munch has his own way he wants to do things, and that can't be seen as a sign of disrespect to coach Fisher.
Are you one of those guys who was going to be pissed off with any hire that wasn't Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden or Tony Dungy? Do you think we avoided those guys because Bud is cheap? Well its' ok to be overly-simplistic and short-sighted, but lets remember that there have now been 45 Super Bowls played; 42 of them had nothing to do with Gruden, Cowher or Dungy. Also, Bill Parcels,
is the only coach Dan Reeves and Mike Holmgren are the only coaches to take two different franchises to the Super Bowl. Just writing a big check doesn't get it done in the NFL.
I'll tell you one thing about Mike Munchak: he'd be the guy I take in a street fight if all of the AFC South head coaches met in an alley for a brawl.
Jimmy's all-time favorite Titans CB, Reynaldo Hill, recently worked-out for the Baltimore Ravens. I'm going to guess it involved lots of Reynaldo trying to cover WRs with his back to the QB, waiving his arms and missing tackles.
This guy looks at a few options at the guard position who may be available with our second or third pick in the draft.
Email me at email@example.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter @AugustWest_MCM