And the slate is wiped clean(ish). Jim Wyatt is reporting that the Titans, and new coach Mike Munchak, have fired offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger. Dinger had lots of up and down years with the Titans: He went from coaching Steve McNair to an MVP in 2003 to completely failing to utilize Randy Moss over the last half of this season. The one thing I think most of us can agree on as the dust settled on the VY era is that there were a lot of things we complained about that weren't DInger's fault, though certainly a few of them were.
You can't discuss this situation without noting that Heimerdinger was diagnosed with cancer late in the season. The work that he put in from that point until the final whistle blew against the Colts is a level of toughness and resolve I'll never forget. There's no telling if he would have been the favorite to take over as coach if he was healthy, but that wasn't an uncommon opinion around Nashville. I certainly believed it. Mike has been a finalist in at least one other head coaching search (with the 49ers back when Mike Nolan was hired), and it's well known that he's dying for a shot at a head job. He is a respected playcaller and quarterbacks coach, but he's offenses have too often under-utilized players who show talent: most recently Jared Cook and Lavelle Hawkins.
Perhaps no other coordinator on Jeff Fisher's staff had to worry more about meddling/input from too many parties than Dinger, and certainly nobody had to deal with more headcases over the years. In the end though, Mike Munchak seems to have decided that it is best to move on in a different direction. You can make the argument that Dinger got a raw deal because he took the heat for Jeff Fisher's conservative dictum and erratic play from QBs he who were here before his second term with the team began. Now, on his first day on the job, Munch has a basically every major position in the franchise open: quarterback, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator.
Jump for more analysis on this move and possible replacements...
I'm not in love with this move, but I completely understand it from Munchak's point of view. He wants to get his guys in here to run his team. As a Titans fan I wish the best, and a good bill of health, for Dinger and his family.
It's definitely a new day for Titans fans. McCormick had named (warning: Paywall) Packers QB coach Tom Clements, former Raiders
jackass head coach Bill Callahan and former Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore as possible candidates for the OC spot should it open up. I'm casting my lot with Clements at this point. Moore, who is a good friend of Munchak's, is 72 and it's tough to tell how much of his success was because of Manning and Harrison. As for Callahan I've never liked him in any position.