I believe that the head coach and owner are on a collision course because of coach Munchak's behavior during the Peyton Manning debacle. Coach Munchak is a proud man, if he had stuck to his guns and told the owner to go to hell when the owner floated the Peyton to the Titans idea, Munchak wouldn't be in this predicament today.
What did coach Munchak get when he dishonored himself by kissing the ring of his number one nemesis? And how did the owner reward Munchak for this kiss? By announcing publicly that Peyton would be Munchak's boss if Peyton wasn't able to play football anymore. No other team owner that was in the Pey Pey sweepstakes made that type of public declaration about their head coach. Wow, what a double dose of shame for coach Munchak. Is that public emasculation or what?
Most NFL team owners wants absolute control of their franchises so the whole Peyton Manning to the Titans thing was primarily about the owner assessing his first time head coach and about power and how much power would coach Munchak be willing to cede. It is better in the owners minds to test a coach's metal early to see what he will or will not allow.
I know all this sounds like old news but Mr. Adams never really needed Peyton Manning. I am convinced that early in May 2011, Bud Adams was on board with having the first round pick Jake Locker be the team's future quarterback and that the owner signed off on the front office's philosophy of having Matt Hasselbeck mentor Jake for a season.
Consider the low risk for the owner when he tried to sign Peyton. It only cost Mr. Adams a little more than a few plane trips escorting Peyton back and forth but one huge reward was to be able to test his new head coach without causing a backlash. Everyone knew Munchak didn't want the Peyton drama, but the owner wanted to publicly test Munchak to see if Munchak had the cojones to take a stand. Sure, the team would have taken Peyton, if Peyton had fell in their lap. If it turned out that Peyton's medical condition was worse than thought, there were no real guarantees to Peyton and the team still had dependable quarterbacks on the roster. The team would not have been forced to show its hand until a week or two before the season opener against the Patriots. So there is your proof. The whole thing was all about power. And after Peyton picked another team over us, most Titans fans had the attitude of "at least we tried, what a wonderful owner Bud Adams is. He really wants to win us fans a Super Bowl." All the while, the owner is laughing at all of us dumb hicks.
The next big test for Munchak will be regarding his hall of fame brother, coach Bruce Matthews. Coach Munchak must choose between firing his best friend and clashing with the owner. The owner will publically want to fire coach Matthews and make additional personnel changes in the offensive line knowing full well that coach Munchak doesn't think there is a problem with the offensive line. Matthews will resign only to protect his best friend Munchak, and coach Matthew will make an announcement about wanting to "spend more time with his family". Bruce Matthews will rejoin the Houston Texans coaching staff within year. Book it!
Most of the media are complicit in this head coach verses owner battle so there are a couple of tell-tale signs to look for on FM sports radio, television and newspapers this season.
Expect unrelenting media chirping about the run game. Chris Johnson, CJ2K won't come close to sniffing 2K this season and the real reason why is mainly because of the changes to NFL offenses. But the media lackeys will make coach Matthews and son Kevin Matthews the scapegoat.
Muchak's side will float rumor after rumor about all the suitors that are interested in his coaching services, mainly collegiate teams. Even the Houston Texans will reportedly be interested in coach Mike Munchak.
All of us have seen the many cowardly media tactics that were perfected during the Jeff Fisher era. Finally in the end, the owner called coached Fisher's bluff and we found out that there really was not a team "ready to hire coach Fisher by the end of the day".
Coach Munchak should maintain his integrity and not take the same Fisher leaking to the media low road. He should embrace this showdown. He must fly immediately to Houston, bang on the front doors and go toe to toe with Bud Adams today.