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Tommy Smith agonizes over Mike Munchak’s future

Munchak AP

Typically, NFL owners don’t say anything about a coach’s employment status until it changes, either via a contract extension or a termination.

Tommy Smith, who has assumed control of the Titans after the passing of his father-in-law, Bud Adams, is publicly talking about the decision Smith soon must make about coach Mike Munchak.

It’s awful,” Smith tells Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.  “I have known Mike for 30 years, and it’s hard to find someone of higher character, with greater integrity than Mike Munchak.  He is a very intelligent guy and a good man.  We would like things to work out for Mike in that capacity.”

Smith seems to be willing to be less impulsive when it comes to the head coach than Smith’s predecessor may have been.

“Bud in the past would fire people at the drop of a hat,” Smith said.  “I think sometimes you need to keep the gun in the holster. . . .  I think we need to sit here and look at these three weeks, and let’s play hard.  Let’s see if we can win some games.  When we sit down with Mike at the end of the season I expect Mike to come in and tell me why he thinks we’re in the position we are, what he thinks needs to be done for us to improve.

“This thing didn’t fall apart overnight, and it’s not going to be put together overnight either.  But we certainly had higher expectations than what we are seeing right now, across the board, I can assure you of that.  Now let’s see if we can win three in a row.”

Smith praised Munchak, who has been employed by the franchise for more than three decades, for keeping his team focused and motivated.

“If there is anything that is a bright light, I believe the players are still playing hard for Mike, and I think that is a testimony to his character,” Smith said.  “A lot of these other teams are not.  We just need to finish out the season the best we can and then we’ll evaluate and see where things stand.”

At a time when few employees stay in the same place 30 months, here’s hoping that the man who has been with the Titans and Oilers for more than 30 years gets some more time to turn around a team that hasn’t had a true franchise quarterback since Steve McNair.

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28 Responses to “Tommy Smith agonizes over Mike Munchak’s future”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 10, 2013 8:18 PM

    I really feel for you buddy.

    Those sound like wonderful things that would be awful to lose. But if you replace them with somebody who is a master at winning, then you’ll feel much better afterwards and it will be worth it. Owning a football team isn’t supposed to be simple or easy, it’s supposed to be endless headaches or profound glory.

    It’s your time and call now, so select your fate.

  2. bert1913 says: Dec 10, 2013 8:20 PM

    if munchak had a really good qb there would be no issue. just think if carroll didn’t russell wilson.

  3. ravenswhat says: Dec 10, 2013 8:23 PM

    Let me translate for you guys: mike, start cleaning out your office.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 10, 2013 8:24 PM

    Sounds like Munchak will be fine. As long as he doesn’t drop his hat. In Texas, at least.

  5. thegreatgabbert says: Dec 10, 2013 8:30 PM

    Smith sounds like he’s on his way to put down the 23 year old family dog or something.

  6. posmoo says: Dec 10, 2013 8:36 PM

    they’ve been respectable this year, without a qb they think is worth keeping. not sure why you axe him.

  7. snaponrules says: Dec 10, 2013 8:47 PM

    Sounds like he has already decided to keep him. He is losing leverage and needs to be ready for another mediocre season next year.

  8. llowedown says: Dec 10, 2013 8:55 PM

    You can’t mix business with the pleasure of being a friend. Stick to the business side of the Titans organization. Mikey had his chance. I know I come to 3 home games in Nashville and one away game every year. Myself and thousands of other loyal Tennessee Titans fans deserve better than what we are getting. Mancha keep Jerry Gray as DC, who gave up the most points last year then hires Gregg Williams as SDC. And at end of the day Jerry Gray gets the credit. Loggins is not even worth keeping as OC. This is what friendship gets you. A mediocre team with alot of talent not being used to its capacity… We need change asap!!

  9. llowedown says: Dec 10, 2013 8:56 PM

    Promote Gregg Williams!

  10. craniator says: Dec 10, 2013 8:57 PM

    Thegreatgabbert says: “Smith sounds like he’s on his way to put the family’s 23 year old dog or something.”
    ________________________________________________
    That may be the best post of the year ; I’m glad you haven’t lost your sense of humor , sir. Jags are looking a lot better these days as well.

  11. johnnyjagfan says: Dec 10, 2013 9:01 PM

    Give him back his old job, then. Because when you lose in Jacksonville, you’ve failed to win three straight and rest assured, you can count on the Jags to keep this going.

  12. bradybbgoat says: Dec 10, 2013 9:07 PM

    Seems really foolish for the Titans to stir up controversy about upcoming staff and player decisions while they are still in the playoff hunt.

    The organization is clearly behind the earlier reports about Munchak, CJ and Locker and here Smith is doing nothing to halt speculation. Doesn’t do much to inspire confidence for a playoff run.

    The Titans are better than last year. The defense is improving. Casey has been a beast up front and McCourty and Verner have done well in the secondary. On offense, Warmack has lived up to the billing and Hunter looks like a real find. Ultimately though, its a QB driven league. Locker and Fitz are not the answer.

    If the Titans find a franchise QB and keep adding talent they’ll be fine. No need for major changes.

  13. riflemanlax says: Dec 10, 2013 9:16 PM

    Bud would fire people at the drop of a hat? Jeff Fisher was there for what, 14 years?

  14. logicalcomment says: Dec 10, 2013 9:36 PM

    exactly, if he had a good QB they could win 10 games at least, specially in that weak division

    That defense is ballin

  15. godofwine330 says: Dec 10, 2013 9:39 PM

    Wow, an owner with some sense. That’s almost like an oxymoron I hope he does the right thing and keep Munchek because as he said things did not fall apart over night and will not get put back together overnight

  16. mizzousooner says: Dec 10, 2013 9:40 PM

    No coach can win with dog crap QB’s.

  17. flipola says: Dec 10, 2013 10:13 PM

    They’re a tough team to peg. Munch doesn’t seem to have that fire. I’d like to see Gruden come back. He loves Locker, so there’s that.

  18. tigersfandan says: Dec 10, 2013 10:35 PM

    Tommy Smith sounds like a classy man.

  19. bmoretitansfan says: Dec 10, 2013 10:48 PM

    Now im living in a city with a more successful team,been a thorn in our sides for years,cost us two possible Superbowl appearances. I’m such a devoted Titans fan I’ve swore to never accept the Ravens as my team. That being said the team has embraced change. While we intend to hire from within at every opportunity. Im sure Munch is a fine individual but it’s time for some need blood.

  20. titansbro says: Dec 10, 2013 11:26 PM

    Agree with a lot of other Titans fans here. It will be a shame to see Munchak end his 30 year run with this organization but a change here is needed. This team has too much talent to lose many of the games they lost, even without a QB. I do feel like the players like & play hard for him, which cannot be overstated. He has also had some tough breaks being hitched to a promising, young QB who just can’t stay on the field. All the same, I do believe they need a fresh start, a new way of thinking. Sadly, it seems our new head guy thinks “power football” still wins in this league. It doesn’t. It’s nice to have but you absolutely need the passing game these days.

  21. bigtimebrownie says: Dec 10, 2013 11:41 PM

    As a Browns fan (God help me), I can tell you that a coaching carousel does not work. The players play, and if a coach gets the best from what he’s got that deserves consideration. Beware the axe that blames everything on the past regime…it’s just an excuse to make more mistakes.

  22. dawsonleery says: Dec 11, 2013 1:22 AM

    Sounds like he’s fired if they don’t win the next 3 games. Coaches only get 2 or 3 years now. There is no more 4 year plan. You’re lucky if you get 3.

  23. boomgrounder says: Dec 11, 2013 1:40 AM

    Sounds like Smith just gave Munchak an ultimatum. “Win the last 3 games or you’re fired”! That’s the way I read it.

  24. blingslade says: Dec 11, 2013 2:01 AM

    It’s very noble of Tommy to consider Munchaks’ vast expertise and his very lengthy tenure with the Titans franchise. Nowadays it’s so common for owners to pull the trigger when the wins aren’t there.

    That being said, don’t let the door kick you in the ass on the way out Mike.

  25. imthaschmidt says: Dec 11, 2013 8:59 AM

    The losses to jax and houston, also that last lost to the colts are why he should be fired, not only were they divisional games, but games to put them in playoff contention. If they would have won those three games they would be a nice bet for a playoff spot.

  26. raiderlyfe510 says: Dec 11, 2013 9:46 AM

    This would be a good destination for Kubiak. Chris Johnson would be lethal in that stretch ZBS.

  27. yevrag3535 says: Dec 11, 2013 10:02 AM

    Who cares, you don’t win. If a salesman doesn’t sell enough what happens? He gets fired, and he did not make as much money as these coaches. Life will continue pretty good here……

  28. uncletuna says: Dec 11, 2013 10:43 AM

    No franchise quarterback…High salary cap hit invested in a one hit wonder RB…who can’t seem to find any open holes…the defense is still playing hard…no quality WR including the dysfunctional No.1 that is awaiting departure…the problem has been ownership/gm and still is owner/gm – not coaching…

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