Titans can’t talk to Quinn until Seahawks’ season ends

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The Titans’ failure to make a quick decision regarding former coach Mike Munchak has complicated their coaching search.

With the team reportedly interested in Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, the Titans can’t talk to him until the Seattle season has ended.

There’s a common misconception that, if a team qualifies for the Super Bowl, its assistant coaches can be interviewed during the ensuing bye week.  But there’s a catch.

In order to have the ability to interview an assistant coach from one the Super Bowl teams during the off week after the conference title games, a team must have already interviewed the assistant in question, either during the bye week (for teams earning byes) or after the wild-card round (for teams that won during the wild-card round).

For example, the Vikings could interview Quinn again after a Seattle win in the NFC title game, because the Vikings interviewed Quinn during the bye week.  The Titans can’t, because they didn’t interview Quinn during the bye week — because they didn’t fire Munchak until the bye week had nearly ended.

That’s the first tangible lesson new Titans CEO Tommy Smith has learned, and all other owners can learn it vicariously.  When it comes to firing coaches and interviewing potential replacements from teams with bye weeks, time is of the essence.