Addition of linebackers coach alters Titans' defensive staff

Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 5:46pm

Mike Munchak’s dissatisfaction with the makeup of the previous Tennessee Titans staff apparently included the defense.

A little more than a week ago, the Titans head coach fired offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger. On Thursday, he made his first significant shift to the existing defensive staff when he hired former Houston Texans defensive coordinator Frank Bush to take over as linebackers coach.

As a result, Dave McGinnis was moved to the nondescript role of senior assistant coach. He will assist the defensive staff led by coordinator Jerry Gray and will take on administrative and personnel duties.

“Dave has a wealth of experience and he is going to be able help us in a bunch of different areas — so now we can make the best use of all his skills,” Munchak said. “I am grateful that he will be taking on this new role and he will be an important voice for me.”

Bush is the fifth staff member hired by Munchak, the fourth with previous ties to the franchise.

He was a Houston Oilers teammate of Munchak’s for two years (1985-86) before his career was cut short by a medical condition. He then spent six seasons with the Oilers as a scout.

“This is a great opportunity. I am excited about it and looking forward to working with Mike because he has always been a winner,” Bush said. “It will be good getting back with the linebackers and I know I have something to prove. In talking with [Gray], there was a good fit and we see things in a similar way. I want my guys to play aggressively and with passion.”

Gray and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews were teammates with Munchak. Offensive coordinator Chris Palmer was an Oilers’ assistant during Munchak’s playing days.

The Titans still need wide receivers and running backs coaches in addition to quality control assistants for both sides of the ball.

Bush spent the last four seasons with the Houston Texans, the last two as defensive coordinator. He was fired a day after the final game of the 2010 season after the Texans finished 30th in total defense last season, last in pass defense.

“We have faced Frank’s units over the years and I was always impressed with how hard his players played and their physical style,” Munchak said. “He has done it all in this league — coordinated, linebackers, special teams, defensive line — so he will bring a lot to our staff. He should be a resource to Jerry [Gray] as well, in terms of understanding the offenses in the division. Frank is a high-energy guy that I think guys will respond well to.”

McGinnis coached the Titans’ linebackers since 2004 with the added title of assistant head coach since 2005.

“I have always considered it a privilege to work in the NFL and have been blessed to have accumulated 25 years of experience at all levels in this league,” McGinnis said. “I have worked with and for a number of great coaches and organizations through the years. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity … afforded me to use that experience and help the Titans organization in as many ways as possible.”

5 Comments on this post:

By: courier37027 on 2/17/11 at 5:20

Whoa Nelly, it looks like this is where the rubber meets the road. Munchak is calling his own shots while earning the admiration and respect of his peers. Got to say it, now is "go" time.

By: TITAN1 on 2/17/11 at 8:12

courier, stick to doing what you enjoy, now what was that again?

By: Vandyville16 on 2/18/11 at 12:16

LV They should have kept Fisher,he probably was told to fire certain ones,he didn't want to do. .Among other things he did want, they didn't agree with what Jeff wanted and thought was best for the Titans,and so he just retired for now.
The Titans made a huge mistake letting him go and we will see it coming this season.
And letting Dinger go another mistake,he was sick but his mind was still intact and knew his job and the plays well.
Jeff made the Titans and got them to where they are now,already do not like this new coach and he's being let to hire his friends and Jeff had to let his go,go figure!
Hope to see Jeff coach somewhere again and show the Titans organization they made a huge mistake!
There hiring people from Huston and they aren't near as good as the Titans were,it's going to be disastrous.OH WELL,they'll see!

By: wayneCaluger on 2/18/11 at 2:49

Water over the dam now, but in my opinion McGinnis should have gotten the Titians DC job instead of Ceil when Jim Schwartz took the Lion's head coaching job. McGinnis similar to Schwartz was a very successful Defensive coordinator, good enough to land a head coaching job. While now in a nondescript role he is a good guy to have in case the wheels come off on the Defensive side or we need someone to step up should Munchack has to miss a game.

What I heard today (from out-of-state) was, the Titans are going after Cam Newton on round 1. I wondered why they fired offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger knowing the offensive coordinator pickings were slim at the best and very slim for the Titans.

Then I wondered why the Titans went with Chris Palmer to replace Dinger since Palmer is not considered to be a top NFL offensive coordinator , but a great quarterback coach. The word today regarding the Titans drafting Cam Newton and the selection of Palmer now makes some sense. Palmer would not take a job less than offensive coordinator , so to get him in order to have someone good at developing rookie quarterbacks Palmer got the Titans OC job.

Will be interesting to see what kind of offense we have and hope Palmer second time around as an OC doesn't resemble his first crack at the job 9 years ago (provide you count the two games in his third and final season as a OC).

It will also be interesting to see if they hire a quarterback coach and who gets the nod for RB and receiver coach?

By: TITAN1 on 2/18/11 at 5:43

I don't think the Titans will go after Cam Newton. Also, Mel Kiper's latest mock draft has Buffalo taking him at #3, although he will probably change that weekly. I don't see them going after another running QB. If one of the top Pro style quarterbacks are there, then they might take one of them. JMO.