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.”