Mike Heimerdinger left the Tennessee Titans several years ago in an effort to enhance his chances to become an NFL head coach.
He eventually found his way back to the Titans — at exactly the same position he held the first time.
Tuesday, he got the opportunity to make his case. Heimerdinger became the second member of the current staff to interview to franchise management in the search for Jeff Fisher’s replacement.
He is the second member of the current staff to interview. Offensive line coach Mike Munchak met with franchise officials on Monday.
During a 36-year career that includes stops in high school, college and pro football, Heimerdinger’s only experience as a head coach was two years at Johnsburg (McHenry, Ill.) High School.
"They gave me a chance to get in front of them," Heimerdinger told the Associated Press. "So that to me ... that's all I can ask for."
Heimerdinger, 58, was diagnosed two months ago with an aggressive form of cancer. He remained on the job through the end of the season as well as the first few weeks of the offseason, and he recently told The City Paper that the combination of treatments and changes to his diet and daily routine had worked as well as hoped.
Even before Fisher’s sudden departure last week, in what was called a mutual decision, Heimerdinger said he planned to coach during the 2011 season.
Heimerdinger was the Titans’ offensive coordinator from 2000-04. He left to take a similar position with the New York Jets with the hope that the exposure of working in the country’s top media market would attract the attention of owners searching for a head coach.
He spent one year with the Jets before head coach Herm Edwards was fired. He then spent two years with Denver as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach before Fisher brought him back as offensive coordinator in 2010.
Twice under Heimerdinger Tennessee has finished among the top 10 in total yards, and the 2003 team set a franchise record with 435 points.
“I don’t think there’s any magic with [an] offensive or defensive-minded [coach],” General Manager Mike Reinfedlt said. “I think both models have been successful. I think it’s more about finding the right person, the right guy, rather than offensive or defensive-minded.”