Munchak sees bright future for Titans, not sure about his own

Monday, December 10, 2012 at 7:52pm

Mike Munchak is optimistic about what is to come for the Tennessee Titans — even with the possibility that he could be gone.

Following Sunday’s 27-23 loss to the Indianapolis Colts the best the Titans can finish is 7-9, which would be two games worse than a year ago. At worst their record could be 4-12, which could be enough to cost Munchak his position as head coach after two seasons.

“We have to win football games — I get that,” Munchak said Monday. “I think it’s all about, for me, to know that we’re headed in the right direction. I feel we’re doing that. We’re not getting the wins and I get that, and that’s what I’ll be judged on when all is said and done. That will be something for someone else to decide.”

That someone else, of course, is owner Bud Adams, who founded the franchise as the Houston Oilers in 1960.

The history of the team includes 16 head coaches, counting Munchak. Eight of them held the job for two years or less, and few survived drops in the win column of three or more. Most notably, Jeff Fisher, the only one to take the team to the Super Bowl, held on when the win total dropped six from 2000 to 2001 (13 and seven), seven from 2003 to 2004 (12 and five) and five from 2008 to 2009 (13 and eight).

“He’s never given me any assurances from the day he hired me,” Munchak said of Adams. “But I think he hired me to take over this football team, head it in the right direction and win football games. As far as that goes he’s never said [anything] one way or the other.”

Thus far, Munchak’s time on the job most closely resembles that of Bum Phillips, who inherited a team that went 7-7 in 1974 and went 10-4 but missed the playoffs in his first season. The Oilers slipped to 5-9 in 1976 but Adams stuck with Phillips. From there, the team made steady gains capped by three straight playoff appearances, including two trips to the AFC Championship game, from 1978 through 1980.

Munchak took over a team that won six games in 2010, Fisher’s final season, went 9-7 and narrowly missed the postseason in his first season.

The Pro Football Hall of Famer and member of the Titans ring of honor came to the franchise as a player in 1982. The team won six games under three different coaches in his first three seasons but, beginning in 1987, the started a run of seven straight postseason appearances.

He knows first-hand, therefore, that success on the field does not always come immediately.

“It’s going to be special to be a part of this,” he said. “… Maybe not right now the wins and losses are not what we want. I’ve been a part of teams — for my first three or four years we didn’t win a lot of football games and then we went to the playoffs seven years in a row. I think as guys hung together, we got comfortable with each other and we stayed in the same system and all of a sudden you built something that was pretty special.”

He stressed that he does not view the final three games, beginning next Monday against the New York Jets (7:30 p.m., ESPN), as a stretch that will determine whether or not he keeps his job beyond this season.

“We need to win because that’s what we’re supposed to do every Sunday,” Munchak said. “That’s not my concern. Believe me, it’s not something that crosses my mind about the consequence to me if we end up with four wins, five or six. To me, it doesn’t matter at this point.

“… This is going to be a very good football team here. We’re not showing it right now as far as our record goes. But believe me, we could easily have three or four more wins … than we have right now and it would be a totally different story. I feel like you’re seeing enough stuff that it’s close enough, it’s here. We’ll get it.”

15 Comments on this post:

By: courier37027 on 12/10/12 at 8:03

Someone please document and keep track of comments made by radio sports talk hosts. Right now Munchak is liked, favored, perhaps even sympathized. Once he leaves here come the barbs from same talk show hosts. Coach Munchak, check with Chris Palmer, Vince Young, Adam Jones, a few Predators hockey players and learn their fall from local media darlings to dog house once the car leaves town.

By: Bizworldusa on 12/11/12 at 4:41

He stressed that he does not view the final three games, beginning next Monday against the New York Jets, as a stretch that will determine whether or not he keeps his job beyond this season.......


By: sonny1024 on 12/11/12 at 6:03

The only way the TITANS can have a bright future is for munchak to ease on down the road and take his two quarterbacks with him .He should give back his paychecks to bud Adams because he damn sure don't deserve them but ADAMS should let someone who knows what their doing when it comes to signing players because his judgement of a great player on a scale of 1 to 10 is a fat 0.

By: TITAN1 on 12/11/12 at 6:15

Someone keep track of how many negative comments courier makes.

Good luck, coach!

By: Jughead on 12/11/12 at 8:11

Munch=fail. Bud=fail.

The Titans will NEVER be competitive while Bud runs the show. Wake me up when there are new owners.

By: Blip on 12/11/12 at 8:17


By: TITAN1 on 12/11/12 at 9:23

Jughead, why troll? You said one time you were waiting on hockey, a real sport. If football is not a real sport to you, then why would you care who the owners of the Titans are? Answer, you don't. Just trolling along.

By: Jughead on 12/11/12 at 9:24

@TITAN1: Did you say something? I did not think so. Now, go sit in the corner and try to matter.

By: TITAN1 on 12/11/12 at 9:40

You deny saying that?

By: Jughead on 12/11/12 at 11:17


By: TITAN1 on 12/11/12 at 12:09

Just as I thought. Trolling.

By: jwk6179 on 12/11/12 at 1:30

And let's keep track of the number of post that TITAN1 makes kissing the arse of Bud Adams or anyone associated with the Titans.

By: TITAN1 on 12/11/12 at 1:34

Jw, you closet Titan fan you. LOL!

By: 4gold on 12/12/12 at 8:20

Add up the records of all the Titan active coaches. Schwartz 4-9, Munch 4-9, Fisher 6-6. Total 14-24. Guess that explains our coaches pool. Generous of the Titans to spread the misery across the NFL.

The other factor is talent evaluation. Pac Man Jones, Vince Young? Titans waste first round pics on people that not only don't help but wash out of the NFL all together. Titans need to fire the talent scouts first of all. Bring your bags to wear for last 3 games. I have been wearing one since the Bears game. The new New Orleans Aint's and they are our team.

Maybe they will let Mouton recieve punts against the Jets? Can't believe he is still on the team after dropping 3 straight punts in NY and single handedly lose the game.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: TITAN1 on 12/12/12 at 10:17

LOL! Wearing bag on head, now THAT is original!