Flexibility over philosophy.
It is abundantly clear that as Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak has worked to assemble his staff, he has looked for those who can bend their approach to suit the players they have rather than those who rely on any particular schemes that suit his fancy.
Both defensive coordinator Jerry Gray and his offensive counterpart Chris Palmer expressed that exact sentiment repeatedly last week at their introductory press conferences.
“Obviously, we want to win using the talent we have,” Munchak said late last week. “You don’t have all the answers right now in February to who our quarterback is going to be and some of the personnel we are going to have. It is hard to dictate that.
“I think you are going to see [a staff] that is hopefully going use the people we have in a way to be very productive.”
The latest addition was running backs coach John Skipper, whose hiring was announced late Friday afternoon.
Skipper joined the Titans after nine seasons in the same role with the Carolina Panthers. There, he had success with the likes of Stephen Davis, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, all them 1,000-year rushers with that team. In 2009, Williams and Stewart became the first teammates in league history to each rush for more than 1,100 yards in the same season.
“The backs he has coached through the years have accomplished special things in this league, and he has been a part of numerous offensive systems,” Munchak said. “He coaches with a lot of energy and you can feel his love for the game when you talk to him.”
Munchak has yet to announce a wide receivers coach or the quality control assistants on offense and defense. He said the quality control assistants were not a top priority and those moves could be made later in the offseason.
He also said that he is not necessarily committed to those who remain from Jeff Fisher’s staff either remaining with the team or in their current roles.
Last week he hired linebackers coach Frank Bush and moved Dave McGinnis into the non-descript role of senior assistant coach.
“There are a lot of things we are thinking about,” Munchak said. “It is all about trying to piece this together and what is best for everybody. That is for the coaches in the building; that is for the players. We are looking at all scenarios.”
The same could be said for the offensive and defensive playbooks.
Palmer, who had an introductory press conference Friday, repeated almost identically some of the things Gray said three days earlier in a similar event.
“[Palmer] will do a great job of fitting the system with our talent that we have here in the building, like Jerry talked about quite a bit on the defensive side of the ball,” Munchak said. “Those are the things I was looking for.”
As for exactly how his team will play, therefore, he said Titans fans simply must wait and see.
“People will find out when we are playing ball in September, in October. That is when you sit back and see the wins and what we are doing,” Munchak said. “I think all that stuff will reveal itself. … It is more or less just wait and see.
“All that is going to matter when it is all said and done is winning.”