Titans reach into college ranks for defensive line coach

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 2:09pm

Tracy Rocker, an All-American at Auburn and an assistant coach on that school’s BCS championship team last fall, joined the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday as defensive line coach.

“This is something that I dreamed about, reaching the top of the line in the football world,” Rocker said in a release announcing the move. “Growing up you dream about playing in the NFL and once I made the transition to the coaching world, this was the ultimate goal.

“Now it is up to me to prove myself at this level.”

Rocker is a veteran of 17 years as a college assistant, the last two with Auburn.

Prior to that, he worked at Ole Miss, Arkansas, Cincinnati and Troy. At every stop, he helped develop NFL players, including Demarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora, Jamaal Anderson, Greg Hardy and most recently Nick Fairly, considered by some to be the top prospect in the 2011 draft class.

He replaces Jim Washburn, who joined the Titans in 1999 and left recently to take a similar position with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I realize I have big shoes to fill and have a lot of respect for Coach Washburn and what he got from his players,” Rocker said. “There is nothing that says you can’t follow up a great coach with another great coach and that is what I will work to achieve.”

Rocker is the first person hired by coach Mike Munchak who does not have previous ties to the franchise.

“I really like the way Tracy has worked his way up the coaching ladder after being such a successful player,” Munchak said. “He has shown the ability to develop players at all of his stops, which is a testament to him being a great teacher. He is a rare combination of a great player who becomes a great teacher. He has a passion for the game and has shown the ability to relate to his players.”

14 Comments on this post:

By: Nitzche on 2/16/11 at 3:26

hey dave, we need to know his sexual orientation?

By: courier37027 on 2/16/11 at 3:56

I can't wait for MIKE KEITH (hereafter I shall refer to the Titans' play-by-play announcer in capital letters, thus emulating his loud broadcast style) and Titans All Access to discover if this new coach is a vegetarian, or names of his favorite charities.

By: TITAN1 on 2/16/11 at 4:20

If you don't like Mike Keith, don't listen to him. I bet you are glad he doesn't call marathons, huh?

By: gdiafante on 2/17/11 at 7:38

Mike Keith is a tool. Probably one of the worst announcers in the game.

By: TITAN1 on 2/17/11 at 9:08

Of course you do, gd.

By: jwk6179 on 2/17/11 at 9:17

I wasn't aware that Tracy Rocker was even coaching at any level. I hadn't heard his name mentioned at all since he was a high draft choice back in the early '90's for the Raiders, IIRC, but he has been coaching on the college level for 17 years. I think we should wait until the Titans actually play another game before we annoint this as either a Good or Bad Hire.

By: jwk6179 on 2/17/11 at 9:26

It was the late '80's and with the Redskins, not the Raiders.

By: wayneCaluger on 2/17/11 at 3:03

I'm not overly concerned about Rocker lack of NFL experience as a defensive line coach. I'm not sure who could fill Jim Washburn's shoes.

There are two other coaching positions that do concern me starting with Palmer as Heimerdinger replacement as Offensive coordinator. First, it was my impression that the Titans were going after a younger OC, not someone who was 61 years old. Now the age doesn't concern me as much as Palmer record as an OC.

In 2002, Palmer became the Houston Texans offensive coordinator under head coach Dom Capers remaining with Houston until he was fired in Week 2 of the 2005 NFL season as a result of Houston's lackluster offense. Since that time he has been the quarterback coach for several NFL teams with much success, and we are in need of a proven quarterback coach. It's not that Palmer has turned down any OC offers from any other NFL team. No other NFL team has considered him as a viable OC candidate for the last 9 seasons. I hope it works out for all on this second go around.

The other issue is what is to become of Dave McGinns since the Titans hired Bush as his replacement? Outside of McGinnis and Palmer no other coaches on the Titans staff has any head coaching experiance, so if Munchak has an illness, family emergency or anything that takes him away for a few days or a game or two what then?

While McGinnis, should the Titans keep him, has less than a glowing NFL head coaching record of 17-40 it's better than Palmer's professional head coaching record of 8 wins and 32 losses including 2 seasons with NFL Cleveland Browns (5 wins & 27 losses) and a season with UFL Hartford (3 wins and 5 losses). Since he has no, just a contract, should McGinnis leave or gets fired Palmer is the only Titan coach with any head coaching experience.

By: TITAN1 on 2/17/11 at 3:39

According to John McClain Palmer got the shaft in Houston. When he was hired he was told to change the whole offense and it didn't work. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

By: wayneCaluger on 2/17/11 at 5:28

Hey all we can do is give him a chance. Got to be better than run, run, pass and punt.

By: courier37027 on 2/17/11 at 6:43

TITAN1, MIKE KEITH keeps the volume turned up for 90 minutes pregame, another 3:15 during game and 1 hour post game. 5:45 of sponsored screaming and shouting--Kroger SAAAACCCK for Habitat for Humanity kept the offense from getting a Regions Bank FFFFFFIRST DOWN. The ol' play-by-play announcer would make a great Sunday preacher covering two sermons. Forget marathons, MIKE KEITH is telethon hosting talent.

By: TITAN1 on 2/17/11 at 6:58

I think he is one of the best. You never have anything good to say about the Titans or anything that pertains to the Titans. Stick to your boring marathons.

By: TITAN1 on 2/17/11 at 7:32


One of the best calls EVER!

By: courier37027 on 2/19/11 at 11:41

I wonder what position Tracy Rocker will play for the Titans' summer charity softball team versus country music stars.