When the Tennessee Titans hired former offensive lineman Mike Munchak to be their head coach a few years ago, it seemed like a good hire. Most people figured he was a strong minded coach who would preach tough, aggressive football and would lead the Titans offense like Jeff Fisher had done with the defense. It just hasn’t happened and Munchak has gotten out of the gates slowly in his first two seasons with a 15-17 record.
Luckily for Munchak, Titans owner Bud Adams decided to keep Munchak as his head coach after some clamoring for him to be replaced. It might be because he gave Fisher the time to develop after he was just 16-16 after his first few seasons and perhaps he sees the same things in Munchak. Both are tough guys who believe in a physical approach to the game.
Unfortunately for Munchak, his philosophy just hasn’t translated onto the field yet. The Titans were just 21st in the NFL in rushing last season and although that was an improvement over being 31st in the league in 2011, they haven’t played the physical style of football Munchak wants to play. Some of that is because the Titans offensive line isn’t where it needs to be and part of that is because of the play at quarterback but overall, the team lacks the toughness that it needs.
They have some pieces to be very good on offense, especially with players like Chris Johnson, Kendall Wright and Kenny Britt, so Munchak needs to find a way to bring it out of them. It’s not just on offense either, the Titans defense needs to play better, where the Titans ranked 27th in the league. Maybe that’s the reason why Munchak brought in former Fisher disciple Gregg Williams to be a special defensive consultant, to bring some toughness back to the team.
This is probably the last chance for Mike Munchak to prove he can lead the Titans back to being playoff contenders. It’s easier said than done but if he can bring back the toughness they had under former coach Jeff Fisher, Munchak should prove to be the leader the Titans need.
Of course, like everything else in the NFL, it’s all tied to the quarterback and that’s Munchak’s biggest problem.
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