The Tennessee Titans fired head coach Mike Munchak after he once again failed to lead the team to the NFL Playoffs. On the one hand, the firing is another terrible decision by Tennessee’s management. Munchak had transformed the Titans into playoff contenders, but injuries hindered their progress. On the other hand, it could have been mutual as Munchak is seen as a favorite to take the head coaching job for the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Whether you agree with the firing of Munchak or not, the question comes up of who Tennessee should hire in his place. Luckily for the Titans, the search for the perfect head coach won’t even take them out of Nashville.
Seen by many as the top candidate for the Texas Longhorns job before it was accepted by Louisville‘s Charlie Strong, Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin has taken the college football world by storm. Vanderbilt, who seemed to be consistently at the bottom of the SEC before his arrival, has become the best team in the state of Tennessee and has back-to-back bowl game victories for the first time in their history.
Franklin has NFL caching experience that would benefit the Titans as well. When he was younger he interned for the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, he and left the Maryland Terrapins in 2005 to become the wide receivers coach for the Green Bay Packers. Tennessee has one of the best young receiving corps in the NFL with the likes of Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter, and they would benefit from having a WR coach as a head coach.
A move to the Titans may also benefit Franklin and Vanderbilt, because he has said that he doesn’t want to leave Nashville. A maintained close relationship with Vanderbilt could appease Commodore fans that don’t want him to leave and encourage recruits to still commit to Vandy because of the close ties with a local NFL team.
As much as Vanderbilt fans want to keep Franklin at the school, he’s too good of a coach to be with the Commodores much longer. With the firing of Munchak, instead of a worst case scenario that sees Franklin abandon Vanderbilt completely, he could take the Tennessee head coaching job and benefit both the Titans and Vanderbilt. Tennessee needs a solid hire soon, and Franklin is just that.