Tennessee Titans Gave Up on Mike Munchak Too Soon

By David Galleher

Mike Munchak
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Most people in this country work hard at their job.  But things happen.  People sometimes underachieve or have a poor stretch, performance-wise.  You don’t normally just get fired for a poor sales trip or let go because you didn’t make the company enough money.  So if this is how it works in the real world, why are NFL coaches expected to be perfect?  Why are they expected to achieve unparalleled success with little to no failure?  How can anyone possibly be proficient when they lack the necessary tools to do so?  I give you the ever-changing, roller coaster lifestyle of being an NFL head coach.  Nothing else on the planet exists and operates in this bizarre manner!

A coach in the NFL can take his team to the playoffs every year for four seasons, and then start the next season 0-4 and people want him gone and fired.  It is mind-blowing, craziness.  And it’s the norm!  That’s how NFL teams operate.  Teams will change head coaches every single season.  How on earth can you expect anyone to be successful when they have less than a year to put a system in, acclimate their players to it and try to win enough to please the organization?  And all of this being done with the threat of termination in the back of their minds.  Cities and teams take out full ads on billboards begging for their coach to be fired Week 6 of the regular season.  It’s just absurd.

One of the latest coaches to feel the wrath was Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak.  After only three seasons with the team, the Titans fired Munchak and are now searching for their next victim.  Munchak was 9-7, 6-10 and 7-9 during his short spout with the team. 

When he was hired, experts proclaimed it a great fit for him and that the Titans lucked out getting such a talented coach.  Unfortunately, if you don’t give the coach the tools he needs to win, he never will.  On top of that add the fact that three seasons is not very long to establish yourself. 

Munchak had a fairly successful first season with the Titans and luckily he was retained for a second year.  Not all coaches are this lucky, especially in Cleveland.  The Titans have no one of worth on either side of the ball unless you still count Chris Johnson at running back, who has a good game once in a while. 

The second season in Tennessee didn’t go as well for him.  Then this past season everything was clicking.  The team was 3-1 to start the season and playing well.  Then the injury bug bites.  Down goes your best player Jake Locker and your season is dead.  Yet somehow, Munchak ends up paying for this with his job.  Something clearly out of his control–an injury–derails the team and before you know it, he gets fired. 

The thing is, the teams who consistently do well in this league give their coaches a long leash.  They put up with a few bad years because they’re smart enough to know it takes time to build a franchise!  Good teams have the patience to let a coach try things and be successful. 

The same teams that are consistently poor in this league are always hiring and firing coaches.  Give the coach a chance to build a bad team from the ground up.  When you keep firing coaches for not winning with a team that nobody could win with, all you ever do is rebuild. 

Those teams will never be good and the Titans are just the latest with the firing of Munchak.  They gave up on Mike Munchak too soon and will give the next guy three years to win it all then fire him.  Patience is the name of the game.  Bad teams never learn this from the good teams.  Moral of the story: Munchak is a good coach, but he needed more time and more weapons to turn the sorry Titans into a competitive team.     

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