Tom Moore used his first meeting with the media since joining the Tennessee Titans to offer promise that the team's future is bright with Mike Munchak as head coach and Jake Locker at quarterback.
“This is a first-class organization and you've got as fine a person as you could have running this organization in Mike Munchak. The future is going to be big for this organization in my opinion,” Moore, 74, was Munchak's first choice as his offensive coordinator when he became head coach in 2011, but Moore was unable to take the job due to concerns with his knees.
“Mike and I talked when he initially got the job and I had some knee injuries,” Moore said. “The last five years were tough, very tough. He's a professional and I'm a professional and I couldn't give him what he needed in the job because of my knees. But I have since gotten them both replaced.”
So when Munchak promoted 32-year-old Dowell Loggains to be his offensive coordinator after the dismissal of Chris Palmer, he asked Moore to come board in an advisory capacity.
“To me, coaching in the NFL is a privilege. I'm not into entitlements,” Moore said. “It's a privilege to coach in the NFL and when Mike called me and asked me to help, I certainly want to because of my respect for him and for the organization. I've played a lot of games against this organization and it's a great organization, and it's a privilege for me to be here.”
Part of what Moore and Loggains will be charged with doing is getting second-year quarterback Jake Locker up to speed as an NFL starter.
“I've just been here for two weeks, but I think the sky is the limit for him,” Moore said of the Titans' 2011 first-round pick. “It takes time. He's a hard worker. He's gonna do all the things that are necessary to become great. He's willing to work. He's willing to spend extra time. He has great talent. I think the sky is the limit.”
Moore's primary role on game day has been to view photos with Locker and to be a resource for Munchak and Loggains, whom he described as “very passionate.”
“He's smart and he's dedicated. He does a good job and it's a passion. He's a very passionate person and I'm happy for him,” Moore said.
Moore, who didn't want to say whether he would stay beyond the season, said his role is not to put his stamp on the offense, but to help things to improve.
“Everybody has their philosophy and what they want to do. I'm not here to change that,” Moore said. “I'm just here to help coach and make any kind of suggestions or comments or any help that I can make. They've got a great offensive coaching staff here.”
Casey wants to 'embarrass' Sanchez
Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey says the Tennessee Titans want to “keep embarrassing” his former college teammate – New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Casey, who spent one season together at Southern California with Sanchez in 2008, says the Jets starter doesn't looks more timid than he did in his days at USC.
“In college, I felt like he sat back there more comfortably, but now I feel like he's a little timid and he likes to just throw the ball up wherever,” Casey said. “I played with him year. Being there, he was a good quarterback and he did what he had to do. And still to this day, he's doing a decent job. He's going to be a good threat out there and we've got to make sure we stop him.”
But Sanchez has had his share of problems this season with the Jets. He had perhaps the gaffe of the year against New England on Thanksgiving night when he ran into the posterior of one of his offensive lineman and fumbled, with the Patriots returning it for a score. And he was benched in favor of untested Greg McElroy after a three-interception effort against Arizona to weeks ago.
Casey said he knows Sanchez is in a tough spot, playing quarterback in New York, but that the Titans want to keep the pressure on him and try and make him make a costly mistake.
“It's a tough place to play out there, and if you're not ready for the job, don't do it,” Casey said. “You've got to step up to the plate, and he ain't stepped up to the plate yet. We're just going to keep embarrassing him and bringing more heat and let their fans do what they've got to do”
The fact that the game is in Nashville Monday night should help shield Sanchez from his home fans, but the message Casey conveyed is still clear.
The Titans have ruled out middle linebacker Colin McCarthy for a third straight game as he continues to battle a concussion. Receiver Damian Williams (hamstring) and defensive end Scott Solomon (knee) have also been ruled out.
Munchak said that all other players on the Titans injury report are probable for Monday night against the Jets.