With assurances from owner Bud Adams that he will be back in 2013, Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak now goes about the business of fixing the team.
Munchak left open the possibility that changes could still be made on the coaching staff, but he emphasized changes won't be made for the sake of change, but to improve the football team.
There was one change made on Monday, as Adams let go former general manager Mike Reinfeldt, who had moved up to the chief operating officer position in 2011 after five years as the team's general manager.
Now, it will be up to Munchak and current general manager Ruston Webster to fix the team.
“I talked to Mr. Adams today and he informed me that he was making some changes in the front office. He let Mike Reinfeldt go, and that I would continue to be the head coach going forward, and that myself, Ruston and Mr. Adams would get together sometime later this week possibly,” Munchak said. “It would be good for all of us to talk about the plan going forward and what our thinking was to get back to being in the playoffs and having a better season. He said we'd do that at that time, and that's how we left it.”
How it was left means that some coaches, including defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, could still be in for some nail-biting moments in the coming days as the Titans try to figure out what direction to go. The Titans’ defense gave up a record 471 points this season.
“It's easy to look at a position and say, they need to change that. We need to fix it obviously, so it doesn't happen again next year,” Munchak said. “You're not getting in the playoffs if you give up too many points. There are a lot of ways to fix something other than a coaching change. Personnel has a lot to do with it. Situations have a lot to do with it.
“You have to look at all those factors. Do I make a change just to make a change so it looks like I attacked that problem because I added a new coach? Or do we do it because the coach actually gives us a better chance to become better? You have to look at all those factors when you make any changes on your team, especially when it has to do with coaches or personnel.”
Munchak went on to say that one of the Titans' goals in the offseason will be to sprinkle some key free agents into the mix in the locker room, much like was done when Kevin Mawae, David Thornton and Chris Hope joined the team in 2006.
“I feel like we haven't been a part of free agency the last two years. Last year, with the Manning thing going on, it limited us at times,” Munchak said. “You talk about coaches getting eaten up (getting hired for openings), well, a lot of times, players get eaten up quickly in free agency. This is a year we can improve the roster in a lot of ways.
“We have to make good decisions. We have drafted well. We have two draft classes that prove that out. We have the 10th pick and we should get some good football players. We're gonna have a chance to add some players. We have some money to spend. We have to do a good job of bringing the right player in here. That's what I tried to sell the future of the Titans as.”