Tennessee Owner Bud Adams Has to Fire Mike Munchak

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistDecember 24, 2012

The air has been let out of Munchak's tenure in Tennessee.
The air has been let out of Munchak's tenure in Tennessee.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Mike Munchak has not performed well enough to retain his position as head coach of the Tennessee Titans.

When laid out in plain, simple words, the truth of the statement is clear.

The Titans are going to lose at least 10 games in 2012. The franchise has only suffered four losing seasons since coming to Nashville, and never have the Titans been as completely outclassed as they have been this season.

They have been outscored by 159 points on the year.

To put that in perspective, the 2005 Titans went 4-12 and were only outscored by 122. To find another team in franchise history that has been outscored that badly, you have to go back to the 3-13 Houston Oilers of 1984.

No one will argue that the Titans have been bad, but a bad season isn't a good enough reason to fire a coach. Titans owner Bud Adams shouldn't make a knee-jerk reaction based on the final record.

Unfortunately for Munchack, there's more than enough reasons to let him go even past the wins and losses.


The Titans have been rudderless from the start of the season. The single most important issue facing the team was the development of the offense and the integration of Jake Locker into the passing game.

After a terrible start, Munchak fired Chris Palmer as offensive coordinator, but it's done nothing to spark the offense.

The only thing Locker was integrated into in Green Bay was the famously frozen tundra. He was sacked seven times.

On defense, Jerry Gray's philosophy has been to let the opponents score more often than any team in the league.

Discipline and Execution

Despite a tough opening schedule, the Titans had fought back to 3-4 and had the Indianapolis Colts on the ropes.

On consecutive plays on the Indy game-tying drive, Tennessee only had 10 men on the field.

No coach called timeout.

No one fixed the problem.

Indianapolis eventually scored to tie the game and then won in overtime.

That sequence alone is ample cause to fire a coach. No team should lose a critical game because it failed to have enough players on the field on consecutive plays.

It appears that Munchak has lost the ear of his team. The Titans have been in the middle of the back in terms of penalties, but over their last three games they've piled up over 70 yards a game in penalties. That's 30th in the NFL.

Player Development

Is Jake Locker getting better as the season has progressed?

It's hard to make that argument.

In fact, it's a challenge to look at the Titans' roster and find steps forward from any of the young players. Perhaps Zach Brown, but players like Karl Klug, Jurrell Casey and Derrick Morgan don't seem to have taken steps forward.

The Titans appear weaker overall now than they did 12 months ago.


The Titans are 0-8 against teams with winning records.

The Titans are 0-5 against the AFC South.

Those marks are unacceptable.

Set aside the 5-10 record or the minus-159 point differential.

The Titans haven't won a division game.

In the NFL, the first step to a championship is nearly always to win the division first.

Against the team's biggest rivals, Munchak's squad hasn't gotten the job done.

If Adam's patience is wearing thin, it's with good reason. He told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean,

"I like Mike, I really do. But liking him and getting the job done are two different things,” Adams said. “If he is not getting the job done, that is what I have to find out. Right now, we are not looking very good. Something is wrong and I want to find out what the problem is and what needs to be done to fix it."

That's hardly a vote of confidence. After the humiliation of losing 55-7, what else could Adams possibly say?

34-13. 38-10. 38-14. 30-7. 51-20.


After six losses by at least three touchdowns, there is only one possible conclusion in Nashville.

Munchak must go.


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