Obviously the entire Titans organization is on notice to produce in 2013 but there are several Titans management, coaches and players who in particular are on the hot seat in 2013. Which ones are they? I previously took at look at Titans on the Hot Seat in 2013 – Management and now let’s take a look starting at coaches.
Titans on the Hot Seat in 2013 – Coaches
HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK
Head coach Mike Munchak enters 2013 with one year left on his contract but with clear expectations that he and his team have to produce. For real security, the Titans need to make the playoffs for him to survive and remain head coach. Would owner Bud Adams accept anything less? I think anything less than 8-8 gets Munch fired and even that may not suffice. Of course, in large part the rest of the staff’s fate rests on his shoulders but other coaches will be looked at for reasons beyond their fate with the Titans.
“DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR JERRY GRAY”
Those quotes are there for a reason. With the hiring of Gregg Williams, much speculation has been made over who will REALLY control the defense and I simply think it’s Williams. While his one year suspension probably humbled him, Williams’ personality is such that its hard to believe he won’t be the real power in the defensive coaches room and the one who will really shape the defense in 2013. How will Gray handle this situation? Will he be perceived to be a figurehead? Will he be an active participant? If so, how will that play out? You certainly hope this doesn’t become a clown show and a distraction but it’s hard to see this playing out very well. Two cooks in the kitchen usually make for a poor soup.
I already made my thoughts on the hiring of Gregg Williams known. The Thorny Issue of Gregg Williams Is it an overstatement to say Williams is the Titans coach who has the most to gain or lose in 2013? Williams’ credentials are well known and he is clearly a good coach with a great defensive mindset the taint from Bountygate not withstanding. How well will he interact with “defensive coordinator” Jerry Gray? Will they ultimately clash over who is in charge? Will Williams natural personality and demeanor emasculate Gray? Even more importantly, will the Titans defense improve from a rather dismal 2012? Is it overstating the issue to say Williams needs 2013 to go extremely well in order to regain his reputation and revive his career? I don’t think so.
When the Titans fired Chris Palmer during the 2012 season and promoted Loggains to offensive coordinator expectations were high that the Titans offense would improve. That didn’t happen but I for one think expectations were raised too highly that year. It is extremely difficult to take over during the season and make wholesale changes to an offensive scheme. Add into that the injury to Jake Locker, multiple injuries along the offensive line and the disappearance of Kenny Britt in the second half of games and the lack of production is understandable. Having said that, this is a big year for Loggains who has been viewed as an “up and comer” in coaching ranks and who could greatly increase his stock with a good year in 2013. I expect the Titan offense to be greatly improved not only with a revamped offensive line. The additions of Delanie Walker, Shonn Greene and Justin Hunter are going to prove to be exceptional in my opinion and I fully expect Loggains to take advantage of his new weapons.
I have already alluded to the performance of Jake Locker as a factor in the equation and perhaps no one has more riding on this season on the offense than Dave Ragone. The Titans made Locker a high draft choice in 2011 (# 8 overall) and his struggles in 2012 are well documented. Unfortunately for Locker and Ragone, the learning curve and production expectations for young quarterbacks have changed and they must change with the times. The days of letting a quarterback sit and learn are gone and young quarterbacks for better or worse are expected to perform early. For Ragone’s sake, let’s hope Locker returns to the guy we first saw when he played sparingly his first season in 2011.