Special play not enough for Titans
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 7:00 pm
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer
Titans coach Mike Munchak is parting ways with special teams coach Alan Lowry, the designer of the Music City Miracle play that spurred Tennessee’s lone Super Bowl run in 2000, said people familiar with the decision.
The people say Munchak has told Lowry his contract would not be renewed. The people spoke to The Associated Press Friday on the condition of anonymity because the team is not announcing any moves until all coaching changes are completed.
Lowry just finished his 17th season with the franchise, the last 14 coaching special teams. He designed Home Run Throwback that the Titans used to beat Buffalo in an AFC wild-card game in January 2000.
The Tennessean first reported the move.
Lowry had been with the franchise as a coach almost as long as Munchak, who started his coaching career with the team in 1994. Lowry joined the then-Houston Oilers in 1996 as a defensive assistant for quality control.
He took over special teams in 1999, the team’s first season as the Titans when they went 13-3 and needed that lateral from Frank Wycheck to Kevin Dyson for the winning touchdown against Buffalo.
He helped coach Derrick Mason and Marc Mariani to the Pro Bowl as returners, the last in 2010 in Mariani’s rookie season. In 2012, the Titans returned a kickoff and three punts for touchdowns in 2012, including one punt return featuring another lateral. The Titans also ranked seventh in the NFL averaging 40.4 yards net on punts and 15th averaging 23.6 yards on kickoff returns.
But Tennessee also had two punts blocked.
Munchak has been very busy since the Titans concluded a 6-10 season in his second year as head coach after owner Bud Adams decided to keep him on the job for 2013.
Lowry becomes the fourth assistant coach either to have his contract not renewed or fired since the season ended, not counting offensive coordinator Chris Palmer who was fired Nov. 26. Munch fired linebackers coach Frank Bush and tight ends coach John Zernheldt, who had a year left on his contract, while not retaining running backs coach Jim Skipper.
Munchak also has to decide whether to keep Dowell Loggains as his offensive coordinator or move him back to the quarterbacks assistant coaching job that has been open since he fired Palmer. Also, defensive coordinator Jerry Gray’s status remains a big question after the Titans set a franchise record allowing 471 points in 2012.
Published in The Messenger 1.15.12