No more rebuilding for Titans
Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 7:00 pm
By TERESA M. WALKER
AP Sports Writer
NASHVILLE (AP) — Coach Mike Munchak has wasted little time making clear to the Titans what he expects after a very busy few months for this franchise: Win now.
Munchak sent that message Monday along with making plenty of introductions with Tennessee now featuring 12 new players along with a handful of new coaches, including former New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
The Titans began their offseason program Monday trying to rebound from a 6-10 record that puts Munchak’s job on the line in his third season as head coach. Munchak did not talk to reporters.
Both Titans new and old liked what they heard from the coach, including new left guard Andy Levitre, their first free agent signed to a six-year, $46.8 million.
“I’m excited about it,” Levitre said. “We brought in a lot of talent, and coach Munchak was saying at our meeting today we brought in all these guys because we want to win now. We don’t want to win down the road. We don’t want to be a thing where it can develop over years. We want to win and make it to the Super Bowl this year and not in three years. I’m excited about the moves we made and working with those guys.”
Tennessee is closing in on a decade since the franchise’s last playoff win back in January 2004, and the Titans have only reached the playoffs twice since that season and not since 2008. Owner Bud Adams, who turned 90 in January, fired chief operating officer Mike Reinfeldt the day after the season ended. Jake Locker is going into his third season with the Titans, and any rebuilding that might have been going on is over.
Mix in nine draft picks the Titans have for this week’s NFL draft, and that means 21 new players on the roster makeover. Munchak also brought in five new coaches including Sylvester Croom for running backs, Shawn Jefferson for receivers, George Henshaw for tight ends and Steve Hoffman helping on special teams. He swapped up duties for four other coaches, moving Dave Ragone from receivers to quarterbacks with Chet Parlavecchio now handling linebackers.
“That’s what happens when you go 6-10,” cornerback Jason McCourty said. “This business is about production, and it’s about winning. Last year, we didn’t’ do that. Since I’ve been here, we haven’t been in the playoffs. You definitely have to shake up the roster. We have some new coaches in the building as well. We have to see how everybody jells as well.”
The Titans signed all those free agents to bring in add some much-needed experience to a team that proved to be too young in 2012. They also brought in veterans with experience winning, including safety Bernard Pollard who won a Super Bowl with Baltimore and tight end Delanie Walker who lost that game with San Francisco.
McCourty said he talked with safety Michael Griffin when the Titans announced their deal with Pollard and is looking forward to the veteran’s aggressive approach to defense for a unit that helped allow a franchise-worst 471 points last season.
Williams is back in the NFL after sitting out a season for his role with the Saints’ bounty scandal. Munchak hired Williams in February.
Published in The Messenger 4.23.13