Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Feb 2011

Titans Name Mike Munchak Head Coach

The Titans' new head coach is Mike Munchak, their former offensive line coach.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 07 Feb 2011

29 comments, Last at 10 Feb 2011, 5:23pm by Danish Denver-Fan


by Drunkmonkey :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:19pm

So I was following this fairly closely until about a few days ago. And I feel like I did read somewhere that the Titans did interview a minority candidate, but I can't remember who. Does anybody know if they did, or who they interviewed for that matter?

Also, this has been bugging me for a while: I know that Jerry Jones intended to interview Ray Sherman for the Cowboys head coaching gig, but that everybody and their mother knew that Jason Garrett already had the job locked up, and didn't interview. So who did JJ interview for the Rooney Rule? Are we just turning a blind eye?

by ammek :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:26pm

I don't think that in-season hires have to comply with the Rooney Rule.

by Drunkmonkey :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:30pm

But it wasn't an in-season hire. He wasn't hired as the full time head coach until after the Cowboy's season ended. I don't have the time right now, but I'll try to find the article later I read back when Steve Spagnuolo was hired as the Rams coach. After the previous Head Coach was released, Haslett took over, and did decent. There was talk that if he won a certain amount of games, he would be automatically installed as the new HC. But then Florio did some digging and found out that you can't do that; you have to interview a minority candidate no matter what.

And I did do a little looking around, and found out that the Titans did interview Fewell from the Giants. That was a serious interview by all accounts, and did satisfy the Rooney Rule.

by Aaron Brooks' Good Twin (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:50pm

What counts towards the Rooney Rule? Does it have to be a Token Black Guy, or can it be a Token Hispanic, a Token Asian, or a Token Woman?

With their moobs, do Andy Reid and Mike McCarthy count towards Token Woman?

by herm :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:59pm

It was originally a Token Black Guy, now it can be any Token Minority.

by Theo :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 4:20pm

Do Europeans count as Token Minorities?
How about Canadians? Asians?

by tuluse :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 4:21pm

Is there a point to your questions? Is there some European coach who you feel just needs a chance to prove himself and he'll be a great NFL coach?

by Theo :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 4:29pm

Of course not, I'm suggesting the NFL is being race sensitive and thinks that with this rule black people wont be discriminated any more.
Or at least make it look like it and leave it up to the owners.

by tuluse :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 4:38pm

I'm suggesting the NFL is being race sensitive

Well yeah, that's kind of the point of the rule.

and thinks that with this rule black people wont be discriminated any more.

No, they're not stupid. The idea is to lower discrimination, not remove it entirely, which would be impossible.

by Theo :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 5:02pm

from what I've learned is that discrimination is treating people differently if they are from other races/nationalities/sexes/orientations/whatnots.
Sure you can 'try to remove' it.
But the thing is, you are actually saying "you are black and you're not".
Morgan Freeman best explained it best when interviewed about black history month.
(it's only a 55 sec clip)

by dbt :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 5:04pm

This really isn't a place to debate politics. If you want to debate the rooney rule, maybe you should try that. Random handwaving about the epistemology of affirmative action and racial justice doesn't really belong here.

by Theo :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 5:10pm

I only mentioned the rooney rule and didn't mention politics.

by tuluse :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 5:25pm

The Rooney rule says minorities not black people.

by Jovins :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 7:34pm

I thought personally much of the focus on African-Americans and coaching comes because they're so over-represented among the athletes relative to coaching. I know in basketball, that's what I've heard at least.

by herm :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 1:40am

I like the spin you put on that.

by BlueStarDude :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 3:24pm

Jerry also interviewed Todd Bowles.

An important part of the Rooney rule when it was initiated was just to get people's names out there and generating a buzz as potential head coach guys. That's why minority candidates were encouraged, by the NAACP among others, to go on "token" interviews.

by Sophandros :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 5:09pm

What's interesting is that Mike Tomlin wouldn't be the Steelers coach today if it weren't for the Rooney Rule.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by Theo :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 5:12pm

From what it's worth (wiki):
Since the Rooney Rule was established, several NFL franchises have hired African American head coaches, including the Steelers themselves, who hired Mike Tomlin before their 2007 season[2] (The Steelers, however, had already interviewed Ron Rivera who is a Hispanic minority to fulfil the Rule before interviewing Tomlin, and Rooney himself contends that Tomlin's hiring did not result from the Rule).[3]

by Theo :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 5:13pm

Can you make an argument for that statement?

by tuluse :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 5:26pm

Yeah this rule is more about breaking up the "old boys club" than anything. It's just easy to draw racial lines because the old boys club was all white guys.

by Drunkmonkey :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 6:46pm

For the record, I wasn't trying to start a debate on what makes you a minority candidate. But yeah, I always felt that while it may not be a serious interview for that job, if you are asked to be the token interview, then maybe you should take it just so ESPN can put your name on the ticker.

Case in point: I remember (again, sorry I don't know where articles can be found) when Mike Singletary got multiple interviews to be a head coach by teams just so they could satisfy the Rooney Rule. Even though he didn't get any of the jobs he interviewed for, many people said he was getting close. I don't think he was seriously considered before that.

However, to get back to Ray Sherman, I seriously think he wasn't be considered, since it was obvious that Jerry was going to name Garrett the head coach, and Sherman's name was just thrown out there so that Jerry didn't have to fly somebody else in. Just walk down the hall.

by tuluse :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 7:22pm

It's not just about head coaching jobs either. Getting interviewed gets you noticed for assistant positions as well.

by Key19 :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 9:26pm

Ray Sherman did in fact interview for the Cowboys (his quote afterwards was "it went well"), as did Todd Bowles. There's two minorities right there.

by Dan Summers (not verified) :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:28pm

The interviewed Perry Fewell on Friday. Youc an debate whether or not this was a token interview.

by Pass to Set Up ... :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:43pm

The Titans are just trying to one-up the Eagles with this move.

by Pass to Set Up ... :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 2:43pm

The Titans are just trying to one-up the Eagles with this move.

by Tom Gower :: Mon, 02/07/2011 - 3:39pm

Inevitable. As noted, Fewell was the Rooney Rule interview, but the job was always Munchak's to lose and nobody really thought he'd lose it. Thanks to the Titans organization for going ahead and making it official, rather than doing it between (a) when I write Four Downs and (b) when Four Downs goes up on (i) ESPN In$ider or (ii) FO.

by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 02/08/2011 - 1:25pm

Is there any way the Colts can get a new HC? I mean I know they always do well, so it's hard to fire a coach for "only" getting to the playoffs, but Caldwell does not seem to have that ship running smoothly and his on-field decisions are, um, mystifying at the very least.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 02/10/2011 - 5:23pm

Yeah. I think you can pretty much bank on Manning making all clock-management dicisions from here.