JOE BIDDLE: Mike Munchak defends team after 2 losses

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: July 7, 2013 (Image 1)

News flash: Titans Coach Mike Munchak has added an army of assistant coaches to his staff.

The move was prompted by the Boys in Blue limping out of the gate with two losses, two games lost in embarrassing fashion. When you lose by a combined score of 72-23, the buzzards start circling.

If Munchak wants input, all he has to do is turn on his radio on the daily ride to and from Baptist Sports Park. His new assistants can be heard on FM, AM. He can find solutions in the newspapers, online blogs and yes, on television, locally and nationally.

He needs to replace Jake Locker with veteran Matt Hasselbeck. He needs to put Michael Griffin back at free safety, where he is more comfortable and productive.

He needs to fire his offensive line, and while he's at it, get rid of that stinking Chris Johnson. Some are adamant that Johnson has been going through the motions since the Titans financially set him up for life.

Munchak needs to fire offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and put defensive coordinator Jerry Gray on notice.

The babble goes on and on.

Even though it's an all-volunteer coaching staff, they need to know the man they are working for.

Mike Munchak is a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, a former NFL offensive line coach, now in his second year as a head coach.

As a rule offensive linemen go to work every day, keep their mouths shut and correct their mistakes. They strive to never make the same mistake twice. They don't seek publicity and rarely receive any.

They hold their blocks, put their opponent on his heels and trust the rest of the linemen will do the same thing, all in the name of producing long runs and pass completions.

They are big on routine. Doing the same thing. Same drills. Every day. Striving for perfection.

So if you expected Munchak to come back from San Diego's 34-13 debacle and start throwing things, clearing out players' lockers, reading riot acts to his paid assistants, you've got the wrong man.

Panic is not a word in Munchak's vocabulary.

He has put the ownership on each player. He is appealing to their sense of personal responsibility.

“They were obviously upset. They should be,'' Munchak said of the team's mood on the flight back from California.

“We need to play much better than we've been playing, they know that. We need to coach better than we've been coaching. We're all [in] on this. It's not just 53 players, it's 20 other guys, including myself, on this staff that have to find a way to get us more prepared to play.''

At Munchak's Monday presser, Munchak was hit with all the questions Titans fans want answers for.

Is Chris Johnson in danger of losing his starting position?

“You guys are trying to bench everybody after two games. … Next week that will be the next thing – when are we going to make a change at the coaching spot? We need a spark. At some point we have to get something going,'' Munchak said.

“We'd have to bench a lot of people if I was going to bench them by how we're playing.''

Offensive linemen are known for their candid, thoughtful answers. Munchak is no exception. He breaks it down in black and white.

Everyone who had a clue knew the first four games would be brutal, made even more difficult when the decision to start a quarterback for the first time on opening day.

Jake Locker will have good plays, bad plays. Good games, bad games. It's the education every NFL quarterback signs up for. It's the single most difficult position in sports. You think Peyton Manning wanted to throw four interceptions, three in the first quarter, in the Monday Night Football game in Atlanta? He's arguably the best in the game.

In the meantime, Locker's teammates have to have each other's backs.

It doesn't get any easier. Detroit visits Sunday with former Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz returning as the Lions head coach.

The Titans are searching for answers, from within. The clock is running.

Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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