Tag:Mike Munchak
Posted on: June 17, 2011 11:45 pm

Titans OC believes Chris Johnson won't slow down

C. Johnsonhas had 674 carries in the past two seasons (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Titans RB Chris Johnson is unique among the rest of the league’s backs. During the past two years, nobody has carried as many times as he has -- 674 combined attempts -- and though his stature (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) and his biggest assets (speed and quickness) don’t seem to mesh with a guy who carries the ball an average of 20.1 times per game, Johnson has continued his strong play despite so much work.

Yes, last year was a disappointment by his standards. He wanted at least 2,000 yards for the second-straight season, but he finished with 1,364. But you still have to consider him one of the best backs in the league.

Another byproduct of so many carries is the inevitable question about how long this RB can take this many hits and remain healthy and effective. Johnson is only three years into his career, and already -- after he finished fourth in the league in rushing, mind you -- people are already discussing this very issue.

New Tennessee offensive coordinator Chris Palmer doesn’t believe it, though.

He told the Tennessean that he’ll keep an eye on Johnson’s workload, but he also points to the fact that Johnson broke 41 tackles last year (second-best in the NFL) that Johnson is fine with the extra carries.

“Again, it’s something we’ll have to look at,” Palmer told the paper. “The good thing is (Titans head coach) Mike Munchak has been with him for a while and knows him pretty good. We’ve talked about different personnel groups, and some of those personnel groups would have Chris out.

“How much we’re going to use those during the season, only time will tell. But Chris Johnson is one of our playmakers and we’d like to get as much out of him as we could.”

To help alleviate some of Johnson’s workload, remember that the Titans drafted 233-pound power back Jamie Harper in the fourth round in April. Palmer has said he absolutely will use Harper.

So, while we might not see Johnson have a legit chance at topping 2,000 yards again, the Titans are planning to use him in mostly the same way as before. Yet, it makes sense for Palmer and Munchak to ease off Johnson a little bit, because, at some point, those carries (and the hits that come with him) are going to add up and make Johnson less effective.

That’s just the way it goes for a running back in the NFL.

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Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:00 am
Edited on: June 14, 2011 10:43 am

Heimerdinger, Fisher concerned for Britt

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Kenny Britt has been busy this offseason, but for all the wrong reasons. While most of us have little trouble staying on the right side of the law, Britt struggles to go more than a week without some sort of legal entanglement. He's been arrested six times since the Titans drafted him in April 2009. We're starting to think that the frequent cuffings and stuffings aren't much of a deterrent.

Let's be clear: Britt isn't committing armed robberies or shooting up malls. But repeated arrests for marijuana possession and reckless driving adds up. He's not Hannibal Lecter, but he also struggles to follow the same basic rules the rest of us manage to do without really thinking about it. At worst, Britt could end up in the slammer; at best, his employer can't count on him. And it's not like he's a practice squad scrub -- he would have long been released if he were. Britt's the second-best player on the Titans after Chris Johnson. He's sort of important to what they're trying to do.

Back in April, several arrests ago, Kenny's dad, Jack Britt, told the Newark-Star Ledger that “I’m worried about [Kenny] all the time. … “But my concern is not with Kenny, per se, it’s more with Kenny’s friends, and he knows that. He has too many friends with too much free time. He needs to be around more positive people.”

We don't want to be that guy but, well, that sounds like a job for Kenny's father.

Former Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who's currently battling cancer, told the Tennessean Monday that “Kenny can be as good as anybody, but eventually you have to grow up.” And even though it's no longer Jeff Fisher's problem, Fisher still keeps up with Britt's off-field issues.

“I didn’t get the call but I am following it closely and it is not an easy thing,” Fisher told the Tennessean. “Somehow, deep down, you kind of still feel responsible or still feel like you want to help. I hope he can get things sorted out.”

Last season, when Fisher was still coaching the Titans, he benched Britt after the wide receiver was allegedly involved in a bar fight. These problems now belong to the new guy, head coach Mike Munchak.

“You have to be very careful to jump to conclusions until you get all the facts, and I think that is probably what (Mike) is doing right now, he’s gathering the facts,” Fisher said. “The difficulty is you can’t have contact with him and that is hard on Mike and his staff for sure.”

Maybe the Titans should have someone on staff at the Nashville Police Department. Just to be safe, they might want to include the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and for a national presence, the FBI.

Finally, here's something lawyer and ProFootballTalk.com proprietor Mike Florio wrote about Britt this spring:

"We’ve mentioned once or twice the connection between the lockout and players being locked up. Though we’re not excusing bad behavior, the fact remains that the arrest rate for NFL players tends to go down when they have the structure that comes from being with their teams."

We hate to keep going back to this because it started off as a big joke. But, you know, Ray Lewis wasn't wrong.

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Posted on: June 10, 2011 3:11 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 3:23 pm

Kenny Britt probably won't get jail time

BrittPosted by Josh Katzowitz

While Titans coach Mike Munchak reads the same news articles we do – and can’t get in touch with WR Kenny Britt to ask him what the hell is going on in New Jersey – more information keeps coming out about Britt’s latest arrest on tampering with evidence and resisting arrest charges.

Though he was alleged to have destroyed evidence of marijuana possession before he was arrested, the Hudson County prosecution has not charged Britt with any anything drug-related, and according to the Tennessean, he’s probably not looking at any jail time either.

Britt will be back in court June 16 to face his latest charges.

“I don’t like to say this, but these things in the overall scheme of things are not the most serious matters we have to deal with,’’ prosecutor Edward DeFazio told the paper. “But he just can’t seem to avoid people and places that present problems. This incident, on the face of it, is not very serious.

“If he were to be convicted he could get probation, and technically he could be subject to jail time,’’ DeFazio said. “But as a practical matter, since he has no criminal convictions, there is a presumption that he would not be incarcerated.”

And as for his coach? After all, Munchak is the one who has to stand by idly and watch Britt, who’s been arrested six times since he was drafted in 2009, struggle to keep himself out of handcuffs. Munchak can’t do anything but wait.

“It is a case of probably making some bad decisions and something we’ll talk about when we get our opportunity,” Munchak said. “Unfortunately he’s had a few things that have come up with him this offseason. Any time any of our players have issues it is concerning, no matter what the issue is. We want the best for them. This is a tough time because we don’t know.”

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Posted on: April 22, 2011 11:44 am

Munchak says Vince Young won't be back

Young Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In the battle between Titans coach Jeff Fisher and QB Vince Young, owner Bud Adams declared Fisher the winner and decided to move on without a player who Adams still believed was valuable to his team.

Then, when Fisher resigned, there seemed to be a chance – a very small chance – Young could return to resume his career with Tennessee.

And even though Young has declared he wants to stay in Nashville, that, according to coach Mike Munchak, is not going to happen. 

No matter what happens in next week’s draft, Munchak said, via the Tennessean , Young won’t be back.

“That was a decision made months ago and nothing that is going to happen personnel-wise, or how the draft goes, is going to change that,” Munchak said. “It wasn’t just a Jeff Fisher decision – I think people kind of have that feeling because it happened back then, we could change our decision.”

Hell, other players, like RB Chris Johnson, have said as much, because they, like us, assumed that with Fisher out of the picture, Young could return. But no, that’s incorrect.

“It was a company decision, so obviously we aren’t going to change that decision,” he said. “We are standing by that decision. What’s been done is best for everybody.”

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:57 pm

Offseason Checkup: Tennessee Titans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups.

The Titans are in need of an overhaul, which is exactly what they’ll be getting this year (whether they want it or not). Long-time coach Jeff Fisher is gone, replaced by his former OL coach, Mike Munchak. Defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil is gone, replaced by Jerry Gray.

So is offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, replaced by Chris Palmer. So is QB Vince Young, replaced by, um, who exactly?

You might have forgotten this, but at one point last season, Tennessee was 5-2. Then, the Titans lost eight of their final nine games of the season to finish the season on a disastrous note. A note that signified that the organization needs a makeover and fast.

New coaching staff

The end of Fisher’s tenure in Tennessee was awfully strange. Though it seemed like owner Bud Adams thought about picking Young over Fisher, he actually didn’t. He wanted Fisher to stay, and Fisher agreed to return. Until he didn’t, changing his mind and resigning his position. Which means that the Titans are going through a wholesale change, and considering the lockout is preventing the staff from meeting with the players, Tennessee will have a tough time catching up.

One of the biggest losses to the team, though, was when DL coach Jim Washburn left for Philadelphia. Jason Babin – who made his first Pro Bowl last season – was really upset with the transition, because he knows how much Washburn tutored him. Washburn also helped develop Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Antwan Odom, and his loss will be felt, especially if Babin leaves via free agency.

1. Quarterback
Young is gone, and though he compiled a 26-13 record and two Pro Bowl appearances in his five seasons with the Titans, a clean break from the organization clearly was needed. So, who to replace him? Kerry Collins, but he’s 38 years old. Rusty Smith, but he’ll be a second-year player with only one start of experience. So, where do you go next? Backup Brett Ratliff? I don’t think so.

2. Interior Offensive Line
LG Leroy Harris and C Eugene Amano struggled last season – one reason RB Chris Johnson’s numbers weren’t as good as he expected. Harris is still young, so the Titans might continue to use him, but Johnson might be appreciative if the Tennessee played somebody else at LG and C. RG Jake Scott, meanwhile, is solid and dependable.

3. Defensive Tackle
When the Titans talked about trading back for Albert Haynesworth last season, you know they were desperate for another DT. Thus, the Titans have to be loving the recent supposed drop in value of Auburn DT Nick Fairley. Although the undersized Jason Jones is quite a strong player at one DT spot, Fairley could add big talent to the defensive line if he’s still available for the Titans to draft at No. 8.

Is there optimism for the Titans next season? I don’t see how. Not after they lost their quarterback and then hired a head coach who’s never even been a coordinator to lead the team. Munchak, a pro football Hall of Famer because of his playing skills, is well-respected inside the game, but it might take a year or two to turn around the organization that, let’s face it, was left in total disarray.

And while we can say the AFC South isn’t necessarily going to be dominated by the Colts next season, I’d put the Jaguars and Texans ahead of Tennessee in the race for the division crown. By far.

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Posted on: March 31, 2011 3:55 pm

Rusty Smith wants to start for Tennessee

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You might remember the day last season Titans backup QB Rusty Smith was called into action after the whole Vince Young/Jeff Fisher/walking out on teammates saga and then backup Kerry Collins getting hurt.

It occurred Nov. 28 when the then-rookie Smith went 17 of 31 for 138 yards and three interceptions in a loss to the Texans, and immediately afterward, he was relegated to backup duty once again.

Smith Still, Smith wants to compete for Tennessee’s starting job heading into next season.

Especially since, you know, Young isn’t around any more and it sounds like the Titans will look to add a veteran and a rookie QB to the roster before next year. If you think Smith is the forgotten man – and honestly, he probably is; his name hasn’t crossed my mind since that Texans game – he’d like to persuade you that you’re wrong.

"A lot of that has to do with newspaper people talking about that stuff," Smith told the Tennessean. "They tend to forget about small guys like me. I think the coaching staff knows what I can do and that I'm still here and working hard."

Smith obviously is dealing with a new head coach in Mike Munchak (though someone who’s familiar with Smith’s work) and a new offensive coordinator in Chris Palmer, so, in some respects, he’ll get a fresh start.

But if last season was any indication, he’s going to have to be really good early on in preseason practices to convince anybody that he’s ready to handle an NFL starting quarterback role.

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Posted on: March 8, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 2:10 pm

Vince Young: 'I would love to stay in Nashville'

Posted by Will Brinson

Things they are a'changin' in Nashville. There's a new head coach (Mike Munchak is in after the ousting of Jeff Fisher), a new coaching staff (Munchak's filling out his guys obviously) and, at some point, a new quarterback coming to town.

Unless Vince Young stays, which seems quite improbable. Well, to everyone except Vince Young anyway.

"I would love to stay in Nashville. I would love to stay in Tennessee," Young told Chaney Entertainment per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "If it doesn't happen, wherever God blesses me to be at I'll give 100 percent."

It's probably not going to happen. I think. But this is Bud Adams we're talking about, and he's got a coach running his team that doesn't necessarily have the pull that Fisher had while in charge.

Which means if you see Vince buttering up Munchak, there's always a chance hanging out there that he could end up returning. So, um, uh-oh.

"I'm a big fan of Munchak," Young said. "I always call him Big Hall of Famer in the hallways and things like that. I have a lot of respect for him and he has a lot of respect for me so it's great. He deserves it ... like coach Fisher said ... he’s definitely the guy for the job."

More Titans Coverage

The only problems is Munchak has to be wondering whether Young's the guy for the other job. Based on the way things have gone for Young in Tennessee, it's almost impossible to think he believes that. However, it's generally believed that Adams still envisions Young as the guy who won a Rose Bowl, and not the mediocre NFL quarterback he's been for his career.

Then again, it's also worth noting that if the Titans want to trade Young (and he wants to be seen as tradeable and/or signable), he also has to say the right things publicly right now.

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Posted on: February 8, 2011 8:35 am
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