Mike Munchak starts defending himself

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Three weeks before he could lose his job, Titans coach Mike Munchak ventured a bit into the sales pitch he will offer Tommy Smith for working a fourth year as Tennessee’s head coach.

Munchak said his relationship with Smith, the team president and CEO and son-in-law of late Titans owner Bud Adams, and his 31-year tenure with the franchise shouldn’t be factors.

“Ultimately it’s about what’s best for the organization long-term,” he said.

Does Munchak envision change if he’s in place going forward?

“Every year it changes in this league,” he said. “We had 11 different starters this year from last year on the football team, we have a handful of different coaches. Yeah, I think it changes dramatically. Our roster is 22 or 23 new guys on the 53 from last year at this time. There is going to be change, and the good thing for this team is there is going to be less change needed in the personnel department.

“There are some decisions I think that should be easier to make, of where we need to make changes as the year plays out. Obviously I have a front row seat to what’s going on. I’m going to voice what I think is best for this team. You just can’t do it all when you want to do it. People want stuff done immediately. But unfortunately it doesn’t work that way in this league.

“I’ll say it again: I think this team in a lot of spots is better than it has been since I’ve been here. But there’s things that are holding us back and that’s the stuff we need to fix. That’s something we’ll talk about when the season is over. We can’t do all the things now that we need to do. They’ll decide if they think that makes sense or if there is a better way to do what we need to do.”

In one sentence, Munchak says he thinks things change dramatically. Two sentences later, he says less change is needed than in the past.

One thing that definitely need to change if he stays in place is his ability to express himself clearly. It's an area, frankly, where he's shown no desire to improve and the organization has been unable or unwilling to help.

His job now is these next three games. He said he knows people are enjoying talking about his future at this time but that it won’t help the Titans win.

When the final whistle sounds after the Houston game Dec. 29, he turns from coach into salesman.