NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans have great affection for Mike Munchak, who had been with the organization since he was the Houston Oilers' first-round draft pick out of Penn State in 1982.
Team president and CEO Tommy Smith said early on a decision on Munchak's fate would be torture.
So after Munchak and GM Ruston Webster met a bunch this week, Smith and the GM met with Munchak in Houston on Friday.
Munchak was told of the changes he'd have to make in order to remain on, and returned to Nashville to ponder them.
Saturday he apparently declined, resulting in his firing.
Perhaps the way the Titans played this was a masterstroke?
They didn't outright fire one of the most beloved and important figures in the team's history. They put him in a situation where he was the one making a decision. But without an extension, having to replace several assistants, including, presumably, two of his best friends, was untenable.
How could Munchak have made big changes, including with offensive line coach Bruce Matthews and linebacker coach Chet Parlavecchio, when all he had to sell new assistants would have been a year?
The guys Munchak may have gotten fired over will still be fired themselves, just not by Munchak.
I thought Munchak would have a hard time with cutting members of a staff he crafted just to his liking a year ago. Still, the lure of the job usually outweighs such things in the NFL.
In Munchak's case, it appears he stood up for his people.
A commendable end for him and a fresh start for a team that needs one arrive in one move.