NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After packing up his office and leaving a team headquarters that has long been a second home, fired Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak made it clear he didn't lose his job because he wouldn't fire his pals.
"It's not like 'Munch isn't here anymore because he wouldn't fire two guys,'" Munchak told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. "In my eyes, that's not what we disagreed on. There was more to it than that. Obviously they made it easy. They fired all of us so they could start over."
Munchak was asked to fire a good share of his staff in order to stay, including those "two guys," offensive line coach Bruce Matthews and linebacker coach Chet Parlavecchio, two of Munchak's closest friends.
At least two other assistants had to go in the plan laid out by president and CEO Tommy Smith and general manager Ruston Webster.
Mark Howard of The Wake Up Zone in Nashville reported that offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was the final straw for Munchak, who didn't believe a change for the offense and quarterback Jake Locker would be helpful.
"It wasn't just about Chet or Bruce," Munchak said. "People say, 'Those are Munch's guys.' It was about the big picture. A lot of guys were going to be affected. If it was the right thing to do, I would do it. I have fired offensive coordinators (Chris Palmer) before. And I let go of a special teams coach (Alan Lowry)...
"I can't fire someone when I don't believe they should be fired. Firing someone is awful. Too many people were going to be affected. I didn't do anything to look like I was a great, loyal guy who went above and beyond the call of duty by not firing coaches. I did what you should do and what I thought was right. For me to maintain a job and a lot of guys lose jobs on a plan I didn't think was right, I couldn't do that.
"I'll make tough decisions, but not if they're not right."
In a tweet that didn't make the story, Wyatt also has this from Munchak:
Munchak: “I stand up 4 guys who are good coaches. It bothers me when people say I'm not here because I didn’t want to fire my friends.”
— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) January 6, 2014
Here's a write up of an interview Munchak did Sunday night on WKRN in Nashville.