NFL notebook: Titans fire Munchak; Texans' O'Brien cleans house
By Wire Reports
Published: Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, 9:03 p.m.
Tennessee general manager Ruston Webster thinks Mike Munchak helped the franchise that drafted him back in 1982 through a challenging time through three seasons as head coach.
Unfortunately for Munchak, loyalty to the NFL team with which he spent 31 seasons just wasn't enough anymore.
The Titans fired Munchak on Saturday after spending the past week talking about changes needed for a franchise that has not reached the playoffs since 2008 and last won a postseason game in January 2003.
“We were not able to agree just on the future or the direction of the franchise, and I felt it was time to make a change,” Webster said at a news conference. “We move ahead into the next phase of the Tennessee Titans and look for the next coach and also looking for great things.”
Munchak became the seventh NFL coach fired. He said in a statement issued through the team that he had hoped this day would never come and that he couldn't express his sadness at leaving a franchise he had been with for more than 30 years.
“My goal as head coach was to do things the right way with the right people, and I felt confident that the results would follow,” Munchak said. “Sometimes rebuilding a team and its culture takes time, but I truly believe we were on the verge of great things. Unfortunately, my vision did not match that of the organization, so we will part ways.”
Webster now has to oversee this franchise's first coaching search since February 2011 and only the second since this franchise left Texas for Tennessee in 1997.
Munchak flew to Texas on Friday morning to meet with team president and CEO Tommy Smith and Webster. They returned late in the afternoon. Smith said in a statement that those talks continued into Saturday before the decision to let Munchak go.
Munchak had a season left on his contract and was 22-26 overall.
Phillips out; O'Brien fires staff
The Texans fired defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, a day after Bill O'Brien was hired as the team's coach. O'Brien, the former Penn State coach, met with the existing Texans staff and fired them all, according to Fox Sports. The report said Romeo Crennel will be hired to replace Phillips.
“Thanks to McNair family and great Texan fans and most all our players,” Phillips tweeted. “It was wonderful being home. I wish the best to all.”
Phillips was the interim head coach for the final three games of the season after Gary Kubiak was fired. Houston lost its last 14 games to finish an NFL-worst 2-14.
The 66-year-old Crennel was out of football this past season after being fired by the Chiefs following last year.
Redskins to interview Caldwell
Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell will interview for the Redskins head coaching job Sunday.
Caldwell will become the fourth known candidate to interview as the potential replacement for Mike Shanahan.
Redskins general manager Bruce Allen met with Seahawks coordinator Darrell Bevell on Tuesday and Cowboys special teams coach Rich Bisaccia on Friday. Allen traveled Saturday to interview Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
Allen also plans to interview Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, along with other candidates.
Shanahan was fired Monday after a 3-13 season.
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