We have heard over the last two weeks about the candidates who have interviewed for the general manager position with the Tennessee Titans, but we have not heard much about those who have interviewed of will interview for the vacant head coahing position with the organization.
Interim head coach Mike Mularkey will interview at some point as well as Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin who is expected to interview on Thursday. Jacksonville Jaguars assistant head coach/offenisve line coach Doug Marrone interviewed last week according to reports.
Top coaching candidates Adam Gase nd Hue Jackson have been hired by Miami and Cleveland respectively yet neither were contacted or interviewed by the Titans.
Two-time Super Bowl Champion coach Tom Coughlin is available, but is up in age and while he still wants to coach, the Titans could feel age is a negative factor. A fair point to avoid Coughlin, but he could also be worth an interview. He has not been interviewed by the Titans.
Lovie Smith was fired by Tampa Bay and he is a well thought of coach in the league, but his record is not stellar though he did a good job turning Tampa around last season after an ugly opening game loss to the Titans. He has not been interviewed by the Titans
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has reportedly expressed interest in the Titans because of quarterback Marcus Mariota, but McDaniels has his detractors from his time as the head coach of the Broncos. He is currently involved in the playoffs and unavailable to interview under league rules, however he could have interviewed last week during the wildcard weekend while the Patriots were off. He was not interviewed by the Titans.
So what exactly is going on?
I have felt from the start of the process that the Titans organization liked Mularkey and were impressed by the way he handled the team and the edicts laied down by mamagement ater taking over as interim coach mid-season.
Multiple national reporters have stated openly that their sources say Mularkey is the front-runner for the position while others follow the train of though that because the Titans have been interviewing general manager candidates first, they are looking to fill that position and allow the new person to have input into hiring the next head coach that he will be working directly with in the future,
Still it is curious that from an original list reported to have had 155 names included, the names of Gase, Jackson and McDaniels were not on the list or that none of those made the final short list to earn an interview.
Both Coughlin and Smith were fired after the season thus neither name would have been on that initial list, but one might be willing to add the name of a two-time Super Bowl champions coach.
Either way it seems that the Titans plan is nothing that most people understand at this point unless the new general manager hire comes quickly and there are other coaches to be interviewed so that the team can finish these searches and move on toward preparing for free agency and the draft.
The Titans have been unconventional in the past and this seems no different, but whatever the final outcome is, the powers-that-be must get this one right and do it sooner rather than later before all the best candidates have been hired.