Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Munchak comments on Heimerdinger firing

Besides firing offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak also fired defensive assistant Rayna Stewart and offensive assistant Richie Wessman.
Heimerdinger was fired despite working with Munchak for several years.
He's also been battling a rare form of cancer.
“I met with Mike, Rayna and Richie today and informed them that they would not be retained as a part of the new staff," Munchak said in a statement released by the team. "These are not easy decisions, but I have a responsibility to move things in the direction that I have laid out for this team. We will continue to evaluate the rest of the staff moving forward.
“As it relates to Mike, I have a great deal of respect for him as a person and admiration for the way he is fighting against cancer. He is an innovative offensive mind and we have worked well through the years, but I believe we need to go in a different direction at offensive coordinator. This wasn’t about his health - he is feeling good, it is a change of direction for us. This is not something that I take lightly and I wish him and his family the best.”
Titans senior executive vice president Steve Underwood also weighed in on the firing, which looks bad from a public relations standpoint considering Heimerdinger's health issues. The Titans recently interviewed him for the head coaching position that went to Munchak.
“Our organization is deeply appreciative of Mike’s dedication to his work, especially in light of his ongoing medical issues," Underwood said. "Once we learned in November that Mike and his family were facing difficult heath concerns, we immediately offered to extend his employment agreement so that he could focus on his recovery and work. This way, he was not facing uncertainty about his employment. Mike continued to participate fully in his work for the rest of the season and we will always be grateful for his continuing devotion to duty.
"A new head coach will often make changes in his staff, and it is never easy to make this kind of transition. As we have made clear to our new head coach and to those we interviewed, we believe that a head coach must be given latitude in putting his staff in place. None of this changes the fact that we will honor Mike’s existing agreement with our club and continue to wish him a complete recovery.”

source:  National Football Post
author:  Aaron Wilson

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