With Tennessee Titans color analyst Frank Wycheck taking the 2017 season off from the team’s broadcast, Titans Radio decided to turn to a popular figure from the franchise’s past to fill in this season.
Dave McGinnis, who coached linebackers for the Titans from 2004-11, was hired to fill in for Wycheck this season, and begins a new chapter of his football life after 31 straight years of coaching.
“I really had kind of decided to take a year off, because I had been in it for 31 straight years, and I was thinking this might be a good year to sit back and recharge the batteries, but when it gets closer to this time of year, you really start to miss it,” McGinnis said.
McGinnis remains under contract for this season with the Los Angeles Rams, having been a part of Jeff Fisher’s staff. But when Fisher was fired in mid-season, the staff, including McGinnis, was released after finishing out the season.
McGinnis said an opportunity to return to Nashville to help with the Titans broadcast is probably the only scenario under which he would return to football this year.
“When this opportunity arose, I wouldn’t have come back for any place else but here. The way I feel about Nashville, the people here, the people in this organization, it’s such a great fit every day to walk into the building ad see all those people,” McGinnis said. “I’ve lived a lot of places, but Nashville is my favorite place to call home. When this opportunity came up, I thought about it. I’ve got Mike Keith to coach me up. I”m not that smart, but I’m smart enough to know that Mike Keith is a good one to coach me.”
McGinnis also placed a call to Wycheck before accepting the post, and received for former tight end’s blessing.
“I called Frank Wycheck, and I talked to him and he told me he was going to take a year off, and he said I would love for you to come in here. I”m not taking Frank’s place, I’m just keeping the seat warm for him,” McGinnis said.
Keith, the Titans long-time play-by-play voice, is happy to have the veteran coach beside him in the booth this year.
“Coach McGinnis is the perfect guy to fill in for Frank. He was our call right away.” Keith said. “He could do it, and we heard he was going to take this year out of coaching, and there’s not a better talker anywhere. I really feel lucky that we were able to get him. He gives us that peace of mind that we will continue with that special color analyst on Titans Radio.”
McGinnis is also excited about the prospects for the Titans this season, as he believes the team is headed in the right direction under Jon Robinson and Mike Mularkey.
“What’s going on here in Nashville is legitimate. It’s real. You could see that last year, the way Jon and Mike are trying to build this thing,” McGinnis said. “Mike has a tremendous coaching staff here. They’re well thought of throughout the league. You’ve got real ball coaches. The way they’ve built this thing with the offensive line and the running game, and they’ve got the one thing everybody in this league is searching for, they’ve got the quarterback.”
Cornerback Demontre Hurst tweaked his groin in Wednesday’s practice and sat out on Thursday. Coach Mike Mularkey said Hurst, vying with a host of players for a backup cornerback spot, probably will miss the Titans’ preseason opener against the New York Jets on Saturday.
In addition to Hurst, wide receiver Mekale McKay, who has been battling through a sore hamstring, tweaked it in Thursday’s work and did not finish practice.
Derrick Henry also seemed to be shaken up momentarily, but Mularkey said the running back, who will start in place of an injured DeMarco Murray Saturday, is fine.
Murray (hamstring) and Karl Klug (ankle) are both out for the preseason opener, but should be back for practice by Monday.
Receiver Corey Davis (hamstring) remains out.