There have been a flurry of hirings in NFL head coaching circles this week, and the openings are seriously beginning to dry up.
While the Tennessee Titans were busy in their search for a general manager, other teams around the league looking for a head coach, were making hires.
With the hirings of Hue Jackson in Cleveland, Ben McAdoo with the New York, Chip Kelly in San Francisco and Dirk Koetter being elevated in Tampa Bay, it leaves only the Titans and the Eagles officially still looking to fill their respective coaching vacancies. Reports now say the Eagles will hire Doug Pederson of the Chiefs as soon as Kansas City’s season ends. There is still the chance that the Lions will put Jim Caldwell on the chop block, but as of yet, all has been silent in Detroit.
However, there is still the strong belief around the league and at St. Thomas Sports Park that the Titans will simply go through the interview process before turning things over to Mike Mularkey, who finished out the season as interim head coach.
Thus far, only two other names have emerged other than Mularkey – Doug Marrone who interviewed on Thursday and Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, who interviews today, as does Mularkey formally. The Austin interview will ensure that the Titans are in compliance with the Rooney Rule, having interviewed a minority candidate for the position.
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What will be interesting to monitor is how soon the Titans react and name a head coach. New general manager Jon Robinson will be formally introduced at a press conference on Monday. If Mularkey is their guy, as many around the NFL suspect, the Titans could go ahead and end the suspense by introducing him as well.
To this point, there appears to really be only one other outside possibility that could be at the Titans disposal beyond Mularkey as the front runner. That is Josh McDaniels, who is currently the Patriots offensive coordinator and is busy with the playoffs at the present time.
Thus far, the Titans have not contacted McDaniels, whom they could have talked to last week. Now, they would have to wait until the Patriots are finished or the week before the Super Bowl if they want to talk to him. His past connection with Robinson in New England has fueled some speculation that McDaniels could be a possibility. But McDaniels being a victim of his current team’s deep playoff run wouldn’t be the first time a head coaching candidate lost out because of his incumbent team’s success.
If the Patriots win this weekend, and the Titans don’t go forward and name Mularkey as coach early next week, then you can surmise that perhaps there is some interest in McDaniels and they are willing to wait.
Otherwise, the Titans’ process may be close to being completed and Mike Mularkey will soon have the interim tag removed.