NFL Rumors: Tennessee Titans and 5 Candidates To Replace Jeff Fisher

Collin BerglundCorrespondent IIIJanuary 31, 2011

NFL Rumors: Tennessee Titans and 5 Candidates To Replace Jeff Fisher

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    Jeff Fisher has coached the Tennessee Titans since 1994.  Within his first two seasons, he acquired Steve McNair and Eddie George, players who would come to define the Titans in those early years.

    As Tennessee begins searching for a new coach, they will be looking for someone who possesses many of the same qualities as Fisher: quiet confidence, respect for his players, and a tiresome work ethic.

#5 Dave McGinnis

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    The Titans linebackers coach had head coaching experience with the Arizona Cardinals from 2000 through 2003.  He also would provide stability within the coaching staff, something G.M. Mike Reinfeldt values in the coaching search.  

    Hiring in-house would be significantly cheaper than hiring one of the current "it" coaching candidates.  It would also increase the likelihood Bud Adams wouldn't have to buy out the rest of the coaching staff.  

    McGinnis is probably most well-known for a 1999 debacle involving the Chicago Bears.  The Bears announced McGinnis had been hired as head coach before contract terms were agreed on.  McGinnis was put off by this and did not take the job.  

#4 Perry Fewell

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    Fewell, one of the guys whose name has come up for nearly every coaching vacancy thus far, has been very successful as the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants.  

    He has the respect of his players and his scheme allowed the Giants to pressure the quarterback all year.  

    While the Titans are supposedly focusing heavily on in-house candidates, they will have to interview at least one minority candidate to comply with the Rooney Rule.  A good interview could go a long way towards making Fewell the Titans next head coach.

#3 Gregg Williams

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    The defensive coordinator in New Orleans coached in Tennessee from 1990 through 2000 when the Titans had one of the staunchest D's in the league.  

    Williams earned a head coaching gig in Buffalo after the 2000 season and the Titans front office might remember his success in looking for Fisher's replacement.  Williams was nearly hired to be the Titans defensive coordinator in 2009, but Bud Adams wouldn't allow him to add his son Blake (now a coach in New Orleans) to his staff.  

    The Denver Broncos were looking at Williams to fill their coaching vacancy before he pulled his name out of consideration.

#2: Mike Heimerdinger

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    Mike Shanahan's college roommate has been the offensive coordinator for the Titans since 2008.  Heimerdinger is one of the favorites for the job, especially given the Titans desire to stay in-house with their next head coach for stability.  

    Heimerdinger was diagnosed with cancer in late 2010 and had to undergo chemotherapy.  If Titans ownership thinks that Heimerdinger is up to the job, his resume is as impressive as any of the names on this list.

#1 Mike Munchak

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    The Titans will interview Munchak today and he is considered the front runner for the job.  Munchak bleeds baby blue: He has been a member of the Titans family since 1982, when he began his Hall of Fame playing career.  

    After he retired, he was soon hired as a quality control coach and became offensive line coach in 1997, a position he has held since.  

    Despite mediocrity recently under Fisher (the team has a losing record over the last seven years), G.M. Mike Reinfeldt has expressed his desire for stability in the coaching staff, something Munchak would provide.  Reinfeldt was also a teammate of Munchak back in both of their playing days.