Five qualities I want in the Titans' next head coach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Everyone is asking me who I want to be the Titans next coach.

I understand the question, but it’s too early for me to give you an answer.TitansHelmetWall

So instead of who, here is what I want.

Be flexible: I’ve hit on this as a big theme. Both Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Mularkey were ultimately done in by stubbornness. The next guy has to make change part of his plan. He needs Plan B and C and D for all occasions.

Marcus Mariota is dinged up and can’t run so well? Hey, that’s not ideal, but we know what we will do in such situations.

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For Jon Robinson's biggest move, his biggest projection yet

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The process starts Thursday for the Titans, with Mike Vrabel expected to be the first candidate to interview for the open head coach job.

Matt LaFleur, Steve Wilks and others will follow.

Whoever the next guy is, the Titans obviously need him to be a home run.

They want to be an organization with stability and continuity. Yet they changed coach in 2011, 2014 and 2016.

Better to change when you know you don’t have the right guy, but it’s time for them to get the right guy.

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Would a younger Titans coach be more flexible, inventive?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Being young doesn’t by any means make a guy a good football coach.

But it does increase the odds a coach thinks differently, outside of old-school lanes and long-time practices.

Mike Mularkey was only 56, but he was not afraid of older assistants. Dick LeBeau is 80; Terry Robiskie 63.Titansmirror

Sean McVay, 31, stormed the NFL this season, leading a dramatic turnaround for the Rams and quarterback Jared Goff. In San Francisco, Kyle Shanahan, 38, has a major upward arrow connected to him as well.

Finding the next Sean McVay is a tough assignment, as his story is a unique one.

But the Titans already have some young candidates to replace Mularkey, who is definitely a coach set in his long-standing ways, not a flexible guy looking for new and innovative ways to do things.

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PODCAST: Sorting through the Titans at season's end

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We've been podcasting the public Periscope and Facebook Live sessions for while.

PK.comLogo badge clean smallYou can find those through iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here.

My first all-out podcast is now available. Part 1 can be found in both those places.

But if you are a member of the site, all you have to do is go below to get Part 1 and Part 2 (which is member exclusive) all together.

Big thanks to Madison Blevins for hosting with me. Let us know what you think.

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Marcus Mariota needs to spill everything to Jon Robinson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The biggest moment in Marcus Mariota’s career is coming in the next few weeks.

Jon Robinson’s selection of a new coach will be a career-defining development for Mariota.MariotaCold2KC

Conversational assertiveness is not one of Mariota’s big personality traits. I’m sure he trusts Robinson as the GM seeks to find a coach who will make the most of Mariota’s skill set.

But the quarterback would be wise to take advantage of an opportunity to share what he thinks he needs.

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Jon Robinson showed the sort of anticipation the Titans want from Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In pushing for Mike Mularkey’s exit, Jon Robinson exhibited something people will want to see more of from Marcus Mariota in the future: Anticipation.


Robinson admitted there is risk in parting with a coach who won 19 games over the last two seasons, compared to the five the Titans won over the two seasons before that.

Still, he looked forward and didn’t see a path to improvement with the Sunday leadership of Mike Mularkey, and that prompted the change.

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Why I expect Jon Robinson coach choice will be straightforward and smart

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Inconsistency was the biggest issue with the Titans in 2017.


As Jon Robinson talked to the media for roughly 22 minutes Monday afternoon, he circled back to the desire for consistent play and for maximizing players’ chances to be successful based on their skill sets.

Failures in those departments were the major things that led to Mike Mularkey’s demise, and Robinson admitted the coach’s comments at his Sunday press conference were a factor too. Mularkey was unwavering in his commitment to his scheme and beliefs, and to his staff.


Now Robinson will bring Amy Adams Strunk a man he wants to work with. She’s likely to bless it and will then pay three head coaches for the 2018 season The new guy, Ken Whisenhunt on the final year of his contract and Mike Mularkey on the final year of his.

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This was was going to be my Monday morning Mike Mularkey piece

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - What Mike Mularkey needs more than anything is a flexibility program.

While he talks as if he was an adaptable guy during the Titans 2017 season, which ended Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in a blowout divisional round loss to the Patriots, that’s hardly the case.MariotaFallJags 1

The Titans were stubbornly reluctant to go to more no-huddle until late in the season, despite the fact the offense often found the rhythm it’s always searching for in the set. Mularkey cited that late change as evidence of the team’s willingness to change and adapt.

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