Three Titans coaches are gone and it will probably get worse. I know it can’t get better. Jim Washburn left in a lateral move that I think is frankly a better job, not a lateral move, for him. As I wrote in my last article, “Wash is a guy who can’t be replaced.”
Now Craig Johnson, the long-time quarterbacks coach turned running backs coach, has left for Minnesota.
The man whose image once graced the cover of Sports Illustrated with the question, “Is Chuck Cecil Too Vicious for the NFL?”, is no longer the defensive coordinator.
You can find another d-line coach, though not one as good as Washburn. Craig Johnson can also be replaced, but probably not adequately.
It will get even harder to find a good defensive coordinator, especially if Jeff Fisher is unable to offer anything beyond a one-year contract. Even if Fisher could offer more, what good DC would want that, given the uncertainty of the head coaching position beyond this season.
The name Dave McGinnis keeps coming up, unfortunately. He’s been with the Titans for seven years and has experience as a DC and as a head coach, both with Arizona.
I’ve got two major problems with making Coach Mac the new DC. First, McGinnis’ linebackers were the worst group on a defense that was awful at times last year. Second, McGinnis’ experience as a DC and HC was not a good one. The Cardinals’ record during McGinnis’ tenure from 1996-2003 was 45-83. His defenses were bad, as you can see in the following table.
Points per game allowed
McGinnis was defensive coordinator from 1996-2000 and was named head coach during the 2000 season. He remained the Cardinals head coach through the 2003 season.
To be fair, McGinnis did not have great talent in Arizona, other than Aeneas Williams. Simeon Rice and Eric Swann each had one Pro Bowl appearance. That was about it for the Cardinals’ defense. Still, McGinnis’ record is not one that inspires confidence.
That leaves Fisher, a former DC himself, unless he wants to take a chance on a young guy with promise, which would surprise me. Risking his own job on an inexperienced newcomer seems like a poor decision, but it wouldn’t be the first one Fish has made.