Mike Munchak announced three additions to his staff Thursday. It would be inaccurate to call them all "new" coaches.
One of the three, tight ends coach George Henshaw, spent nine seasons (1997-2005) in that same role with the franchise under Jeff Fisher. During that time tight end Frank Wycheck led the team in receptions five times and made the Pro Bowl in three seasons.
In addition to Henshaw, Munchack hired Shawn Jefferson to coach wide receivers and Sylvester Croom to coach running backs.
The moves were part of an overhaul of the coaching staff that included Dowell Loggains named offensive coordinator on a permanent basis, the switches of Dave Ragone from wide receivers to quarterbacks coach (Loggains’ previous position), Chet Parlavecchio from special teams assistant to linebackers coach and Nate Kaczor from offensive line assistant to special teams coach.
Munchak fired running backs coach Jim Skipper, tight ends coach John Zernhelt, linebackers coach Frank Bush and long-time special teams coach Alan Lowry.
“Over the last two weeks I have spent my time reviewing our coaching staff and interviewing numerous candidates from the college and pro ranks at a variety of positions in order to improve our coaching staff,” Munchak said in a statement announcing the changes. “The goal in every decision I have made has been to do whatever I believe puts us in the best position to win this year.”
The Titans failed to make the playoffs in either of two seasons under Munchak and four straight overall, the longest drought since the franchise relocated from Houston. They went 6-10 in 2012, including 1-5 against AFC South opponents.
Jefferson comes to the Titans after eight seasons with the Detroit Lions, the last five of which allowed him to work with record-setting wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Croom, a former head coach at Mississippi State, had the same position with Jacksonville last season and with St. Louis for the three years prior to that.
Henshaw last coached in the NFL in 2007, when he was tight ends coach with the New Orleans Saints. He spent two years with New Orleans after he left Tennessee.
Ragone and Parlavecchio were part of Munchak’s first staff in 2011. Neither had NFL coaching experience prior to that. Ragone, a backup quarterback for three seasons with the Houston Texans, began his coaching career as quarterbacks coach of the Hartford Colonels (UFL) in 2010 under former Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer, who was fired in November. Parlavecchio, a college teammate of Munchak’s, was a high school coach in New Jersey for more than 20 years.
Kaczor was a special teams assistant with Jacksonville for four seasons before he joined the Titans last year.
“I believe with the new coaches that we have added and some shuffling of the current coaches, we have made our staff better,” Munchak said. “We were able to add proven coaches and by moving others around, it will change the dynamic in the meeting rooms and on the field. We still have some spots remaining to fill and I am always looking to improve our staff, so it is still a work in progress.”