Heimerdinger officially comes aboard

Friday, January 18, 2008 at 10:06am

When it came time to fix the Tennessee Titans' offense, head coach Jeff Fisher said he did some evaluation, and then decided he wanted to bring back “the best play-caller I’ve ever been around” back to the team.

Mike Heimerdinger officially accepted the position on Thursday and was reintroduced to the Nashville media on Friday via a conference call. The official hiring came just 48 hours after news that Norm Chow, who had replaced Heimerdinger in 2005.

“It happened quickly for this reason,” Fisher said. “Mike and I are familiar with one another. I spent five years with one another here, and he left on very good terms. We’ve maintained a friendship. …. I just felt it was an opportunity to take advantage of change, but also an opportunity to get to me the best play-caller I’ve ever been around back in the building.”

Heimerdinger, 55, takes over an offense he ran from 2000-04, one in which he helped Steve McNair develop in to a co-Most Valuable Player in 2003, and the careers of receivers Derrick Mason and Drew Bennett also took off with 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Heimerdinger’s new mission will be to turn around quarterback Vince Young, who regressed in his second season after being Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2006. Young threw just nine touchdown passes in 17 interceptions in 2007.

Heimerdinger’s style has been one of tough love in his tenure, but he admits he will have to show patience with a young quarterback.

“I think we can go forward from what Norm has done with him and the offensive staff. You’ve got to be patient, and I’m well known for my patience, so we’ll be OK,” Heimerdinger joked. “A young guy if he wants to work at it, and stay consistent in what you ask him to do, the only thing he can do is get better.”

Fisher said he had not spoken with Young, whom he said is vacationing and out of the country.

Heimerdinger said he will be in Nashville next week to begin evaluating the current personnel and scheme. The Titans are expected to try and upgrade an offense that ranked last in red-zone efficiency last year, through free agency, the draft or trades this offseason.

“I’ll get back in there next week and sit down and start watching some film,” Heimerdinger said. “I worked with everybody on the offensive staff before except for the wide receivers coach. Those guys know what the personnel is and see what they’ve done scheme-wise.”

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By: junebugfan on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Brace yourself TITAN1 - my hat's off to Fisher on this one - for seeing to it that the deal was done quickly, so that Dinger could have as much time as possible to try and make a difference before the '08 season begins. Maybe now some of those so called mediocre receivers we have on the roster will begin to shine. Here's to hoping that Dinger will indeed get COMPLETE control of the play calling duties as indicated.

By: kathouseking on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Norm Chow was Mr. Rogers and Romper Room compared with Dinger's Discovery Channel. Mr. Wonderlic 6 has been served! This is about to get really interesting. VY is about to make a quantum leap as a premier NFL quarterback or be traded to a team needing a tight end. My prediction: Vince Young will be playing in Canada in 2010.

By: junebugfan on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Didn't Dan Marino score in the single digits on his wonderlick as well? Yeah, he really stunk it up too. Mr. Norm "Rogers" wasn't running the neighborhood. Mr. Jeff "McFeely" wouldn't let him have the key to start the trolley to the land of make believe.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

kathouseking is an obvious troll, my prediction, you are a dumbass. June, Fisher DID give Chow the key, but he couldn't turn it.