Mike Munchak will not be able to hide under the cover of darkness.
With one exception, Munchak will perform his duties in his first season as Tennessee Titans head coach in the light of day. Fifteen of the Titans’ 16 regular-season games this fall will kick off at noon Central time.
The one exception will be Nov. 6, when Tennessee hosts Cincinnati in a contest slated to start at 3:05 p.m.
The lack of prime-time games is an indication that the league and its television partners do not view the Titans as a team that can draw widespread interest. Either that or they prefer to take a wait-and-see approach to Munchak’s impact.
“For me as a coach and as a player, I’ve always loved playing the noon games,” Munchak said in a release from the team Tuesday afternoon. “We’ve got 15 out of 16 that start at noon, and I like the consistency of that, the fact that you just get up, get dressed and go to the stadium and play. I think guys really enjoy doing it that way rather than sitting and waiting to play later in the day.”
The NFL released its complete 2011 schedule Tuesday afternoon even though owners have locked out players for more than a month and most other offseason business has been put on hold.
Munchak’s debut as a head coach will take place on the road, Sept. 11 at Jacksonville. The home-opener will be the following week against long-time rival Baltimore.
Unlike a year ago, the Titans’ six AFC South games will be divided equally between the first and second halves of the season. Houston and Indianapolis will come to LP Field for back-to-back games Weeks 7 and 8, respectively. The season will conclude with the return match against all three division foes, capped by a visit to Houston on New Year’s Day.
“It’s always exciting when you first get the schedule,” Munchak said. “I think it’s great to play a division game right away and open up with Jacksonville, like we have three out of the last five years now. It makes the opener that much more significant that we get a division opponent right away.”
The complete 2011 Titans’ regular season schedule:
Sept. 11 at Jacksonville, noon (CBS)
Sept. 18 vs. Baltimore, noon (CBS)
Sept. 25 vs. Denver, noon (CBS)
Oct. 2 at Cleveland, noon (CBS)
Oct. 9 at Pittsburgh, noon (CBS)
Oct. 16 Bye
Oct. 23 vs. Houston, noon (CBS)
Oct. 30 vs. Indianapolis, noon (CBS)
Nov. 6 vs. Cincinnati, 3:05 p.m. (CBS)
Nov. 13 at Carolina, noon (CBS)
Nov. 20 at Atlanta, noon (CBS)
Nov. 27 vs. Tampa Bay, noon (Fox)
Dec. 4 at Buffalo, noon (CBS)
Dec. 11 vs. New Orleans, noon (Fox)
Dec. 18 at Indianapolis, noon (CBS)
Dec. 24 vs. Jacksonville, noon (CBS)
Jan. 1 at Houston, noon (CBS)