Offensive coordinator Norm Chow has been fired by the Tennessee Titans after three seasons in the position.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher issued a statement on Tuesday saying the team has decided to go in a different direction.
“Over the last week, we have done a lot of self-evaluation, and I think we still have work ahead of us to reach our ultimate goal,” Fisher said in the statement. “I have informed Norm that he will not be retained as our offensive coordinator. I appreciate all of the hard work and contributions he made to the organization during his time here, but I have decided to go in a different direction and will start the process of finding a new offensive coordinator. We wish Norm and his family the best in their future endeavors.”
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, a decision on Chow may have been reached as early as late last week, but Chow apparently was not notified until Tuesday when he was back in his off-season home of Los Angeles, where his wife still lives.
Chow, 61, was hired in part because the Titans were nearing the end of Steve McNair’s run when he came on board in 2005, and were set to draft a young quarterback to take his place. Tennessee then took Vince Young with the third overall pick in 2006.
Chow had groomed such standout quarterbacks as Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Carson Palmer and Philip Rivers in 30-plus seasons on the college level, but rumors of a rift that had developed between Chow and Young continued throughout the 2007 season.
Young had won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2006, but regressed in 2007, throwing just nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions in the regular season.
Tennessee’s red zone offense efficiency was last in the NFL this past season and the team’s nine touchdown passes was also the lowest figure for any team in the NFL.
Running backs coach Sherman Smith, who is also an assistant head coach, was sorry to see Chow leave.
“It was a great pleasure to work with Norm to see why he was successful in college ranks,” Smith said. “He was definitely very innovative. The thing I loved about him was that he relied on his assistant coaches' input. He respected your opinion, and I think he was a great guy to work for.”
Among the candidates potentially on the Titans radar are quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson, with whom Young has a strong relationship, as well as offensive line coach Mike Munchak.
Another potential candidate is former Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, who is back in Denver as an assistant after leaving Tennessee to become the New York Jets offensive coordinator.
Whoever the next offensive coordinator is, it will be his charge to help mold Young into a standout quarterback.
“We need to bring someone in that can help our quarterback develop. Who can help Vince Young become all that we want him to become and all he wants him to become,” Smith said.