Mike Munchak was asked twice about Mike Heimerdinger during his introductory press conference Monday. Both times, the new Tennessee Titans coach passed on the opportunity to say he planned to retain the team’s offensive coordinator.
A day later, Munchak’s actions spoke volumes.
Heimerdinger was fired along with quality control assistants Rayna Stewart (defense) and Richie Wessman (offense).
“I met with Mike, Rayna and Richie today and informed them that they would not be retained as a part of the new staff,” Munchak said. “These are not easy decisions, but I have a responsibility to move things in the direction that I have laid out for this team. We will continue to evaluate the rest of the staff moving forward.”
Heimerdinger has been the team’s offensive coordinator twice, including for the last three seasons. He also had the job from 2000-04. He was diagnosed with cancer in December but remained on the job and had no plans to limit his workload in the future.
“As it relates to [Heimerdinger], I have a great deal of respect for him as a person and admiration for the way he is fighting against cancer,” Munchak said. “He is an innovative offensive mind and we have worked well through the years. But I believe we need to go in a different direction at offensive coordinator.
“This wasn’t about his health — he is feeling good. It is a change of direction for us. This is not something that I take lightly, and I wish him and his family the best.”