New Titans head coach Mike Munchak informed Mike Heimerdinger on Tuesday he will not be retained as the team’s offensive coordinator.
Heimerdinger just finished this third season as offensive coordinator with the Titans, his second stint with the team. In 2010, the Titans offense ranked 27th in the NFL.
“He decided to let me go,” Heimerdinger said. “I am disappointed but Mike is going to do what’s best for the Titans and I appreciate my time here. Hopefully I can move on and get a job down the road sometime.’’
Heimerdinger just interviewed for the head coaching job with the Titans last week, but the job ended up going to Munchak, who was hired on Monday.
Munchak told Heimerdinger, who had earlier signed a one-year extension with the club under Coach Jeff Fisher, he wanted to go in a different direction. Heimerdinger also served as offensive coordinator with the Titans from 2000-04. Fisher and the Titans parted ways last month.
“I have no idea which direction he’s going in,’’ Heimerdinger said. “You never know when there is a change. Mike is going to do what is best for the Titans and if that is what he thinks is best for the Titans, that’s the way he’s going to go. It’s his show. But I appreciate my time here. I know it is part of the business’’
Heimerdinger was diagnosed with cancer in November, but continued to coach despite going through chemotherapy treatments. He said his health was not a factor.
“This had nothing to do with my health,’’ Heimerdinger said. “My doctor said I’ll be fine in the fall and that I could coach. So this has nothing to do with my health. It is simply that Mike wanted to go a different way, and put his stamp on it. So that’s what he did.’’
Munchak could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
He was asked about Heimerdinger’s fate on Monday at his introductory press conference.
“To me, anything is open,’’ Munchak said. “I’m not going to talk as far as … To me, I feel like we’re starting fresh. It’s not the same-old, same-old. I think we can come in, sit down and figure out what’s best for the Titans going forward with what we have here obviously and then just go from there. So I’m not going to say … Anything is possible.’’
In addition to Heimerdinger, the Titans on Tuesday also fired defensive assistant Rayna Stewart and offensive Assistant Richie Wessman.
Munchak made a statement on the moves:
‘I met with Mike, Rayna and Richie today and informed them that they would not be retained as a part of the new staff. 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.
‘As it relates to Mike, I have a great deal of respect for him as a person and admiration for the way he is fighting against cancer. 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.”
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