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Titans interview offensive coordinator Heimerdinger for top job

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The Tennessee Titans have stayed in-house in their search for a new head coach, with offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger the second candidate to interview for the job.

The Titans confirmed Tuesday that they had completed a formal interview with Heimerdinger. The team interviewed offensive line coach Mike Munchak for the job Monday, and many consider him to be the front-runner to replace Jeff Fisher, who parted ways with the team last week.

Mike Heimerdinger became the second candidate to interview for the Tennessee Titans' head-coaching job.
Mike Heimerdinger became the second candidate to interview for the Tennessee Titans' head-coaching job. (David J. Phillip/Associated Press)

"They gave me a chance to get in front of them," Heimerdinger told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "So that to me ... that's all I can ask for."

Heimerdinger, 58, has been in the news this season after he was diagnosed with cancer the day before Thanksgiving. But he didn't miss a game as he privately went through chemotherapy. He wasn't asked about his status during Tuesday's interview and said he's doing fine.

"All my blood tests are good, and every book marker and all, everything's doing good right now," Heimerdinger said. "So I've got a couple more rounds to go, but right now I'm doing good."

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora cited a league source in reporting Monday that the Titans will speak with former Dallas Cowboys receivers coach Ray Sherman later in the week, most likely Thursday. Sherman, who coached the Titans' receivers in 2005 and 2006, is an African-American, meaning his interview would put Tennessee in compliance with the "Rooney Rule," which requires NFL teams to speak with minority candidates about top jobs.

NFL Network analyst Jim Mora, who coached the Atlanta Falcons (2004-06) and Seattle Seahawks (2009), told the Tennessean that he'd also be interested in the Titans' job, but he hasn't heard from the team.

"(Titans) general manager Mike Reinfeldt and (vice president of player personnel) Ruston Webster are two guys that I know from the past, and I know they are good football men," said Mora, who pulled out of the running for the Philadelphia Eagles and Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator jobs this offseason. "Any time you get a chance to be a head coach in the National Football League, I think you would have to consider it."

The latest interview went to Heimerdinger, who helped produce top offenses both on the ground with Eddie George to Chris Johnson and through the air with the late Steve McNair to Jay Cutler.

"I hope it went good," Heimerdinger told the Tennessean of his interview. "It sounds like it went good. I'm sure those guys will make a good decision for the Titans."

In Heimerdinger's first stint as the Titans' coordinator, between 2000 and 2004, the team reached the playoff in three of five seasons. McNair earned NFL co-MVP honors in 2003 after Tennessee scored 435 points, the second-highest total in franchise history.

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Heimerdinger left the Titans in 2005 to become the New York Jets' offensive coordinator. He was with the Denver Broncos in 2006 and 2007 as assistant head coach working with the offense when Cutler took over as the starting quarterback. The Broncos ranked 11th in total offense in 2007, Cutler's first full year as a starter, with the quarterback ranked fifth in the AFC in passer rating.

Heimerdinger rejoined the Titans in 2008 as offensive coordinator, and the Titans set a franchise-low with 12 sacks allowed and had four players selected to the Pro Bowl.

In 2009, Johnson became the sixth player in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards. He also set the NFL record for yards from scrimmage in a season with 2,509 while earning the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year award. The Titans racked up the second-most rushing yards in franchise history and ranked second in fewest sacks allowed.

Heimerdinger started coaching in the NFL in 1995 at Denver, where he worked with wide receivers Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey. Before that, Heimerdinger spent 15 years in the college coaching ranks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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