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Tennessee Titans Trying To Replicate Mid-2000s Buffalo Bills

New Titans coach Mike Munchak.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
New Titans coach Mike Munchak. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
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When Mike Munchak was introduced as the new head coach of the Tennessee Titans, many Buffalo Bills fans probably met the news with a collective shrug. Munchak has never played or worked for an organization other than the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans, and would appear to have no ties to Buffalo. When Munchak started hiring assistants, he stayed in the Titans tree, hiring former linemate Bruce Matthews to succeed him as offensive line coach, and reportedly showing interest in former teammate Frank Bush.

He also spoke with former Oilers DB and Titans DBs coach Jerry Gray, who left that organization with Gregg Williams in 2001 when Williams took over as Buffalo's head coach. Gray was Buffalo's defensive coordinator from 2001 through 2005, surviving Williams' firing to run the defense for Mike Mularkey. Gray was reportedly offered the coordinator post in Tennessee, and is still deciding if he wants to leave his alma mater, the University of Texas, where he just agreed to be defensive backs coach.

Now following the Super Bowl, Munchak has set his sights on another mid-decade Bills coordinator. The Titans have requested permission to speak with Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, who was offensive coordinator under Mularkey from 2004-2005. Green Bay turned down an opportunity for Clements to become Chicago's offensive coordinator a year ago, but the fact that this isn't within his own division might make it more of a possibility.

To have both the offensive and defensive coordinators from the 2004 and 2005 Bills on the same coaching staff in the same role would be a little odd, considering how the Bills finished. In 2004, the team finished with its only winning record in a decade, but fell short of a playoff appearance by a single win in the final week of the season. In 2005, the team finished 5-11, which led to Tom Donahoe's firing and Mike Mularkey resigning. Both coordinators were out of a job. Clements has been with the Packers ever since, while Gray latched on with Williams in Washington before spending a year in Seattle.

Clements' offenses averaged 325.5 yards in his two years, a number they've topped only once in the intervening half-decade. His Bills offenses were in the bottom third of the league both season in yards, passing yards, and first downs.

The defense led by Gray was second in yards allowed in 2004 before plummeting to 29th the following year. That Bills team finished in the bottom five in several key defensive categories, including rushing defense, overall defense, first downs allowed, and yards allowed per play.

The Titans also interviewed former Bills head coaches Mike Mularkey, Gregg Williams, and Perry Fewell about the head coaching vacancy.

To discuss the former Bills coaches you can head on over to Music City Miracles - if you can get past the name. I never have.