Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — New Titans president and CEO Tommy Smith may have been a bit nervous as he formally met with the press for the first time. But the son-in-law of late owner Bud Adams fired off a few laugh lines and delivered a straightforward message.
While he’s seen progress, the team will be measured by wins — by himself and by the fans.
“It all gets down to winning,” he said.
His review of coach Mike Munchak and the staff will commence as soon as the season ends, and he aims to make a timely decision on the coach, who’s been connected to the franchise since 1982.
Asked if there is potential to sell the franchise, Smith gave his shortest answer: “No.”
Smith expects the ownership group to be granted final approval by the league meeting in March.
“I’m getting to go through background check,” he said. “So if I’m not here, you’ll know what happened.”
Munchak is under contract through 2014. If he stays on, Smith conceded having a lame-duck coach would be an issue that could hurt the team in terms of attracting the sort of players and assistants who may be necessary to make a jump.
General manager Ruston Webster is clearly safe. Smith said he gets along well with Webster and is “very pleased” with the GM.
While he plans to be accessible and spend a fair amount of time in Nashville, Smith said he will be in the background. It’s his intention to hire smart people, give them a job description, and let them work, he said.
- Covered AFC South for five years for ESPN.com
- Covered Oilers/Titans for The Tennessean
- New Jersey native and Columbia graduate lives in Nashville with his wife and son