Dinger out; could Ray Sherman be in?

Photo by Andrew Strickert for Total Titans
Will Ray Sherman replace Mike Heimerdinger?

It’s not a complete surprise that Mike Munchak has decided to release Mike Heimerdinger from his duties as offensive coordinator.  I liked Dinger and hoped he would be retained, but it’s Munch’s prerogative to form his own staff.  All the best to Dinger and best wishes for his health and continued recovery.

The obvious question is who will Munch bring in to replace Dinger?  I’m sure having a previous relationship with Munch will not be a prerequisite, but many coaches, especially new ones, like to hire guys they are familiar with and know they can work with.  Looking back at guys he has coached with, I reviewed a few names.  Norm Chow is a definite no.  Sherman Smith is a probable no.  Craig Johnson would be a possibility, but he just accepted a job with the Vikings.

Then there’s Ray Sherman, the former Titans’ wide receivers coach.

Sherman has a good resume but there’s a knock against him too.  He’s never been one to set roots and settle down in one place.  The longest he’s been with one team has been five years.  That’s not unusual in the coaching world but Sherman has more than the usual amount of one-year and two-year stints.  Would that be a stumbling block?  Possibly, but I think not.  He’s been more stable lately, being with only three teams in the last eleven years.

Sherman and Munchak have been together twice before.  Their first association was in 1988-89, when Sherman coached running backs and receivers for the Oilers, while Munch was still a player.  Their second time together was a closer relationship, from 2005-06, when Sherman rejoined the franchise to coach the wide receivers.

Sherman has coached for 14 years in college and 22 years in the NFL.  In the course of his pro career, Sherman has been offensive coordinator for three teams and also held a similar position, Assistant Head Coach/Offense, with the Falcons.  As a position coach, Sherman has coached every position group on offense except for the o-line.

Sherman has coached stars Jerry Rice, Warren Moon and Terrell Owens.  I don’t think you can give Sherman a lot of credit for what those guys did, but I do think it’s important that he’s developed some young players into stars, such as Javon Walker, Donald Driver and Miles Austin.

College coaching career:
1974 San Jose St., Grad Assistant
1975 California, Defensive Backs
1976 -77 Michigan St., Tight Ends
1978-80 Wake Forest, Running Backs
1981 California, RBs/Slot Backs
1982-85 Purdue, Running Backs
1986-87 Georgia, Wide Receivers

Pro career:
1988 Oilers, Running Backs
1989 Oilers, Wide Receivers
1990 Falcons, Assistant Head Coach/Offense
1991 49ers, Running Backs
1992-93 49ers, Wide Receivers
1994 Jets, Offensive Coordinator
1995-97 Vikings, Quarterbacks
1998 Steelers, Offensive Coordinator
1999 Vikings, Offensive Coordinator
2000-04 Packers, Wide Receivers
2005-06 Titans, Wide Receivers
2007-10 Cowboys, Wide Receivers

It really seems to me that Sherman would be a better WR coach than an offensive coordinator, but of the former Titans assistants, he seems to be the most qualified of the bunch to be an OC.

Is that the direction Munch decides to go?  If you can think of someone else with a previous relationship with Munchak who might be considered, please comment.  Likewise, please leave your thoughts on possible candidates who don’t have a history with Munch.

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