At least Mike Munchak hasn't lost his sense of humor in the Tennesssee Titans' 0-2 start.
Chris Johnson has only 21 yards rushing, but he will remain the Titans' starting running back
After nixing suggestions of making changes at quarterback with Jake Locker, on the offensive line and at safety, Munchak was asked Monday if Chris Johnson's playing time was in danger because of two unproductive games to start the season.
“You guys are trying to bench everybody after two games. Do you have any coaching questions? Next week, that'll be the questions. Do you have any changes at the coaching positions?” Munchak said.
After an 0-2 start, everything gets questioned and Johnson's 21 yards total in two games certainly is in the spotlight. But Munchak wants to try and be as patient as possible.
“To me, I don't look at it any differently than anything. We have to get a spark. At some point, we have to get something going,” Munchak said. “We have to start making plays. He's a guy that we expect to do that. It's just been more of a passing game than a running game after two games. He just had eight carries. We have a lot of work ahead. It's not all CJ, so we're not gonna bench a running back over where we're at right now on offense. I would have to bench a lot of people if I was going to bench everybody by how we're playing.”
The thought of benching Locker in favor of veteran Matt Hasselbeck hasn't crossed Munchak's mind either, despite Locker's up-and-down play in his first two starts. Locker's first pass was intercepted and led to a Chargers touchdown.
“That was not a good decision to throw it way, but their quarterback made a lot of bad decisions too. But we just didn't capitalize on it like they did to us. That was a bad play by him. After that, there was presssure and he had to get out of the pocket quite a few times,” Munchak said of Locker. “He made some good throws under pressure. We just didn't make enough plays to stay on the field.
“Really, that's been our problem the last two games on offense and really throughout training camp. We've had problems sustaining drives throughout training camp and preseason games. Would it be different if Matt were in there? I can't answer that question. Everyone could assume it would be different, but I just don't know to what extent it would be different.”
So far there will be no changes on the struggling offensive line, where some are wondering if recently signed guard Deuce Lutui will eventually fit as a starter of the problems continue.
The status quo will also remain at safety where Jordan Babineaux's role has been reduced in favor of Robert Johnson after Babineaux started most of last season.
A benching would only occur after careful consideration, so Munchak is not in panic mode.
“I wouldn't do it to set an example to the team. I'd only do it if it was necessary, if someone deserved not to be starting and there was someone that could start better that was not playing that felt could help us better, then I think it makes sense. We're playing out best players. Are they playign their best right now? Obviously not. We're 0-2,” he said. “We have to play better. It doesn't matter who is playing.”