Tommy Smith finally met with the Nashville media just about an hour before kickoff and said his goal is to fulfill the goal of his late father-in-law Bud Adams by turning the franchise into a winner.
Smith, who assumed command of the franchise following Adams' death in October, said the Titans are not in the business of losing and that that will be his goal will be to turn things around.
Of course, a part of that will be the evaluation of whether or not to retain Coach Mike Munchak and his staff for the final year of Munchak's contract in 2014.
"I'm disappointed because I like winning. I don't like losing. We're not in the losing business; we're in the winning business," Smith said. "It's nice to be competitive, and say you got close, but it's like kissing your sister, we're not into that. I'm happy with the talent we brought in. … but we've got a lot of work to do."
Sunday's overtime loss to Arizona was typical of how the Titans have come close but have little to show for $100 million worth of spending in free agency last off-season. The question is how much of that will Munchak be culpable for, with starting quarterback Jake Locker out for the season following foot surgery.
"At the end of the season, we'll sit down. … l look forward to sitting down and discussing in depth his view of his job performance and his coaches and players and see where we have common agreement on those things and just having a very good discussion. And based on that, we'll go forward after we have our period to be deliberate and thoughtful," Smith said. "I think we have a really good nucleus to build on. If we can be active in the off-season as we were last year and fill some of these holes … I think we're on the edge of being competitive, but we're not quite there. We have room for improvement, no question. I think we have a very good nucleus here."
Smith and general manager Ruston Webster, whom he says has been doing a good job, will go through the player and coach evaluation process to decide the fate of Munchak in the first week after the Titans' season ends in two weeks.
"We're gonna evaluate each and every player, each and every coach. It's an on-going process, and at the end of this season, we'll sit down, Ruston and I, and at that time, we'll make value some judgments about those," Smith said. "We'll sit down the first week in January and start going through this process and be as timely as possible about it."
Smith indicated that he won't micromanage the team, but will spend some time in Nashville and be involved in major decisions.
"I'm not a Jerry Jones for sure. I believe we hire intelligent people, give them their job description and let them execute. I'm not into micromanaging, but I will be involved in important decisions, and the day-to-day, I will leave to the football people," Smith said. "I've been around this for 39 years, and I've been in almost every aspect of the business. I have a good feel for everything, not just the football, but the business side as well. I'm very acquainted with the operational issues as well."
One other thing that could factor in, of course, is things like actual turnstile attendance. While Sunday's game was technically a sellout, LP Field was barely half full on a cold December day.
"I understand how the fans feel. I feel the same way. They spend their hard-earned money on this," Smith said. "They'e got an emotional tie to this, just like the rest of us do. We're gonna fix this for them. We're very in-tune. Don has conducted five or six focus groups for us, and I'm not really surprised by what I'm hearing and what I'm seeing. We know we have our job cut out for us on many, many fronts, and we know we need to deliver."