New CEO: Not selling Titans, review after season
The man now in charge of the Tennessee Titans knows fans aren’t
happy with a franchise likely missing the playoffs for a fifth
straight season. The team’s new president and chief executive
officer plans to wait until the season ends for a thorough review
of what changes are needed to win.
”I’m disappointed because I like winning,” Tommy Smith said
Sunday. ”I don’t like losing. We’re not in the losing business.
We’re in the winning business. It’s nice to be competitive and say
you got close. But like everyone says it’s like kissing your
sister. We’re not into that. I’m happy with the talent we brought
in, so from a dollar standpoint I think we got value worth there,
but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Smith was named president and CEO on Oct. 29 following the death
of the franchise’s founder and his father-in-law Bud Adams on Oct.
21. Smith tried to meet with reporters Nov. 10 in a session
scratched because traffic delayed his arrival at the stadium, and
he finally held a news conference Sunday before the Titans played
the Arizona Cardinals.
Going into Sunday, the Titans (5-8) have lost seven of nine
games putting coach Mike Munchak’s future in question with the
number of empty seats growing each home game. Smith said he is very
aware of fans’ feelings about the franchise because Don MacLachlan,
executive vice president of administration and facilities, has been
working with a handful of focus groups, and the new president said
he has read every report.
Adams approved spending more than $100 million this offseason
trying to rebuild a team that went 6-10 in 2012 and hasn’t reached
the postseason since 2008. That resulted in 20 new players on the
roster at the start of the regular season.
The Titans conclude the season Dec. 29 against Houston.
Smith said he will meet the first week of January with both
general manager Ruston Webster and Munchak, who has been with the
franchise 30 years first as a player, assistant coach and now in
his third season as head coach. Smith wants to review every coach
and player in a ”deliberate and thoughtful” process that moves as
timely as possible.
”I think we have a really good nucleus to build on,” Smith
said. ”And if we can be active in the offseason as we were last
year and shore up some of these holes I think we’re on the edge of
being very competitive, but we’re not quite there yet. We have room
for improvement, no question, I think we have a very good nucleus
Smith has been involved with this franchise for 39 years through
his role as executive vice president and chief operating officer of
KSA Industries, the family’s holding company. Smith said he is very
familiar with all aspects of the Titans’ operations and plans to be
in Nashville often in the future. He said he will be available, but
isn’t the type of person to be out in front of cameras. Adams’
grandson, Kenneth, will be taking a bigger role in the community in
The family has met with the NFL’s finance committee and hopes
the league approves their takeover in ownership at the March
owners’ meetings. Smith said there is no scenario where the family
would sell the franchise.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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