Future cloudy for Titans assistants?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- While Jeff Fisher's contract with the Tennessee Titans runs through 2011, only one of his assistant coaches is under contract beyond this year, a team source said.
Which means if there is an offseason showdown in which owner Bud Adams has to choose between the man who's coached his team since Nov. 14, 1994 or Vince Young, the quarterback the franchise drafted third overall in 2006, Fisher's staff also will be in play.
"We are in the process of extending contracts for the entire staff," Fisher said after practice Friday. "I don't comment on negotiations other than to say we're in the process."
Fisher asked Young to leave the team's facility Monday, the day after he reportedly had a heated discussion with Fisher and stormed out of the stadium following a loss to the Washington Redskins. Young needs season-ending surgery to repair a flexor tendon in his right thumb, which he injured in the third quarter
According to The Tennessean earlier this week, Adams said he wants his quarterback and coach to "get this thing settled." It's unclear whether their relationship is irreconcilable.
Fisher's assistants, regarded around the league as a top group of teachers, include Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Munchak, who coaches the offensive line, and fiery defensive line coach Jim Washburn, whose pass rushers lead a defense that's tied for second in the league with 30 sacks in 10 games.
Those two and others on Fisher's staff, such as offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and linebackers coach Dave McGinnis, would be attractive candidates for other teams if Fisher's status with the Titans changed.
While there will be a meeting with Young in the future, Fisher has turned his team's focus forward. With Young on injured reserve, he's not in the picture at present.
Tennessee plays Sunday at Reliant Stadium, where rookie sixth-rounder Rusty Smith will make the first start of his career against the Houston Texans. The team re-signed Chris Simms, who's likely to be the backup while Kerry Collins continues to recover from a calf injury.
Paul Kuharsky covers the AFC South for ESPN.com.
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