Munchak has to break up sideline shouting match
What's a come-from-behind victory without a little drama?
Before the Titans scored the winning touchdown with under five minutes to play to defeat Denver, 17-14, Tennessee defensive linemen Derrick Morgan and Shaun Smith got into an argument on the sideline that had to be broken up by head coach Mike Munchak.
The altercation apparently stemmed from Morgan calling out Smith for a facemask penalty that kept a Broncos drive alive. After the game, both Munchak and Morgan downplayed the incident, but Smith was still upset over apparently being benched in the aftermath. Morgan stayed in the game and was credited with a fourth-down tackle that stopped a Denver drive at the 1-yard line.
“Nothing really. It's football. Emotions are high. Sometimes things happen like that,” Morgan told TitanInsider.com. “But it's not a big deal. Everybody was saying to guys to be smart. The same thing goes for me. I lined up offsides. We were just trying to be smart because we were in critical situations.”
Smith, known for his trash talking on the practice field and in the media, had little to say.
Asked if the altercation stemmed from the heat of the moment from the game, Smith said, “I guess, I don't know. I don't got no comment, man.”
On being benched, Smith said, “Take that up with the head coach. I don't know.”
Munchak said he was not fully aware that Smith had been benched (such a decision could have been made by defensive coordinator Jerry Gray or by d-line coach Tracy Rocker).
"To be honest, I wasn't even aware that he didn't go back in,” Munchak said. “Sometimes, it just depends on what they're doing out there, if they're throwing the ball, which they were. But I think we just need to move forward.”
Smith has had issues before where his style has gotten him in trouble. Last year with Kansas City, he was accused of punching a player in the mid-section in a game. Also, a weight room incident in 2009 with Brady Quinn helped hasten his departure from the Cleveland Browns.
Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com