NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans fired special teams coordinator Bobby April on Monday, a day after they allowed a 67-yard punt return for the winning touchdown in a 27-20 loss to the Houston Texans.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey announced the firing a day after special teams were responsible for giving up 10 points to Houston. Special teams assistant Steve Hoffman will take over April’s duties.
Hoffman has been on the Titans’ coaching staff since 2013 and has 26 years of special teams experience with a number of NFL teams.
The Titans and Texans were tied 20-all Sunday before Houston’s Will Fuller scored on a punt return in the final minute of the third quarter. Earlier in the game, the Texans got a field goal on a drive that was kept alive when Tennessee was called for 12 men on the field while Houston was in punt formation.
Titans punter Brett Kern took the blame for a bad punt with little hang time leading to the touchdown.
“They had a wall set up to go to the other side of the field,” Kern said. “They just outflanked us, and they were able to get on their blocks a little quicker when there’s not hang time. I’ll take 100 percent of the blame.”
Tennessee also got lucky with officials ordering a redo on fourth down after the Texans apparently blocked a punt.
Mularkey hired April after being given the head coaching job in January. This was April’s 25th season in the NFL after also working for the Jets, Oakland, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Rams, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Atlanta. The Titans currently rank 11th in kick return average but next to last in the NFL in defending kickoffs and 27th on punt return coverage.