Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

The Tennessee Titans announced the hiring of former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan as their new head coach on Wednesday. Callahan replaces Mike Vrabel, who was fired earlier this month after two straight losing seasons. At 39 years old, Callahan becomes the sixth-youngest head coach in the NFL. 

Callahan, who is the son of former Oakland Raiders head coach and current Cleveland Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan, spent the past five seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Bengals. Previously, he served as the quarterbacks coach for the Raiders and Detroit Lions, and got his start in the league as a coaching assistant with the Denver Broncos. He was an offensive assistant in Denver when the Broncos won Super Bowl 50.

“Brian has a track record of success and a range of experience that has prepared him for this opportunity,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. “His football knowledge and his enthusiasm for the game really stand out, and beyond that, we think his ability to lead will make him the ideal fit for our franchise.”

Callahan has worked with some of the best quarterbacks in the league, including Peyton Manning, Joe Burrow, Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr, and the Titans have a young quarterback in need of developing in Will Levis. Callahan had to work through some offensive adversity this year when Burrow went down with a season-ending wrist injury in November. Backup quarterback Jake Browning, who previously had never started a game in the NFL, stepped in and went 4-3 as the new starter, winning three games in a row — two of those victories coming in overtime. Browning finished the 2023 campaign ranked first in completion percentage (70.4%) and tied for fourth in yards per attempt (8.0). 

Developing Levis is an important goal, but so is resetting the offense at large. Tennessee has had one of the worst offenses over the last three years, finishing No. 17 in total yards in 2021, No. 30 in 2022 and No. 28 this past season. The Titans averaged 17.9 points per game in 2023. Only the New York Jets, New York Giants, New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers averaged fewer points. 

Strunk said at the beginning of this coaching search that the staff her next head coach brings in is “very important.” Now, with the hiring of a first-year head coach, that staff becomes even more important. 

In addition to announcing their new head coach, the Titans also finalized their new power structure, promoting Ran Carthon to Executive Vice President/General Manager and Chad Brinker to President of Football Operations. Carthon is now the man in charge, as he has been given control of the roster, team activities, personnel, and draft and free agency decisions. 

“Over the past year, Ran has impressed me and our staff with his innovative approach to roster building,” said Strunk. “Ran’s exceptional reputation around the league as a talent evaluator and culture builder was a clear competitive advantage during last year’s free agency and draft process, as well as our recent search for a head coach. Simply put, Ran Carthon makes the Tennessee Titans a destination for the league’s top talent. By expanding his role to include full roster control and oversight of the coaching staff, our organization will now benefit more completely from Ran’s unique ability to build and lead a championship-caliber football team.”

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