Tennessee Titans: Potential Offensive Coordinators Based on Early Rumors
By Max Dambach
After the hire of Mike Vrabel to be the Tennessee Titans’ new head coach, most Titans fans are wondering one thing: Who will he tab as his offensive coordinator?
Only a few days after parting ways with head coach Mike Mularkey, Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson came to a decision as to who the team’s next head coach will be. Evidently, Robinson was very impressed by Mike Vrabel’s interview and felt he didn’t even need to interview other popular candidates like Josh McDaniels, John DeFilippo, and Jim Schwartz, all of whom are engaged in preparation for the next round of the playoffs. Vrabel, widely considered a coach on the rise, had garnered considerable interest on the coaching circuit this offseason and his signing has been almost universally lauded by those those who have played with or under him previously.
Vrabel brings youth at the head coaching spot that has been lacking for years and years. The Titans desperately needed to modernize their schemes and Vrabel is a good start, but Titans fans are on the edge of their seats waiting to see who he will hire as an offensive coordinator. The offense, and especially quarterback Marcus Mariota, suffered in an inflexible, ill-fitting scheme that must be fixed during Vrabel’s tenure. That starts with hiring a new, creative offensive coordinator that can build around the young talent in Tennessee and maximize their potential. Over the next few days, we should hear more about Vrabel’s coaching staff, but here are a few names that have been connected to Vrabel over the last 24 hours as an offensive coordinator.
John DeFilippo, Eagles QB Coach
DeFilippo, like Vrabel, has been connected to several head coach openings and offensive coordinator spots this offseason, but with almost all of the head coach openings filled, an offensive coordinator spot seems more likely for DeFilippo at this point in his career.
This season, DeFilippo worked wonders with second-year quarterback Carson Wentz and transformed him into an MVP candidate. DeFilippo has bounced around the league from Oakland to the Jets to Cleveland to Philadelphia, along with stints at Columbia University and San Jose State University. He also has plenty of experience calling plays. If the Titans manage to bring a popular head coaching candidate in as their OC, it could be one of the best hires of the offseason. DeFilippo has proven capable of developing NFL caliber talent with Wentz, which would bode well for Mariota and the Titans offense if he is hired.
Sean Ryan, Houston Texans QB Coach
Sean Ryan has been connected as one of the coaches who could follow Vrabel from Houston to Tennessee. Ryan most recently found success in developing Deshaun Watson as he took the league by storm prior to his injury. Watson possesses many similar characteristics to Mariota and Ryan can use a lot of the same techniques to develop and build around Mariota as he did to build around Watson in Houston.
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Prior to his time spent with the Texans, Ryan spent almost a decade with the New York Giants as both a Wide Receivers and Quarterbacks Coach. Ryan should be credited with the development of Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, Victor Cruz, and Odell Beckham Jr, as well as a few of Eli Manning’s best seasons. If Ryan is hired as the team’s offensive coordinator, the Titans would get an OC that already has a rapport with their HC from their time in Houston. Furthermore, Ryan has experience and success working with both quarterbacks and wide receivers, both of which need to be improved under a new OC.
Ryan Day, Ohio State Co-Offensive Coordinator and QB Coach
Ryan Day has been the subject of the most substantiated rumors over the past 24 hours, as Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway reported that Day is considering joining the staff as an OC. Day previously served as an offensive coordinator for Temple and Boston College, but was quickly brought up to the NFL by his former coach Chip Kelly as a quarterbacks coach in both Philadelphia and San Francisco. Coming from the Kelly Coaching tree, Day can implement many of the spread and read option concepts to the offense that had been sorely lacking under Terry Robiskie. Though Mariota played primarily under Mark Helfrich at Oregon, the Ducks still used an up-tempo, spread offense created by Kelly that has since been imparted on Day.
After returning to college football as a co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes, Day was credited with the revitalization of quarterback J.T. Barrett last season, as he developed into a far better passer than in previous years and carried Ohio State to a 12-2 season and Cotton Bowl victory. With a proven track record developing quarterbacks and his experience with a scheme that complements Mariota’s skillset, Day could be a fantastic fit for the Titans at offensive coordinator.