Tennessee Titans: Coaching Staff Search Tracker

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Assistant coach, Mike Vrabel of the Houston Texans during a preseason game on September 3, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: Assistant coach, Mike Vrabel of the Houston Texans during a preseason game on September 3, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Tennessee Titans are in the process of assembling a coaching staff under new HC Mike Vrabel. Here are all the rumors and info about who may be joining Vrabel in Nashville.

While the Tennessee Titans were looking for a new head coach following Mike Mularkey’s departure, we brought you the head coaching search tracker. It didn’t last long, as Mike Vrabel was hired just two days after his interview.

The rumored candidates never even surfaced in genuine reports, and the other candidates who completed interviews didn’t even seem like all that serious possibilities. Vrabel appeared to be GM Jon Robinson’ guy the whole way through, and that’s perfectly fine.

During Vrabel’s introductory press conference yesterday afternoon, he hit on a lot of important points and inspired confidence. When asked about the coaches that will join him, he promised that he won’t “put a timetable on hiring staff” and that he “wants to get the right guys”.

Hired Coaches

Kerry Coombs, Defensive Backs Coach/Assistant Coordinator/Special Teams Coordinator, Ohio State

A man of many talents, Coombs has been coaching for over 30 years across high school and college. Coombs is a fiery competitor, has been lauded for his recruiting ability and has coached up four first-round cornerbacks over the last four years. We’ll see what Coombs’ role will be on the Titans, but it is set that he will leave the Buckeyes for Nashville.

Confirmed Interviews

Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans /

Tennessee Titans

Brian Callahan, Quarterbacks Coach, Detroit Lions

According to Paul Kuharsky, Vrabel “likes” Callahan and was seemingly the second choice after Day, who we now know won’t join the Titans. Callahan was surprisingly let go by the Lions, and many teams are clamoring for him to join their staff. Callahan did well to get two very efficient seasons out of turnover-prone Matthew Stafford as his QB coach the past two seasons. He would play a key role in Marcus Mariota’s development, whether as an OC or QB coach.

Update: Callahan interviewed with the Titans on Wednesday, January 24 and it reportedly “went well”

Rumored Candidates

Darren Perry, Safeties Coach, Green Bay Packers

A well-respected man with a good track record with defensive backs, Perry would bring experience and expertise. Perry has never called plays before, so this hire would be a bit of an “out on a limb” hire. But many believe it’s been long overdue for Perry, and that he should’ve been given a chance as a DC for quite some time.

John DeFilippo, Quarterbacks Coach, Philadelphia Eagles

One of the hottest names on the coaching market, DeFilippo has shot up his value due to his work with developing Carson Wentz, who turned into a legit MVP candidate in 2017. A detailed, passionate coach with an outstanding understanding of offense and matchups, Coach Flip would be a 500-foot home run hire for Vrabel. DeFilippo interviewed for the Cardinals’ head coaching gig, but Steve Wilks beat him out. Wilks was rumored to want DeFilippo as his OC, but Wilks reportedly wants to hire his coordinators before the Super Bowl, which all but rules out DeFilippo.

Candidates That Declined

James Bettcher, Defensive Coordinator, Arizona Cardinals

Bettcher reportedly met with Vrabel and Robinson during a lunch meeting with league coaches and front office people. The Cardinals’ DC since 2015, Bettcher will leave his post after the arrival of defensive-minded HC hire Steve Wilks. Bettcher was former Cards’ HC Bruce Arians’ pick to succeed him in Arizona. Bettcher’s defenses in Arizona consistently created pressure despite pass rushers coming and going, and his units ranked top four in the league in DVOA in each season he led the defense. His defenses ranked fifth, second and sixth in total defense. He’d be arguably a step-up from Dick LeBeau.

Update: Bettcher has chosen the New York Giants over the Titans

Ryan Day, Offensive Coordinator, Ohio State

Day was immediately linked to Vrabel once he assumed the role of head coach, and Vrabel reached out to him to possibly become the Titans’ new OC. Day was coached as a player by Chip Kelly at New Hampshire and then spent several years as part of his coaching staff as a quarterbacks coach, before joining Ohio State as a co-offensive coordinator and QB coach. Day would be an intriguing hire due to his spread scheme concepts.

Update: Day was promoted to full-time OC with the Buckeyes and will not head to Nashville