Coach of the Year: Matt LaFleur (4 votes)
For the first time in a long time, Titans fans have a reason to be truly excited about a coaching staff. Although Mike Mularkey turned the team around with two 9-7 seasons and a playoff win, GM Jon Robinson and owner Amy Adams-Strunk decided to move on and hire new HC Mike Vrabel. Vrabel, the former Patriots LB and Texans DC, has quickly assembled a fantastic new staff.
Although Vrabel earned a vote from Dobbins, believing that his intensity will transfer “into his players and onto the field”, most of the panel went with new OC Matt LaFleur who is charged with, as Lombardi puts it, bringing the offense “out of the dark ages”.
Talented young offensive players like Marcus Mariota, Corey Davis, and Derrick Henry struggled to reach their full potential under the last coaching staff. As Sanders notes, when looking at the other offenses in Atlanta and Los Angeles that LaFleur helped to coach, it’s easy to see how LaFleur has helped his quarterbacks and offenses play at an extremely high level. The play action concepts and bootlegs that he loved to run in Los Angeles will play to Mariota’s strengths – something the last staff never managed to achieve.
LaFleur may have won over the majority of our panel, but DB Coach Kerry Coombs, Wodner’s selection, also deserves a mention. Coombs has endeared himself to Titans fans everywhere through contagious energy and passion. Wodner expects Coombs to be more than just a loud voice as he coaches a potentially elite secondary group that has transformed from a weakness into a strength.
Others Receiving Votes: Mike Vrabel (1), Kerry Coombs (1)