The Tennessee Titans have hired Jim Haslett to fill the void at inside linebackers coach, however no defensive coordinator has been named despite the team saying it “finalized” the coaching staff.
On the heels of naming Anthony Midget as defensive backs coach, Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has made another move on his coaching staff — or four, but none of them involve naming a defensive coordinator.
Per Jim Wyatt of Titans Online, the Titans have officially finalized their coaching staff, naming Jim Haslett as the new inside linebackers coach.
The team also changed titles for three other coaching staff members, including Ryan Crow (assistant special teams), Matt Edwards (defensive assistant), and Scott Booker (safeties).
The move at ILBs coach couldn’t be more fitting. Haslett coached Mike Vrabel as the defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1997 to 1999. His most recent stint as an inside linebackers coach was with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2016 to 2018.
Haslett brings with him 12 years of experience as a defensive coordinator and six years as a head coach in the NFL, but will the Titans expect him to call plays?
That remains to be seen, but for now the Titans will not name a defensive coordinator with the coaching staff already having been finalized with these moves.
There’s been a feeling of uncertainty since former defensive coordinator Dean Pees retired, and that won’t completely cease to exist with this hire. As of right now, it appears that Vrabel could be calling plays on defense in 2020, or at the very least have a larger role on that side of the ball.
But Haslett is a solid coach with plenty of experience. He has led defenses to multiple top-12 finishes in yards allowed, including three with Vrabel.
And while Vrabel is on the verge of something special as a head coach, this move provides stability and wisdom from a veteran. Haslett earned AP Coach of the Year honors in 2000 as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. Things like that don’t just happen.
Haslett played eight seasons in the NFL as a linebacker, drafted in the second round of the 1979 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was named NFL defensive rookie of the year in 1979.