For 18 months, Tennessee Titans fans have had plenty of questions for their new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen, but no one has been able to get him in front of a camera to address any of them or his new role.
Still, at some point, for the first time since being officially acknowledged as the DC, Shane Bowen is going to have to answer those questions.
After the smoke and mirror show that Mike Vrabel put on to keep his protege hidden, Bowen now has no more plausible deniability and he is going to be staring down the barrel of some tough questions.
Given the fact that the Tennessee Titans defense was one of the worst in the history of the NFL last season, there are several questions that need to be asked. Instead of turning this article into a compendium of questions similar to Toby Flenderson’s exit interview with Michael Scott from The Office, this should be a focus on one very specific question that needs to be answered.
Tennessee Titans fans need to know
In detailed terms, what is his mantra as a DC in the NFL?
He has no prior experience as a play-caller at any level of football and the units that he has been in charge of as a position coach have all been underwhelming at best under his watch. To finally put questions about whether he is just a figurehead on this roster whose main job is to shield Mike Vrabel from criticism about the defense, Tennessee Titans fans need to know what this man stands for.
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Just to get out in front of it, buzz words like versatility and multiple don’t mean anything.
What Tennessee Titans fans need to hear is whether Bowen is going to be more aggressive than last year, whether he still believes playing off coverage where the corner is 10 yards away from the receiver on 3rd and 2 is the right call, how he plans on getting more sacks this season, etc.
All of that can be explained when he explains his mantra or his ideal version of this defense.
If he says that he wants the Titans to be smart and consistently hedges his bets when he answers, then fans can expect more of the same sad, conservative, unimaginative, and boring defense that fans got to see in 2020.
However, if he talks about aggression and wanting to get second and third-level players involved more in the pass rush, then those are things that fans need to remember and that he needs to be held accountable for at the end of the season.
The same thing goes if he says that the defensive backs will shadow receivers more or less frequently this season.
Bowen cannot be afforded a season to get his feet under him, that was what 2020 was for whether the team wants to admit it or not. For the Tennessee Titans, 2021 is the season of put up or shut up for Shane Bowen and fans deserve to know what he plans to do with the defense that GM Jon Robinson invested nearly all of the team’s offseason resources in this year.