There isn't a lot of optimism about the 2023 Tennessee Titans right now, but it isn't crazy to think that this coaching staff is one of the more underrated groups in the NFL.
Excluding Mike Vrabel, there could be as many as three coaches on the Titans staff that could be head coaches next season.
Obviously, there are a lot of variables here, including how healthy the team can stay, how many wins the team can string together, and how much autonomy these coaches have on a team where the head coach is in every meeting room.
However, if these coaches can find a way to stand out, they might have the credentials to get the big job in 2024.
Tennessee Titans head coaching candidates 2024
The first and most obvious choice is Shane Bowen, the Tennessee Titans Defensive Coordinator.
After the team got away from...whatever weird dual DC thing they were trying to do in 2020, Bowen thrived in 2021 with a mostly healthy defense. During that season Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, Harold Landry, Kristian Fulton, and Amani Hooker all had the best seasons of their career.
On top of that, guys like Elijah Molden, Teair Tart, Monty Rice, Naquan Jones, Jackrabbit Jenkins, and Ola Adeniyi all had impressive seasons compared to what the expectations were for those guys coming into the season.
At times in 2022, Bowen was able to show off what he could do on defense, but another historic year for injuries meant that he wasn't able to consistently put a great product on the field. On the flip side, the only reason that the Tennessee Titans weren't 2-15 is that the defense was able to handle their business well enough for the pitiful "offense" to eke out a win.
With just a little bit of injury luck, this defense could be back to what it was in 2021 and potentially even better
Speaking of that "offense", the other two names on this list are the men tasked with fixing the abomination that Todd Downing installed in Tennessee.
Offensive Coordinator Tim Kelly and Passing Game Coordinator Charles London, could both jump out as head coaching candidates next year if the Tennessee Titans offense takes a big step forward.
Some of the work is already going to be done for them because the hope is that this won't be the most injured team in NFL history for the third-straight season. If the Tennessee Titans can just manage to have average injury luck, this team is going to be much easier to watch in 2023.
With rumors of an offense that features tempo, creative personnel decisions, shorter play calls, and presnap motion, there could be a much different product on the field this year. Throw in ascending playmakers like Treylon Burks and Chig Okonkwo, savvy veterans like Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill, and possibly DeAndre Hopkins, and some wild cards in Kyle Philips and Tyjae Spears, and you can already see why a team with a stale offense might take a look at Kelly and London.
Whether Kelly or London is given more credit for this season really depends on how their interviews could go.
We have heard that London's job is basically to help gather information and relay his input on what he might do from play to play. Meanwhile, the person actually designing and calling the plays will be Kelly.
London's resume is much cleaner because he has never had to take a step back in the job title. He has gone from offensive assistant to running backs coach, to quarterbacks coach (viewed as a promotion from running backs coach), and now to passing game coordinator in Tennessee.
On the other hand, Kelly is younger but has somehow spent more time as an Offensive Coordinator in the NFL with three years in Houston and now one year in Tennessee after a one-year stint as the passing game coordinator in Tennessee.
Making it as simple as possible, it seems like the most qualified coach is Shane Bowen but he is a DC, and defensive-minded coaches have flamed out more frequently over the last few years than their counterparts on offense.
If a team does want an offensive-minded coach, then I expect it would depend on which coach had the best interview and which one had the most input in the success of the Tennessee Titans offense (if they did actually have success).
Either way, this coaching staff has plenty of talent on it and I didn't even include position coaches who deserve to be given a chance as coordinators sooner rather than later like Terrell Williams, Tony Dews, Rob Moore, and Chris Harris. If they fail, it will be because of injuries or mismanagement.