The Tennessee Titans are in the market for a new head coach and they are casting a wide net.
9 candidates have been named so far and other names have been floated around as names the team could consider. The first person to get an interview will be Cincinnati Bengals OC Brian Callahan, who will meet with the Tennessee Titans on Friday.
When you think about trying to build an offense that perfectly blends a modern passing game without losing the physicality that a team like the Tennessee Titans has been known for throughout the decades, there might not be a better head coaching candidate than Callahan.
Starting with his background, his father (Bill) is one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL and he has been for decades. During his time in the NFL, he coached and developed All-Pros and Pro Bowlers like Nick Mangold, Alan Faneca, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Fredrick, Brandon Scherff, Jack Conklin, Joel Bitonio, and Wyatt Teller.
I'm not saying that Bill would be a package deal if Brian Callahan was hired to be the Tennessee Titans' new head coach, but that background is important for the Titans. Having a head coach who knows what a good offensive line coach looks like, and who doesn't just hire someone completely unqualified for the job because they had a "great interview" would be a big step forward for this franchise.
Despite his dad's time in the NFL, Callahan still paid his dues by serving as a quality control coach/assistant coach doing grunt work. After six years of that, Callahan got his first job as a positional coach with the Detroit Lions in 2016, coaching quarterbacks (he was a walk-on QB at UCLA so that was an easy fit).
After making a name for himself as a QB coach, the Cincinnati Bengals hired him to be their offensive coordinator in 2019. Since then, Callahan and Zac Taylor have turned the Bengals into one of the most consistent offenses in the NFL and they have been dominant for long stretches despite injuries at key positions and a lack of elite talent along the offensive line.
Looking at his resume, let's see what boxes Callahan would check for the Tennessee Titans.
Why Callahan would be a slam dunk for the Tennessee Titans
First and foremost, Callahan's success over the years with Peyton Manning, Matt Stafford, Joe Burrow, and Derek Carr, means that he would have a good chance of helping mold Will Levis into a legitimate franchise quarterback.
Beyond that, he and the people around him (his dad) should have a Rolodex full of names that would be good hires on the offensive line. Going forward, you could also expect that Callahan would know what to look for in future OL coach hires if the OL coach ever left for an OC job.
Finally, he isn't a play-calling OC, but he is an OC who has been flexible and designed offenses around different playmakers. Don't take my word for it, look at what Joe Goodberry (a.k.a. the expert on all things Cincinnati Bengals) said when I asked him about Callahan:
That all sounds great for a team like the Tennessee Titans and it would make Ran Carthon's job a lot easier. Instead of being forced to find receivers that can block like linemen like Titans GMs have had to in the past, Carthon could focus on finding playmakers and trusting that his coach will put them on the field without making them prove that they can play on special teams first.
Meanwhile, Carthon wouldn't have to try to completely rebuild the offensive line in one offseason because he could trust that this offensive staff would actually evaluate which players can play which positions best and develop the players that he drafts.
The Tennessee Titans have asked to interview some pretty flashy names to be their next head coach, but there are very few names out there that can check off all of the boxes that Brian Callahan can. Callahan is a hot commodity, so even if the Titans love him there is no guarantee that they can get him. If they do get him fans should be just as excited as they would be if they hired someone like Ben Johnson, Frank Smith, or Bobby Slowik.