Tennessee Titans fill QB coach vacancy with another great position coach

Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders
Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

When Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk fired Mike Vrabel, even the people who knew it was time for a change were confused about why there wasn't an attempt to trade the head coach.

It feels like months ago, but it has been less than a month since Vrabel was fired and Amy Adams Strunk has come through the other side as a big winner in all of this. As it turns out, there was no trade market for Mike Vrabel because...no one wanted him.

Since getting fired, Vrabel has struck out in interviews and he was only a finalist for one job and that was the L.A. Chargers job. However, that is a little bit misleading because that job was always going to go to Jim Harbaugh and the Chargers chose to make Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in the NFL and give him incredible organizational power rather than hiring Vrabel.

Not only did he strike out for a head coaching job, but the Dallas Cowboys weren't even interested in him as a potential DC.

That is all relevant because think about how quickly all of this happened. The Tennessee Titans decided to fire Vrabel instead of holding out hope for a potential trade, which is something that ownership was raked over the coals for at the time.

Tennessee Titans fired Mike Vrabel at the perfect time

However, by firing Vrabel when they did it allowed them to cast a wide net with their coaching search. As teams were starting their second round of interviews, Brian Callahan was a finalist for several head coaching jobs, but the Tennessee Titans got him first and never let him leave.

Since then, the Titans have quickly assembled their coaching staff and if people were being honest they would tell you that Tennessee has done the best job of hiring their staff through this process.

Dennard Wilson had several teams interviewing him for their DC job, but the Tennessee Titans boxed everyone out and managed to land him to work with Callahan. Speaking of "Callahan" the Titans also signed the best offensive line coach in the NFL, Bill Callahan, to fill the team's need there.

On Thursday, it was announced that the Titans would be building on their strong staff by hiring Bo Hardegree to be the quarterbacks coach.

Hardegree was a quarterback at the University of Tennessee until 2006, before working in college football for six seasons. In 2014 he jumped to the NFL and was a quality control coach with the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos.

How did he get that job? Well, just connecting the dots here, but he was a QB for the Vols when David Cutcliffe was the OC/QB coach. When Cutcliffe was hired the be the head coach for Duke in 2008, Hardegree was hired as a part of that staff.

Considering the strong connection between David Cutcliffe and Peyton Manning, it is easy to assume that connection played a big part in the move. It was during that 2014 season with Peyton Manning where he must have made a good impression on Brian Callahan.

Hardegree worked his way up to quarterbacks coach of the Las Vegas Raiders in 2022, and this season he was named the interim OC for the last five games of the season after Josh McDaniels was fired. During that time rookie QB Aidan O'Connell thrived, racking up 1,024 yards, 8 TDs, and only 1 INT (O'Connell only had 4 TDs and 6 INTs before the switch).

New Raiders HC Antonio Pierce wanted to hire his own staff, which meant that Hardegree was available and the Tennessee Titans snatched him up. Not only are they getting a QB coach that Callahan is familiar with, but they are also getting another offensive coach with play-calling experience.

This is just another example of the Tennessee Titans having a plan for who they want on their staff and going out and getting their guy.

The coaching staff is nearly complete, and each new hire continues to raise the bar for the next hire.

There have been rumors floating around that well-respected coaches from last year's Tennessee Titans staff (Chris Harris and Justin Outten) could be brought back this season, which would be another impressive move for this team.

Time will tell what happens, but give Amy Adams Strunk the credit for making the right call and ripping off the bandaid, and then give Ran Carthon and Brian Callahan credit for making some great coaching hires.

While the Titans are already focused on the offseason, Tennessee bettors still have one big shot at cashing in on the 2023-24 season. FanDuel Sportsbook is offering a "bet $5, get $200" sign-up bonus to bet on the big game, but you have to act now because that offer will be ending once the Chiefs and 49ers kick off on Sunday. Sign up through the exclusive Titan Sized link to unlock your $200 offer before it expires!