The Tennessee Titans have found their next head coach.
The team is expected to unveil Brian Callahan as the team's next coach after bringing him in for a second in-person interview on Monday.
Callahan, 39, was highly touted and among the most intriguing head coaching candidates of the offseason.
His Football Background
Brian Callahan is the son of longtime football coach, Bill Callahan. Bill, currently the offensive line coach for the Browns, has coached at 5 colleges and for 8 NFL teams. Most notably, he was the head coach of the Raiders in 2002-2003 and of Nebraska from 2004-2007.
Brian himself did not play football but took after his father in coaching and has been around the league for some time.
Notably, Callahan spent a season as the Lions QBs coach working alongside Matthew Stafford, a season in the same position with the Raiders and Derek Carr, and also worked with Peyton Manning as an offensive assistant with the Broncos.
Most recently, he served as the Bengals offensive coordinator and worked primarily with Joe Burrow. This season, he made rookie QB Jake Browning look rather comfortable under center as well.
While Callahan did not actually call plays in his 4 seasons with Cincinnati, it is widely agreed that he was central to the team's offensive scheming and culture generally.
He is widely respected and known for his strong communication and relationships. With the media, too, he speaks transparently about his expectations and beliefs.
Callahan's Offensive Approach
Statistically, Callahan's offenses have not been particularly impressive. As coordinator, he produced the 29th, 13th, 8th, and 21st best offenses in the league by scoring.
On the positive side, though, his offenses do prioritize getting the ball in the hands of playmakers. While he has had no shortage of talent, he has used it well.
Under Callahan, Burrow finished as a top 5 passer in both 2021 and 2022 and produced two 1,000 yard receivers in both seasons.
In 2021, Cincinnati ranked 1st in pass yards per attempt which is exciting given the Titans own connection between Will Levis and DeAndre Hopkins.
In stark contrast to Tennessee, though, Callhan's offenses regularly finished near the bottom in rushing play percentage, finishing outside of the bottom 10 just once. This, along with his passing focus, could signal a 180 degree turn away from the modern Titans we're familiar with.
A seldom mentioned positive and one particularly relevant to Tennessee, Callahan made things work with a rather porous and injured Bengals offensive line. The Titans obvious flaw in 2023, this single factor could lead to serious strides forward.
The end product on the field aside, Callhan seems like a strong fit in Tennessee.
In addition to his aforementioned communicatory strength, he has cultivated strong player relationships, gaining notable praise from the likes of Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins.
Being a Ran Cathon hire, I am optimistic about their partnership. Carthon seems very easy to work with and after one offseason, clearly has a knack for player acquisition.
Given that Amy Adams made the move to fire Vrabel in order to properly align objectives between the coaching, front office, and ownership, I trust that Callahan was a very intentional hire.
Ultimately, the hire feels like one very much centered around Will Levis. Callahan and the Bengals strived in developing Burrow and now, for the first time in many years, the Titans have an offensive-minded coach at the helm in prime position to develop their young QB.
When the Titans fired Vrabel, they opted to present the rest of the current coaching staff to the next coach. While a lot goes into such a decision, we will see Callahan make some significant choices in his first days and weeks in charge. Likewise, his conversations with Carthon and various players will dictate how free agency unfolds this spring.
With high-end free agents like Derrick Henry, Azeez Al-Shaiir, and Denico Autry, some impactful decisions are ahead.
With some considerable player and coaching turnover, we are undoubtedly entering a much different Titans era. Formerly known as the run-first, defensive minded, Mike Vrabel and Derrick Henry-led team, the Titans are modernizing.
Mike Vrabel was defensive and kept Tennessee near .500 for the majority of his tenure. He did not win games in an attractive way but for the most part, got results through grit.
With an exciting young Quarterback, one of the best receivers of the decade and now, an offensive-minded coach, fireworks could be in the cards.
With flexibility in free agency and the draft and some intriguing pieces, this shift in tone may be exactly what the Titans offense and franchise needs.