NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – If you play defense for the Tennessee Titans this fall, you know who’s in charge.
Last season, there was no named defensive coordinator, and while players often brought up a “communication” issue, it was never explicitly blamed on the lack of defined leadership.
Following a bottom-five defense in 2020, Mike Vrabel named outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen the defensive coordinator for the 2021 season. Bowen says a clearly-defined role helps the whole unit.
“I think it has helped with everybody, with the coaching staff, the players. I think that it has been good up to this point. They kind of understand where the buck stops and it is what it is,” said Bowen. “I am excited for the opportunity, I really am. I am excited for the ways these guys are going about working right now and kind of what we are trying to get accomplished on defense.”
Now that Bowen is able to have his hand in more than just the outside linebackers, he’s making sure the communication improves among position groups.
“I have been able to bounce around meeting rooms. Again, I think it goes back – and you guys heard it a lot last year, the coordination, the communication, making sure everybody is on the same page. Now, the DB’s see something one way, I can immediately walk into the linebacker room and say, ‘Hey man, this is what we are thinking, this is how they see it.’ That way everybody sees things the same way, we are communicating things the same way.”
Through better communication, comes stronger relationships.
“I want to make sure they are hearing what they want and then when we go into the unit room, they better be able to spit it back and I know they then have got it covered. I think building the relationships with the guys, that is a big part of it. That last year I don’t think was there, whereas this year it is growing and it is becoming a bigger piece for me,” he said.