NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Before the Titans faced major changes in player personnel, the focus of the off-season was primarily on the adjustments to the coaching staff.
In particular, former outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen’s promotion to defensive coordinator threw the Twitterverse to a tizzy. But, what’s said in 280 characters online isn’t an accurate depiction of the real world; on Monday, Mike Vrabel got the chance to explain the promotion himself.
“Shane will be the defensive coordinator, Todd (Downing) will be the offensive coordinator, Craig Aukerman will be the special teams coordinator.”
Right, but when asked specifically what changes with his role outside of the title, he responded: “Shane will be the defensive coordinator, Todd will be the offensive coordinator and Craig will coordinate special teams this year.”
Following a pause, Vrabel then explained the duties of an NFL coordinator: “John (John Glennon of Broadway Sports), I don’t know if you know what coordinator’s jobs are. To coordinate the coaching staff each week, how we prepare with the certain elements with situations: First and second down, 11 personnel, 12 personnel. What do we want to carry over from our base? How much can we handle game-plan wise? What we want to do on third down, short yardage. So, none of that will change, those operations, those mechanics won’t change. Same offensively with Todd (Downing) and how we do things.”
Thankfully, it has been approximately 67 days since the news of Bowen’s promotion was buried on a Friday afternoon and lumped with news of Todd Downing’s promotion to offensive coordinator, so media covering the team had plenty of time to craft questions.
The Athletic’s Joe Rexrode followed up with, “Does he have the exact same job as last year, just the title’s different, or is there anything different?”
Vrabel’s response: “Shane’s the defensive coordinator, Joe, I’m not sure what we’re looking for, but Shane is the defensive coordinator. Jim Haslett is the linebackers coach, Anthony Midget coaches corners and secondary. Right on down the line, that’s our coaching staff.”
The day following a season-ending loss to the Ravens in the playoffs, Mike Vrabel was pelted with questions regarding the lack of defensive coordinator and if that played a part in the Titans’ struggling unit.
Vrabel said this on January 11, 2021: “Shane (Bowen) led the meetings. Shane (Bowen) led the walkthroughs. Shane (Bowen) called the defense. We get caught up too much in titles. I guess I apologize, because clearly didn’t think it would take on a life of its own.”
Vrabel added the Titans “seriously considered” outside candidates for both the role of OC and DC, but ultimately promoted within.