Tennessee Titans to name Callahan head coach

By Sports Desk January 22, 2024

The Tennesee Titans are in the process of finalising a contract with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to be the team's next head coach, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Callahan will be replacing Mike Vrabel, who led the franchise to three consecutive playoff appearances from 2019-21 but was fired by owner Amy Adams Strunk on Jan. 9 following a second straight losing campaign.

The 39-year-old Callahan spent the past five seasons as the Bengals' offensive coordinator and helped Cincinnati to back-to-back appearances in the AFC championship game in 2021 and 2022. The Bengals defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2021 edition before losing to the Rams in Super Bowl 56.

Callahan, the son of former NFL and college head coach Bill Callahan, is also credited for assisting in developing Joe Burrow into one of the NFL's premier quarterbacks over the course of the 2020 No. 1 overall pick's four seasons in Cincinnati. 

He'll now be overseeing the progress of a new young quarterback in Tennessee, which selected Will Levis in the second round of the 2023 draft and had the rookie start nine games during Vrabel's final season.

Callahan has been an NFL assistant since 2010. He spent the first six years of his coaching career with the Denver Broncos and was on the offensive staff during that team's 2015 run to a Super Bowl title in iconic quarterback Peyton Manning's final NFL season. 

After stints as a quarterbacks coach with the Detroit Lions (2016-17) and then-Oakland Raiders (2018), Callahan joined the Bengals as part of current head coach Zac Taylor's initial staff in 2019.

Burrow emerged into an elite passer under Callahan's tutelage, as the former Heisman Trophy winner threw for a Bengals' season-record 4,611 passing yards in 2021 and set another team season best with 35 touchdown passes in 2022. Burrow's career completion rate of 68.0 per cent is the highest of any quarterback in NFL history with at least 1,500 pass attempts.

Callahan takes over a Titans team that finished last in the AFC South with a 6-11 record this past season and often struggled to move the football. Tennessee's average of 289 total yards per game ranked 28th in the NFL and it finished 27th in total points.

Three of this offseason's eight head coaching vacancies have now been filled with Callahan's hiring. The New England Patriots promoted assistant Jerod Mayo to replace the legendary Bill Belichick on Jan. 12, while the Las Vegas Raiders removed the interim tag from head coach Antonio Pierce last week. 

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