The Titans and Brian Callahan agree this is a perfect match for his coaching debut

Thu, Jan 25, 2024
NFL News (AP)

The Titans and Brian Callahan agree this is a perfect match for his coaching debut

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Brian Callahan felt an immediate connection with the Tennessee Titans, so much so he wanted their job as head coach as he wrapped up his first Zoom interview.

The feeling was mutual.

That's why Callahan didn't leave Tennessee's headquarters Monday without agreeing to be their next coach after his in-person interview.

"This is the place that I wanted to be," Callahan said Thursday when introduced as the sixth coach since this franchise moved to Tennessee in 1997 and 20th all time. "And again, I'm very thankful that they felt the same way."

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Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk noted both she and Callahan shared a connection of fathers who worked in the NFL and passed down their love of the game.

The late Bud Adams, founded this team in 1960 as the Houston Oilers in the AFL. Her new coach grew up around the league with his father, Bill, a longtime NFL coach currently coaching Cleveland's offensive line and who coached the then-Oakland Raiders to an AFC championship by beating the Titans in January 2003.

Callahan, 39, was the first coach the Titans interviewed to start the process of replacing Mike Vrabel, who was fired by Strunk on Jan. 9 after six seasons with 18 losses in his final 24 games. Strunk said Callahan exceeded all expectations, especially the immediate connection with general manager Ran Carthon.

"It was clear how the meeting quickly shifted from your standard interview to a player breakdown session that he and Ran had a very special chemistry between them," Strunk said. "Honestly, watching that interaction unfold made us even more confident that he was our next head coach."

Callahan becomes at least the seventh son to follow his father as a head coach in the NFL. That group includes Wade and and the late Bum Phillips, the Jim Moras, Dick and Mike Nolan, Don and Dave Shula, the late Buddy and Rex Ryan and Mike and Kyle Shanahan.

He spent the past five seasons as Cincinnati's offensive coordinator. He helped the Bengals win two AFC North titles and reach two AFC championship games. They lost the Super Bowl after beating the AFC's then-top-seeded Titans in the 2021 season.

The Titans are counting on Callahan to develop Will Levis, the 33rd overall pick in 2023, into their franchise quarterback based on his work with Burrow, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford and Peyton Manning.

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TERESA M. WALKER Walker covers sports in Tennessee for The Associated Press, including college sports and the NFL's Titans, the NBA's Grizzlies and the NHL's Predators. twitter mailto "
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