Brian Callahan Eager to See 'More Robust' Titans' Strength Program in Action

ORLANDO – Brian Callahan left the Titans strength and conditioning department to last as he put his staff together so he could give it his full focus.

Ultimately, once Frank Piraino left for the New York Giants, Callahan hired Zac Woodfin as director of sports performance along with Mark Lovat and Grant Thorne as assistant strength and conditioning coaches, and John Shaw as assistant sports performance/ speed training coach. 

Zac Woodfin
Zac Woodfin rallies players at Missouri/ Courtesy Mizzou Athletics

Additionally, the team kept Brian Bell, an assistant director of sports performance, and Haley Roberts, a sports performance assistant, from Piraino’s staff.

That doubles the size of the previous strength department.

Will it have a bearing on health for the Titans, who have been devastated by injuries for three years running, using at least 83 players?

The strength and conditioning department is just one element of a trends that has involved a ton of bad luck.

But Callahan is hopeful the new people and depth of the department will have a positive bearing.

“At the end of the day a lot of emphasis gets placed on the strength and conditioning and the training room as an injury-prevention process,” Callahan said. “I mean it’s all a part of it. I think a lot of it has to do with how and what you do in practice, in conjunction with that strength and conditioning and training.

"I think the approach will be good, I think we’ll do everything we can to make sure we are on top of the science of it, the load-management and then how we schedule and structure practices will be a huge part of trying to keep guys healthy.

Callahan was meticulous about finding Woodfin and putting him in place with some of his own people.

“That was a really important hire and I waited to the end of it so I could really spend all my attention focused on who the best person for that role would be and Zac has really knocked it out of the park,” Callahan said at the NFL annual meeting. “He’s fantastic, a ton of really interesting experiences. He's been the head of a department in college in a couple of places, was doing the USFL/ XFL league, so he’s got really interesting experience as a head coach in the strength and conditioning world.

Kuharsky megaphone“And what I think is really cool is the guys that he brought with him. We had two people in Haley and Brian Bell who I think are really fantastic coaches and people that we want to keep and he had a couple of people that he wanted to bring with him so I think we’ve done a terrific job of dividing that department.”

With a bigger department, the Titans can spread out the responsibilities more.

“We have someone that’s going to do the sports science, we have that’s going to do speed, we have a head coach,” Callahan said. “So I think we’ve made that program a little bit more robust adding some more pieces and some more knowledge to do the best we can to keep those guys getting stronger, faster and stay healthier.”

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