First impressions of Titans' OC Tim Kelly

TimKellyCombineINDIANAPOLIS – The first time we heard from Tim Kelly as a member of the Titans coaching staff, he emphasized the offense he’ll coordinate will strive to be consistent, efficient and versatile.

They are pretty standard buzzwords for someone in his role, and they certainly plug right into what we’ve already heard from Mike Vrabel, the guy who elevated Kelly from passing game coordinator after he fired Todd Downing after injuries crushed the Titans offense that was still ridiculously anemic, averaging 17.5 points a game.

Here is the thing he said to get excited about:

“What do they do well, how can we create different matchups on different players?" Kelly said. “Once we are able to figure that out, putting them in that spot as many times as possible and letting them work. For those guys with unique skill sets it’s a good challenge to have to find different ways to get them the ball and to get them matched up in favorable matchups but that’s why we get paid.”

We know Treylon Burks – who Kelly said they need to be sure stays available – and Chig Okonkwo can create matchup problems along with Derrick Henry. After that, the Titans need to add weaponry as Ran Carthon builds the roster.

Kelly is a bit reluctant to speak about what he wants the offense to look like, because he doesn’t know a lot about his offensive line or those pieces.

“We want to be versatile,” he said. “So we want to have versatile players that can do multiple things from things from multiple formations from multiple personnel groupings and be out there and give the illusion of being complex where the concepts might not change a whole ton but with the illusion of being complex and putting our guys in position to execute at a high level.”

Kelly said he wants the offense to threaten defenses vertically and make them defend every blade of grass, something he'll need improved personnel to pull off.

Other things he hit on:

🔷 He could have found a diplomatic way to have stated the obvious about last year’s offense, but worked really hard to be kind to Todd Downing.

The Titans were absolutely predictable last year.

🔷 He said anyone with a seat at the coaching table is accomplished and he’ll welcome input into the playbook and game plans from them. “They think something is going to help us score points, I am all ears for it,” he said.

🔷 Simplicity is important to him. “My job is to make sure everything we do is streamlined,” he said.

🔷 Some terminology will change, some will remain the same. Same for the offense overall. Things that are efficient and working will certainly say. He doesn’t want to make change for change’s sake and he does not want to complicate things for guys like Burks, Okonkwo and Nicholas Petite-Frere. “I don’t want to stunt the growth of young guys,” he said.

🔷 Asked specifically about Ryan Tannehill, he said his comfort level with an established QB is paramount and then he was sure to expand that to the quarterback position in general. He said he wants to “make sure we’re seeing the game through the same set of eyes.”

🔷 He won’t lose sight of fun. “Football is supposed to be fun,” he said. “It’s too hard to do what we do if you’re not enjoying yourself and not trying to get the most out of your players. I’m going to be myself if that means that one time I am yelling or I am a little bit more reserved depending on who I am talking to, I think that’s crucial to make sure you’re doing everything you can to reach each individual.”

🔷 He’s liking what he is seeing from Malik Willis right now. “Malik is in a good routine right now. He’s so charismatic, with that big smile. Exciting to see him in here building that routine, doing what it takes to be a professional quarterback. We’ll see where everything ends up, but we’re excited with the progress that it looks like he’s making right now.”

Overall he made a good impression, though he came across as a little nervous. He's got a say now with Carthon in what kind of players he needs. Hopefully, he's able to illustrate that really well and Carthon provides just as well.

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