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Brian Callahan and The Idea of 'Enough Scheme' for the Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Shortly after the Titans hired Brian Callahan, I wrote about how Titans fans should be shouting “Oh, Happy Day” just off of one thing he said in the summer of 2023:

“The teams that win the most games are generally the teams that pass the ball the best.”

That’s obviously a major departure from the Titans' overriding philosophy since 1999.

Enough Scheme

Then at his introductory press conference, he said something else that qualifies as a big deal after we’ve seen an often-stubborn offensive approach too often get stymied without alternative.

“The offense is always going to have enough plays,” he said. “There's always going to be enough scheme.”

Travel back with me, if you will, to Dec. 17, 2023, Week 15.

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Tim Kelly, Charles London Fired as Titans Begin Coaching Staff Purge

Tim KellyNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Brian Callahan has begun to pave the way for his new staff by making expected moves and parting ways with members of Mike Vrabel's staff who still had a year left on their contracts.

Tim Kelly was told by Callahan last night that he's out.

John Streicher, Vrabel's director of football administration, is gone too. 

I’ve also confirmed the report from Jonathan Jones of CBS that Charles London is now free.

Others have been told the same but have not yet come to light.

Tony Dews who was with Vrabel for his entire term, for five years coaching running backs and one on tight ends, is taking over running backs with the Jets, reports say. 

He'll be reunited there with two other former Titans coaches, Todd Downing and Keith Carter.

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How Titans' Brian Callahan Converted Teaching Freshman Into Working with Peyton Manning

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In 2008, Brian Callahan was charged with teaching football plays to freshmen at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif.

The work was the most basic, fundamental teaching imaginable.

“The freshman process was hard because a lot of the kids hadn’t ever buckled a chin strap or put on cleats and didn’t even know how to be in a stance,” Callahan told us during an interview on Robby and Rexrode on 102.5 The Game. “So you really had to teach and instruct.

Brian Callahan
Brian Callahan coaching at Junipero Serra High School in 2009/ Courtesy Patrick Walsh

“I couldn’t say, ‘Hey run a slant route’ because the kid would look at me like, ‘I don’t even know what that means, like what is a slant route? How do I stand? What are my steps? What’s the angle to come out?’ So in the best way possible, you’re really trying to break down exactly what you expect from them in those moments. And it really helped me refine how I teach. You can’t assume they know anything and you have to teach all of it.”

That was 2008, when Callahan was the offensive coordinator of the freshman team, the only position his friend, the varsity head coach Patrick Walsh, had available.

Said Walsh of that story: “Zero embellishment. One hundred percent accurate.”

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PK TV: We Discussed What Titans Coach Brian Callahan Told Us

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Coaches typically make a good first impression at introductory press conferences. (Adam Gase is a major exception to this.) Brian Callahan was great.

I think he showed a Mike Vrabel-type confidence but we know he's going to be more flexible and less of a my-way-or-the-highway type of coach.

You likely heard some of his press conference or saw some clips and I thought we'd get the gang together Thursday evening to discuss the things he said and what we thought of them.

The fan base is super excited and with good cause. An organizational reset like this and the dramatic change in persona that comes with it creates the kind of energy Callahan said he wants his players to feel when they arrive at work every day.

So please rewatch the conversation at the private Facebook page or below on YouTube. We went a full hour because it was so good.

If you'd like a text alert when chats like this will occur, there is also a sign-up below.

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Brian Callahan Scores at Titans' Introduction

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Brian Callahan worked with Zac Taylor from the start of his Bengals regime in 2019.

That first version of the team started 0-11 and finished 2-14. The following year with a rookie Joe Burrow was a still bad 4-11-1. The third year they went to the Super Bowl.

Brian Callahan speaks during a press conference after being hired as the Tennessee Titans new head coach at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024.
Brian Callahan/ © Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Titans certainly hope they bounce back from their roster issue more quickly than that, but Callahan said at his introductory press conference that he learned a great deal from enduring the down times.

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Brian Callahan Will Call Plays For Titans, As Expected

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans hired Brian Callahan in large part because he's worked with a "variety of dynamic offenses" and "has shown the flexibility and intelligence to make an impact," Amy Adams Strunk said in her Wednesday statement.

As expected, he will be showing off that experience as the team's offensive play-caller.

Brian Callahan

While the process of an offensive staff crafting a game plan and getting to game day will be very collaborative, it will be the new coach who will be talking to Will Levis during games.

His former boss, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, told me he expects Callahan to be excellent at calling plays.

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What – And Who – Brian Callahan May Bring To The Titans

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

The Titans quickly settled on Bengals' offensive coordinator Brian Callahan as their 20th head coach in franchise history after a search that lasted just 13 days but involved at least 10 potential candidates. It was clear from the outset that the 39-year-old coach was very high on Tennessee’s list.

Brian CallahanAfter all, Callahan was the first reported and scheduled virtual interview, he was the first reported in-person follow-up interview as well, and he was ultimately selected before he could get out of town following the second interview.

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Ran Carthon Now Has Total Football Power For The Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Titans finalized Brian Callahan's deal to be their head coach, they also finalized the structure of their football operation.

And it completely empowers Ran Carthon, who they announced is promoted to executive vice president on top of his general manager title. 

Ran Carthon
Ran Carthon/ Angie Flatt

That gives him power over all areas that impact the football team: roster control, team activities and personnel decisions including draft and free agency acquisitions, oversight of Callahan and his coaching staff, scouting, sports medicine, and player engagement. 

He's running the show.

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