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New Titans OL Coach Bill Callahan Boosted Alan Faneca, Unknowns As He Built Rep

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Hjalte Froholdt played in eight games for the Patriots in 2019 after they spent a fourth-round pick on him, but he didn't start any and was waived before Week 12.

The Texans claimed him, but things didn't pan out there either. Froholdt's agent had one destination in mind for him at that point: Cleveland.

Joe Panos of Athletes First helped convince offensive line coach Bill Callahan and the Browns to sign Froholdt during the 2021 season.

Cleveland Browns offensive line coach Bill Callahan works with the lineman during OTA workouts on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 in Berea.
© PHIL MASTURZO / USA TODAY NETWORK

"If I have a guy that I need developed, a dude who's on the street who needs a job or an undrafted guy, I will 100 percent sell him to Callahan," Panos said. "Because I know he can develop him.

"Froholdt is a perfect example. I sell him to Cleveland. He's on the practice squad. He made the 53. Started playing. Started starting. And now he's the starting center for the Cardinals. Ask him. It's Bill Callahan who got him there. One hundred percent."

After news broke that Brian Callahan was able to get the Browns to release his dad, Bill, to join the Titans as their offensive line coach, I spoke to Panos and Pro Football Hall of Famer Alan Faneca about him. 

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Implications of Dennard Wilson In, Terrell Williams Out For Titans

Dennard Wilson
  Dennard Wilson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. With Dennard Wilson coming to Nashville to be Brian Callahan's defensive coordinator, per multiple reports, the future of Shane Bowen becomes murky.

Callahan held on to Bowen as a potential DC as he saw how his search unfolded.

He landed a young coach who's got great experience working with top-flight defensive backs with the Rams, Jets, Eagles and Ravens. He's connected to Ran Carthon from time together with the Rams.

In Baltimore, players loved him and found him relatable while fellow coaches respected him.

Bowen had interviewed in Jacksonville and with the Giants, and while New York has not hired yet there doesn't seem to be momentum there.

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How Brian Callahan’s Football Philosophy May Impact the Titans' Draft Approach

How Brian Callahan’s Football Philosophy May Impact the Titans' Draft Approach

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

New Titans head coach Brian Callahan hasn’t been shy about making it known how much he values the wide receiver position in comments both before and after his hiring in Tennessee. Last week he discussed the famous Ja’Marr Chase-Penei Sewell debate from his time in Cincinnati during an appearance on 102.5’s Stillman & Company.

Nov 18, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Malik Nabers (8) hauls in a 40-yard touchdown pass against the Georgia State Panthers in the fourth quarter at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports
LSU's Malik Nabers/ © Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

His answer was both insightful and revealing about his opinion on the value of wide receiver and offensive tackle as positions in the modern NFL. Callahan came down on the Chase side of the Bengals' internal discussions in the lead-up to the 2021 NFL Draft.

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A Hitch In A Potential New Derrick Henry Titans' Contract

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Plenty of fans are writing contracts for Derrick Henry that would keep him with the Titans for at least a ninth year and perhaps a 10th.

He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time when contracts expire and the new league year starts on March 13.

Derrick Henry
  Derrick Henry/ Courtesy Tennessee Titans

Spotrac projects a one-year, $4.39 million contract, which is the most reasonable thing I’ve seen.

AtoZ recently sketched out a two-year, $20 million deal with $12 million guaranteed and a 2024 $5 million cap hit, which is way too much.

A Henry contract with the Titans isn’t so plain and simple. There is a hitch.

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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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