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From the Pro Bowl: Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase High on New Titans HC Brian Callahan


ORLANDO – Ja'Marr Chase was in a rush on Saturday morning, signing autographs for fans, getting mic'd up for, and mingling with his Pro Bowl teammates after coming out of the tunnel here at Camping World Stadium.

Coaches were encouraging players to take the field for AFC practice, leaving Chase with just moments to spare.

Then the Bengals receiver heard the name Brian Callahan.

"You want to talk to me about Cally?," Chase said before stopping. "That's one of my best friends. I love him to death."

Last month, the Titans hired Callahan as the team's next head coach, replacing Mike Vrabel.

Callahan arrived in Tennessee with 14 years of NFL coaching experience, including the past five seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Chase said Callahan is a great hire for the Titans.

"I hate to see him leave, but it's nice to see him get a head job," Chase said. "He's a good coach, he loves his players. We always had good conversations. I think he's a great guy. The Titans are fortunate to get him.

"I think it will be fun, seeing him do what he does. It's a new opportunity, and we'll see what kind of playmakers he can (develop) and get the most out of them."

During his time in Cincinnati, Callahan served under head coach Zac Taylor and was part of two AFC North titles, two AFC Championship appearances and a Super Bowl berth.

Cincinnati's offense under Callahan featured a trio of 1,000-yard wide receivers in Chase (2021-23), Tee Higgins (2021-22) and Tyler Boyd (2019).

Chase has earned three consecutive Pro Bowl trips while becoming the eighth player in NFL history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three career seasons, including 1,216 yards on a career-high 100 receptions in 2023.

Callahan will call the offensive plays in Tennessee, something he didn't do in Cincinnati.

"I think he'll do great," Chase said. "He has a great mastermind in setting up his players, the way he wants to set them up to get them the ball."

Quarterback Joe Burrow has developed as one of the top quarterbacks in the league under Callahan's tutelage, but the entire Bengals offense has flourished.

With the Titans, Callhan will work with Titans quarterback Will Levis, on a team that needs a jump-start on the offensive side of the football.

"Joe loves him, man," Chase said. "I mean, everybody around the stadium loves him. The whole team loves him. He's a good guy."

Chase predicted the Titans will also love Callahan as a coach, and a person.

"I will always speak highly of him," Chase said. "My relationship with him formed over time, me having the opportunity to speak with him and be a man, come forward to him and talk. He's a great guy.

"We all hate to see him leave, but it's a great opportunity for him."

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