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Hot Topics From Titans HC Brian Callahan at the NFL Combine


INDIANAPOLIS – Titans Coach Brian Callahan spoke to reporters on Tuesday here at the NFL Combine.

Here's a look at some of the biggest topics from his availability:

-Callahan said he believes offensive lineman Peter Skoronski's best position is guard. "I think you always cross-train guys," Callahan said, "but I do think Peter's best position is at guard. But until you get your hands on players, and they are in the building, there's always a cross-training element where guys will swing to different spots. But I do think his best position at this point is guard."

-Callahan said "a lot can be accomplished in one year" when asked about a rebuild. "We have a premium pick, we have money to spend in free agency that we'll spend on the right players," Callahan said. "We have a chance to get a lot of good players in our building, and hopefully we can play a brand of football that highlights all the strengths. … The idea is to put a competitive team on the field every year, and our expectations are no different."

-Callahan said a team can never have enough speed, and he said the Titans need to be faster, and more explosive. "At the end of the day, the NFL is about scoring points, and having people that can score points is important," Callahan said when discussing playmakers. "I'll always lean, when all things are equal, (on) guys that can score touchdowns tend to make more of an impact."

-Callahan said the assistant coaches in Cincinnati pretty much operated as "an extension of the scouting staff" during his time with the Bengals, which has him prepared to take on a big role in Tennessee in player evaluations. "I think it's been a huge benefit to me, being involved in the process the way we were," Callahan said. "That's an area that I feel I've really grown over the years of being there. I think it's a huge help to me currently, being involved in that." Callahan said he'll lean on the scouts with the Titans, but he said his staff will be involved. "There will be a collaboration," he said. "You want the coaches' input, you want the scouts' input."

-Callahan was asked about running back Derrick Henry. "I think there's a great relationship with him and the organization," Callahan said of Henry. "I know that he is always going to have the Titans in his heart. So, whatever that looks like moving forward, we'll keep working through it. I know what he means to the city and the team, and I am looking forward to getting to know him."

-Callahan discussed the playmakers at receiver in the NFL Draft, saying "it's a deep class with variations of players, guys good with the ball in their hands, guys that are really fast, guys that are big and strong." "So, Callahan continued, "there's a good mix of talent that fits, and when you're building a good receiver room, you're trying to collect a little bit of all of those things. It's a fun class to evaluate, and hopefully we can find a couple of guys that fit us."

-Callahan's father, Bill, is regarded as one of the NFL's best offensive line coaches. So, does that mean his presence could influence the Titans to rely even more on his coaching, and convince them not to snag a top player at left tackle? "I'll say this: You can never replace elite talent," Callahan said. "Coaching makes an impact. It matters. But ultimately, the better players you have, the better coach you are. I will never pass up on elite talent just because I think we have a great coach. Great coaches with elite talent is special, so we're trying to get to that point."  

-Callahan said he hopes to have a new strength and conditioning coach in place by mid-March.

-Callahan said the team will begin its offseason program on April 8.

-Callahan was asked what he's looking for in a back-up quarterback. He said he wants a quality player, and someone who is good in the quarterback room. "The value of that position," Callahan said, "is pretty high." Callahan said Malik Willis and his physical talent jumped off the tape when he evaluated him coming out of college, and while he needs to continue to develop, he's seen progress.

-Callahan said he expected the Bengals to tag receiver Tee Higgins. "Tee is a great player," Callahan said. "I love him as a human, I love him as a player. I was really fortunate to be around him, and see him grow into what he has become today. But yeah, I didn't think he was just going to walk of Cincinnati at any point."

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