LAS VEGAS – Warren Moon won't lie – he was surprised Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk made a coaching change at the end of the 2023 season.
But the legendary Oilers quarterback suspects he knows part of the reason why.
"Maybe she wants that young quarterback to grow with a new offensive-minded guy, where you get the most out of him," Moon said of new Titans head coach Brian Callahan, and quarterback Will Levis. "And that might be her thinking. At least that's my thinking from afar. I congratulated (Amy) on her coach. My thinking is this move will help the young quarterback as he continues to grow."
At season's end, the Titans parted ways with Mike Vrabel, and hired former Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan to take his place.
Callahan has a history with some successful NFL quarterbacks, from Peyton Manning to Matthew Stafford to Derek Carr to Joe Burrow from his days with the Broncos, Lions, Raiders and Bengals, respectively.
In an interview with TennesseeTitans.com leading up to Super Bowl LVIII, Moon discussed Callahan, Levis, and Strunk's continued impact on the organization, and his life following his playing days with the franchise.
In addition to Brian Callahan, the Titans are also reportedly hiring Bill Callahan as the team's offensive line coach.
"I don't know Brian Callahan, but I know his dad, Bill, and he's one of the finest offensive line coaches ever in the league, and was a head coach as well," Moon said. "So, he comes from a great lineage. I know the Bengals, with Brian, had great offenses in Cincinnati, and of course the head coach was involved. But somebody had to coordinate all of that.
"I think the Titans, as they approached this (hire), the biggest thing you have to find out from a guy who goes from coordinator to head coach is: Does he have the ability to bring everybody together on both sides of the ball? I'm sure they did a thorough interview on his background, and they feel like he has that kind of personality. He's very well-versed on the offensive side of the ball, and now he has to bring everybody together and build that culture. But you hear nothing but great things about him."
Moon, who threw for 49,325 yards in 17 NFL seasons (1984-2000) with the Oilers, Vikings, Seahawks and Chiefs after first playing for the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL, was in Nashville back in October for the team's Alumni Weekend, the same day Levis threw for four touchdowns in his NFL debut against the Falcons.
Levis, after being inactive the first six games of the season, ended up starting nine games in 2023, and he completed 149-of-255 passes (58.4%) for 1,808 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions, with a passer rating of 84.2.
"I think he has a lot of promise," Moon said of Levis. "When you start out with four touchdowns, all of a sudden people are going to expect that every week and it definitely wasn't like that was the rest of the season. But I think he'll figure it out. And he's learned it doesn't take other teams long to figure out what you do well and what you don't, and they're going to try and take those things away from you. So, I think he learned that as the season went on, and he got beat up a little bit, too.
"And he got a good dose of playing his rookie year, and now he has some tape to look at this offseason, he can see what he needs to improve on, because he has the tendency to hold the ball back there a little too long at times.
"But he definitely has all the physical capabilities," Moon continued, "and now it's just a matter of getting the reps and recognizing things faster, and that comes with experience. I think he is going to be OK. They just have to figure out what direction they want to go with this offense, what they're going to do with (Derrick Henry), and how that is going to play into the overall offensive scheme. And I think Brian will have a pretty good idea of what he wants to do."
Moon said he stays in regular contact with Strunk, who bought several tables for Moon's Oilers teammates when he was inducted into the Houston Sports Hall of Fame last week.
Moon is now in Las Vegas, on Super Bowl LVIII Radio Row, after a memorable ceremony.
"About 20 (Oilers teammates) show up, which was cool," Moon said. "Bruce Matthews was there, Haywood Jeffires, Ernest Givins, Lorenzo White, Curtis Duncan, Jamie Wiliams, Butch Woolfolk, Mike Rozier. There were a lot of guys that came out, so that was really special.
"And the relationship with Amy, it's been really cool. I didn't know her real well from my days with the Oilers – she was younger then, and wasn't around the team as much. But I've really gotten to know her over the last five, six years now, and I really have a lot of respect for the job she is doing with the Titans and the improvements she is making with the whole organization, the facility, the work with the new stadium. She has really shown to be a good businesswoman as well as a pretty good football mind. And I think she is hiring good people to run her management side as well, which is great."