NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans named Keith Millard Defensive Assistant/Pass Rush Specialist and Steve Brown Assistant Secondary Coach.
Millard brings eight years of NFL coaching experience and spent last year in Tampa Bay as co-defensive line coach. Brown joins the Titans after spending the last nine years at the University of Kentucky, including four seasons as defensive coordinator. Both Millard and Brown had productive NFL careers as players – Millard played eight NFL seasons, mostly with the Minnesota Vikings, and Brown spent eight seasons with the Houston Oilers.
"We are bringing Keith in to help all of our players with their pass rush skills, whether that is the d-line, Akeem Ayers and the linebackers or even the defensive backs," said Titans head coach Mike Munchak. "His position is actually one that I considered for the staff when I took over last year, but the timing didn't allow for it. Keith brings a great deal of energy and passion in addition to a great demeanor. Unfortunately, I can personally attest to his ability as a player, but he also has the rare ability to teach the game within the game and the art of the pass rush."
Millard worked with a young defensive line in Tampa Bay that saw two rookie defensive ends account for nine sacks (Clayborn, Bowers) and two second-year defensive tackles total four sacks (Price, McCoy). Prior to joining Tampa Bay, Millard spent four seasons (2005-08) as the defensive line coach with the Oakland Raiders. Under his guidance, DE Derrick Burgess earned two Pro Bowl selections and led the NFL in sacks with 16 in 2005. Warren Sapp led all NFL defensive tackles in sacks in 2007 with 10. Millard also spent four seasons (2002-04) with the Denver Broncos as Assistant Defensive Line Coach/Pass Rush Specialist. In his time at Denver, he helped his group finish fourth in the NFL for sacks by a defensive line in 2004, and the only group to have three players (Bertrand Berry, Trevor Pryce, Reggie Hayward) post at least 8.5 sacks.
Four of the players Millard coached – Burgess, Chris Clemons, Berry and Hayward – totaled the first double-digit sack years of their careers under his coaching. His first coaching position in the pro ranks was for the XFL San Francisco Demons, after spending five seasons coaching in the college ranks (Fort Lewis College, 1996; Menlo College, 1997-2000).
"I was really impressed in my conversations with Mike (Munchak)," said Millard. "He has had a great deal of success as a player and a coach and I agree with his principles of tradition, discipline, hard work and dedication. I became a student of pass rushers during my time in college and carried that through my NFL career. Now as a coach, I use those same skills to teach the players how to build on their own attributes."
Brown was the co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach for Kentucky after four seasons as the defensive coordinator. The Wildcats defense saw marked improvement during Brown's tenure. He originally joined the Kentucky coaching staff as the defensive backs coach in 2003 and stayed in that role through the 2006 season. Before going to the college ranks, Brown spent six seasons (1995-2000) coaching for the St. Louis Rams and earned a Super Bowl ring in 1999. He was the secondary coach from 1998-2000, cornerbacks coach from 1996-97 and defensive assistant in 1995.
"Steve is a guy that I played with, coached against and really respect as a coach," Munchak said. "He will be a great fit with Brett (Maxie) and I think they will complement each other well. Steve has a certain edge to him that I think will add to that room and bring out the best in our guys."
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike (Munchak) and the Titans organization, which was the organization that I was brought up in," said Brown. "I am looking forward to being back home and working with a number of ex-teammates to create something special. Mike has done a great job of bringing in great teachers of the game, but also creating chemistry on the staff. I am also looking forward to working with Jerry (Gray) and Brett (Maxie). We have a lot of similarities in our backgrounds."
Millard and Brown both bring significant NFL experience to their jobs. Millard earned three All-Pro honors and two Pro Bowl selections during his nine (1985-93) NFL seasons and one season (1985) in the USFL. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1989, while setting the NFL record for sacks in season by a defensive tackle with 18. Millard was originally a first round selection (13th overall) by the Vikings in the 1984 Draft from Washington State.
Brown played his entire NFL career with the Oilers after being a third round pick in the 1983 Draft from Oregon. During his eight-year career, he played in 119 games and totaled 18 interceptions playing cornerback.
Brown replaces Curtis Fuller who was let go earlier this month. Millard's position is new to the Titans coaching staff.