Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has made a number of moves on his coaching staff, including promotions and new hires.
Among them: Tim Kelly has been elevated to Offensive Coordinator, a year after joining the staff as the team's Passing Game Coordinator.
Also on Tuesday, the team announced these additions to the coaching staff:
-Charles London has been hired as Pass Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks.
-Chris Harris has been hired as Defensive Pass Game Coordinator/Cornerbacks.
-Lori Locust has been hired as Defensive Quality Control.
-Justin Hamilton has been hired as Defensive Quality Control.
The following coaches remain on the staff with new responsibilities:
-Jason Houghtaling is now the team's new offensive line coach. He replaces Keith Carter, who was not retained.
-Luke Steckel is now the team's Run Game Analyst. Steckel previously served as tight ends coach.
-Pat O'Hara is now the team's Pass Game Analyst. O'Hara previously served as quarterbacks coach.
-Tony Dews is now the team's Tight Ends coach. Dews served previously as Running Backs coach, and that position still needs to be filled.
Vrabel is expected to be available via zoom later today to discuss the new additions/changes on his staff.
The most notable one is Vrabel's decision to promote Kelly to offensive coordinator, where he replaces Todd Downing, who was not retained after last season.
Prior to joining the Titans as Passing Game Coordinator last year, Kelly spent eight seasons (2014-21) with the Houston Texans in a variety of roles, including Offensive Coordinator (2019-21), Tight Ends (2017-18), Assistant Offensive Line (2016) and Offensive Quality Control (2014-16).
As the Texans Offensive Coordinator in 2021, Kelly guided quarterback Davis Mills to a franchise rookie record for passing yards, ranked second among NFL rookies in passer rating and led all NFL quarterbacks in red zone passer rating (116.8). Wide receiver Brandon Cooks also set a career high with 90 receptions. In 2020, quarterback Deshaun Watson led the NFL in passing yards (4,823) and yards per attempt (8.9), while ranking second in passer rating (112.4) and third in completion percentage (70.2%). While with the Texans, the team captured four AFC South division titles.
London joins the Titans after two seasons (2021-22) with the Falcons as their Quarterback coach. Last year, London worked with rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder, who started the final four games of the season and posted a quarterback rating of 86.4 with each game seeing a higher rating than the previous game. As an offense, the Falcons ranked 10th on third down and 14th in the red zone.
Prior to joining the Falcons, London spent three seasons (2018-20) as the Running Backs Coach for Chicago. During his time with the Bears, he worked with a trio of running backs who reached 1,000 scrimmage yards in at least one season – Jordan Howard (2018), Tarik Cohen (2018) and David Montgomery (2019 and 2020). Cohen and Montgomery posted career-high rushing totals under his tutelage. London spent four seasons (2014-17) with Houston as their Running Backs Coach.
London spent two season (2012-13) as the Running Back coach/Recruiting Coordinator at Penn State under Head Coach Bill O'Brien. In 2011, London served as an Offensive Assistant/Quality Control coach for the Titans in Mike Munchak's first season as head coach. He was a pro scout for Philadelphia in 2010 and was a Quality Control coach on offense for Chicago from 2007-09. He entered the coaching profession as a graduate assistant (2004-05) and then running back coach (2006) at his alma mater, Duke.
Harris brings 17 years of NFL experience, nine as a coach and eight as a player, to the Titans. He joins the team after spending three seasons (2020-22) as the Defensive Backs coach for the Washington Commanders. Anthony Midget previously served as secondary coach with the Titans, but he was not retained after last season.
At Washington, Harris contributed to one of the best defenses in the NFL over the last three seasons. The Commanders ended the 2022 season in the top ten in a number of categories, including total defense (third), passing yards allowed (fourth), points allowed (seventh), 3rd down defense (first) and red zone defense (eighth). From 2020-22, the Commanders defense ranked eighth in the NFL in passing yards allowed (213.1 yards per game) and fourth in total yards allowed (323.4 yards per game).
Prior to joining Washington, Harris spent four seasons (2016-19) with the Los Angeles Chargers as the assistant defensive backs coach. In his final season with the Chargers, the defense ranked fifth in the NFL in passing yards allowed (200.3) and sixth in total yards (313.1). Harris began his coaching career as a quality control coach on defense with Chicago for two seasons 2013-14.
As an NFL player, Harris played eight seasons at safety with Chicago (2005-06, 10-11), Carolina (2007-08), Detroit (2011) and Jacksonville (2012). He earned second-team All-Pro honors by The Associated Press in 2010 with the Bears. Over his NFL career, he totaled 439 tackles, 16 interceptions, 14 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and one sack in 101 games (88 starts).
Locust becomes the first female to join the coaching staff on a full-time basis. Locust served the past four seasons (2019-22) as the Assistant Defensive Line coach for Tampa Bay.
During her tenure with the Bucs, they led the NFL in rushing defense, allowing only 92.3 yards per game. Additionally, the team ranked fifth in sacks (187), third in tackles for loss (348), first in quarterback hits (452) and fifth in takeaways (102). Nose tackle Vita Vea earned his first Pro Bowl selection, while totaling 15 sacks between 2019 and 2022, a total that led all nose tackles. Locust joined fellow Buccaneers assistant Maral Javadifar in becoming the first women on an NFL coaching staff to win a Super Bowl (LV).
Prior to joining Tampa Bay, Locust was the assistant defensive line coach for the Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football and served as a coaching intern with the Baltimore Ravens during their 2018 training camp.
Locust held a variety of coaching roles leading up to her entry into the NFL coaching ranks, including time with the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (National Arena League), Central Penn Capitals (NAL) and the York Capitals (American Indoor Football). She also served as a coach for the Central Penn Pairanha (semi-professional) and her high school alma mater, Susquehanna Township H.S. She attended Temple University and also played football (2004-08) for the Central Penn Vipers in the Independent Women's Football League.
Hamilton joins the Titans after 11 seasons coaching in the college ranks, including two seasons (2020-21) as the Defensive Coordinator at Virginia Tech. He joined Virginia Tech in 2018, as Director of Player Development - Defense and was promoted to Safeties coach in 2019. Prior to his time in Blacksburg, he coached for four seasons at VMI, first as outside linebackers/co-special teams (2014-16) and one season (2017) as inside linebackers/co-special teams coach. He started his coaching career Virginia – Wise for three seasons (2011-13).
Info on the returning coaches with new roles:
Tony Dews, Tight Ends
Dews joined the Titans coaching staff in 2018, as the running back coach. He guided running back Derrick Henry to four 1,000-yard seasons, including a career-high 2,027 yards in 2020. Over the past five seasons, Henry leads all NFL running backs with 7,101 yards and 68 touchdowns. Prior to joining the Titans, Dews spent 20 seasons coaching in the college ranks, including 10 seasons coaching wide receivers or tight ends.
Jason Houghtaling, Offensive Line
Houghtaling joined the Titans in 2021 as Offensive Line Assistant. Prior to his time in Tennessee, he spent 14 seasons in college coaching, including five years as the Head Coach at Wagner. The majority of coaching experience on the collegiate level was on the offensive line or as offensive coordinator.
Pat O'Hara, Passing Game Analyst
O'Hara joined the Titans coaching staff in 2018 as the Quarterback coach. During his time with the Titans, quarterback Ryan Tannehill has become the franchise's leader in passer rating (100.5), career completion percentage (66.9%) and sixth in passing yards (12,831). He joined the team after three seasons (2015-17) with the Houston Texans. Prior to Texans, O'Hara spent many years in the Arena Football League as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
Luke Steckel, Run Game Analyst
Steckel has been with the Titans since 2013 in a variety of roles, including tight ends coach for the last two seasons (2021-22). Last season, the Titans tight ends accounted for 85 receptions and rookie Chig Okonkwo led all NFL rookie tight ends with 450 receiving yards. Over the last two years, the Titans have ranked fifth (2021) and 13th (2022) in rushing offense in the NFL.