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Titans HC Brian Callahan, QB Will Levis Off to Good Start in Relationship-Building Process


NASHVILLE – Not long after his introductory press conference last month, new Titans head coach Brian Callahan and his family first met Will Levis in the team's locker room while making the rounds at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park.

The Titans quarterback, shirtless at the time, had just finished a workout.

The meeting was brief, but Callahan told Levis he'd be in touch.

Callahan spent the next few weeks getting settled in, while Levis hit the road for some rest and relaxation.

Levis, in an interview during Super Bowl week in Las Vegas, said Callahan kept his word. Levis said Callahan kept him up to date with the hirings on his staff, and he let him know the upcoming schedule.

The two made plans to meet back in Nashville this past Tuesday.

"Pretty cool," Levis said of the early interaction with Callahan. "It's been awesome."

On Wednesday, the day the Titans introduced coordinators Nick Holz (offense) and Dennard Wilson (defense), Callahan explained why he felt it was important to keep Levis in the loop from the get-go.

"I know that as a quarterback, you're certainly not owed those explanations, or input," Callahan said. "But I think the best relationships with head coaches and quarterbacks are ones where they are given those opportunities to share information like that. And I thought that was important to keep Will abreast of what was happening both hiring wise, where we were at organizationally, just (because) he plays a huge role in this whole thing, too.

"And so, he needs to feel like he's got some, at least has my ear and can come to me with anything he thinks. And then I'm able to tell him, what's happening for us. And I think that's important, for him to feel like he's got some involvement, some ownership, some input to what's happening. And again, it's not necessarily that he's owed that. It's just that I think that's the working relationship that I want to have with him. And I think for me, it's starting that precedent was the right thing to do. I think he's appreciated it. And it's been really fun to start to get to know him."

A second-round pick of the Titans in the 2023 NFL Draft, Levis is clearly a big part of the team's future.

In 2023, after being inactive the first six games of the season, Levis 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.

Levis said he's optimistic about things going forward, and he's well aware of Callahan's history with some of the NFL's top quarterbacks, from Peyton Manning to Matthew Stafford to Derek Carr to Joe Burrow from his days with the Broncos, Lions, Raiders and Bengals, respectively.

"He has been able to work with a great amount of quarterbacks," Levis said of Callahan, "and it gets you excited when you see the track record and you see the stats and you start watching the film of how he is able to run an offense and do it really well at a high level efficiently.

"So, I am excited to work for him and hopefully be that next guy that people mention of guys he's had under his belt."

The relationship-building between the two, and the group, has clearly already begun.

"My relationship with (Will), his relationship with me and Nick (Holz) and (QBs coach) Bo (Hardegree) is going to be really a critical factor in our success," Callahan said. "And I wanted to make sure that he feels like he has input and ownership into that process. And we can kind of build it from there and hope that he gives me the same kind of feedback I need from him, particularly when you're talking about plays and what you like and how you like it.

"… One of the things that made (Bengals QB) Jake Browning so unique and so helpful was that we had a great relationship and rapport where he could tell me and he could tell (Bengals HC) Zac (Taylor), 'Hey, I don't like this play, don't call this, without any kind of fear of retribution or 'no you're going to run what I tell you.' That's not how it's going to work. We're going to have an input from him, and I think it's important that he feels that willingness from me. So, we can build a successful scheme around his skill set that he feels comfortable with."

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