Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has made two new hires on his coaching staff, and he gave some background on the additions during an interview at the Pro Bowl.
Vrabel said the team is hiring former Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly for a spot on his coaching staff. Kelly will serve as Passing Game Coordinator with the Titans, and work with Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing and the team's offensive staff.
The Titans have also hired former Houston Texans assistant Bobby King to serve as their inside linebackers coach.
"Tim Kelly will help the offense, very similar to how (senior defensive assistant) Jim Schwartz has on defense in his role," Vrabel said. "I really thought that was a positive thing for us, and I think that worked well for our defense. And I want to do the same thing on offense. Tim is a guy I know, and I have worked with and watched."
Kelly, the brother of former Titans lineman Dennis Kelly, has eight years of NFL experience, all with the Houston Texans, including three seasons (2019-21) as offensive coordinator. In 2020, he led an offense that ranked fourth in passing yards and 13th overall.
Kelly joined the Texans in 2014, following Bill O'Brien from Penn State to Houston. After three years as a quality control coach, Kelly was elevated to tight ends coach for two seasons before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2019
In 2019, the Deshaun Watson-quarterbacked Texans tied the team record for touchdowns scored (46), set a franchise mark for redzone offense (64.2% touchdowns scored) and fewest three-and-outs (24).
Vrabel said he thinks Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen and Schwartz worked well together in 2021, and he believes Kelly and Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing will do the same.
"Those are all questions that everybody wants to know," Vrabel said. "Todd is in charge of the offense the same way Shane is in charge of the defense. And it's good to have guys who can help, and you can bounce ideas off of and communicate with and help us any way they can, and that is what Tim is going to do."
Vrabel said he plans on Schwartz being back in 2022.
"I want him back," Vrabel said of Schwartz. "And he wants to be back."
King, who served as the linebackers coach for the Texans in 2017 when Vrabel was the team's defensive coordinator, replaces Jim Haslett.
King coached Titans linebacker Zach Cunningham for three seasons with the Texans. King coached the defensive line for Houston in 2021 after previously working with the linebackers for four years.
"Bobby is a guy that I have a lot of history with, and I think he's a really good football coach," Vrabel said. "The timing of these hires, it's sometimes hard to get guys so I am excited to be able to get Bobby."
In addition to Haslett, Vrabel said assistant defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze, assistant special teams coach Matt Edwards, and assistant strength and conditioning coach Mondray Gee won't be retained.