What Titans HC Mike Vrabel Said About the Moves on His Coaching Staff, Which Included Elevating Tim Kelly to Offensive Coordinator


Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a Zoom call on Tuesday to discuss the new additions, and changes, on his coaching staff.

Here's a look at the highlights from the call:

Vrabel said he elevated Tim Kelly to offensive coordinator a year after he joined the staff because he's the "right fit."

"It's the perfect fit," Vrabel said of Kelly, who served as Passing Game Coordinator last season. "I met with some really good candidates. I think what Tim was ultimately able to do was be able to provide some familiarity and carry-over to what we were doing. I don't think everything is broken."

Vrabel said Kelly will add some new ideas and concepts to the offense. During the 2022 season he assisted with the tight ends at practice, but he also provided advance prep work for the staff. He helped put together the first and second down passing game, and he communicated with former OC Todd Downing.

"I've seen him call games in this league against us," Vrabel said. "And I feel like he has a great feel for the game. … His feel, his energy, his leadership are all things that came out throughout this process in multiple meetings with him and other candidates."

-Charles London, hired as Pass Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks, will work primarily with the team's QBs, per Vrabel.

"The pass game coordinator is an "assist role," Vrabel said, "and helping Tim and everybody involved work through the weekly game plan."

Vrabel watched London coach at the Senior Bowl, and said his interaction with the players convinced him he wanted him to be a part of his coaching staff.

-Vrabel said he reached out to quarterback Ryan Tannehill and let him know which direction the team was headed with the hires.

"I don't want to speak for him," Vrabel said of Tannehill, "but he seemed excited about what we're going to do and who we're doing it with."

Vrabel said Tannehill is in the building every and excited about where things are headed.

-Chris Harris, hired as Defensive Pass Game Coordinator/Cornerbacks, brings 17 years of NFL experience, including nine as a coach and eight as a player. He joins the team after spending three seasons (2020-22) as the defensive backs coach for the Washington Commanders.

"We were excited to be able to add Chris – you see he's had a lot of interest from other places," Vrabel said. "I loved his demeanor, and I loved his ability to teach."

-Lori Locust, hired as Defensive Quality Control, became the first female to early first full-time coaching job with the Titans.

Locust served the past four seasons (2019-22) as the assistant defensive line coach for Tampa Bay.

"I thought her knowledge was excellent," Vrabel said. "I enjoyed the meetings we were able to have at the Senior Bowl. … She'll primarily start out working with the outside linebackers. Her and (OLBs coach) Ryan Crow will make a great team and he'll help her as she transitions to working with the outside linebackers."

-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.

"He's a great teacher, and he's worked in multiple schemes," Vrabel said. "It was probably one of the best interviews I've had in five years. I am extremely happy and excited to give him this opportunity. That group and that unit has to get better, and it starts by finding guys that came come in and develop and be coached."

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.

"What the process was there was (we're) looking for people to be able to have some growth opportunities," Vrabel said of the position changes. "And being able to excel in certain roles and help the team where I think is best. I there where we're at right now is going to do that."

-Vrabel said his staff is now "95 percent complete." He's looking to add a running backs coach after Dews shifted to coach tight ends.

"That's still ongoing," Vrabel said. "There are a few individuals that are interviewing for other jobs that I've talked to. We'll kind of see where that goes and try and find the best person that can help us in that position."

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