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The Tennessee Titans went from a Championship caliber defense to a turnstile in just one year. For months, the biggest questions have surrounded the vacant Defensive Coordinator position.
Those questions finally got an answer with Outside Linebacker coach Shane Bowen.
Bowen isn’t the flashy hire nor is he a proven commodity, so why hire him? It’s simple: he is an extension of the philosophy that Mike Vrabel has established in Tennessee. Most importantly, he can help remedy one of the Titans’ glaring weaknesses: the pass rush.
Bowen has been the outside linebackers coach the last two seasons and he has helped develop the talent of players like Harold Landry and Derick Roberson. He has turned Landry into a legitimate edge threat after him being a one trick pony his rookie season, and Roberson has shown growth in technique in limited playing time. With more talent coming through free agency and the draft, Bowen could have this be the Titans’ best position group.
Outside of the benefits to the talent development, he needs to improve the scheme of the defense. Players complained about communication last year and the lack of adjustments in game. That could be a product of too many hands in the pot rather than Bowen’s coaching ability.
Bowen being named the DC can alleviate that problem rather quickly. Vrabel can focus on being a Head Coach and being his normal hands on self and game planning. Bowen can focus solely on installing his system and fine tuning some things in his scheme. Both had more on their plate than they needed and that is never a good thing for a football team looking to compete for a championship.
Vrabel seems to realize that as well. His comments seem to point to him letting Bowen run the defense the way he wants. He stated:
“I am looking forward to him growing in that role. We are going to work hard to improve that side of the ball through better coaching, improving our system and our players. I like the group we have on the defensive staff and I am confident that we will improve.”
This shows that Bowen has Vrabel’s confidence, which is great for a new coordinator. Couple that with having a full offseason this year as well as a healthy roster of players, and the Titans should see an improvement in their defensive performance.