On January 29th, the Tennessee Titans announced the promotion of Todd Downing to offensive coordinator (from Tight Ends coach), and the promotion of Shane Bowen to the defensive coordinator (from Outside Linebackers coach).
Since then, we had not heard why Head Coach Mike Vrabel made those moves until Monday, but not really.
"Shane (Bowen) will be the defensive coordinator, Todd (Downing) will be the offensive coordinator, Craig Aukerman will be the special teams coordinator," Vrabel said.
When asked again about Bowen's new role and how it could be different from last season (when Vrabel said Bowen called the plays and ran the meetings), Vrabel responded.
"Shane (Bowen) will be the defensive coordinator, and Todd (Downing) will be the offensive coordinator. Craig (Aukerman) will coordinate the special teams again this year," he said again.
It's clear, Vrabel wants no part in explaining this decision. Just as it was clear he tried to avoid engaging in a discussion last season of why, if Bowen ran the defensive meetings and called the plays, why wasn't he given the title in 2020?
It's no secret the Titans' defense last season wasn't good. Vrabel said Monday he "very seriously" considered external candidates for both open coordinator positions on the coaching staff. But, ultimately, he stuck with what and who he knew.
"Again, very confident and excited about our staff, about the things that we're going to do, about a lot of things that we did. Again, I make decisions that I think are going to help the football team. That's where we're at with the entire staff," Vrabel said. "There may be some more additions to our staff as we work our way through the offseason, but our staff is pretty much in place and (I'm) excited about it."
Vrabel's record so far as an NFL head coach is 29-19, with two playoff wins and an AFC South title in three seasons. He's, to this point, earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to structuring his team how he sees fit.
But, the success of these play-callers on both sides of the ball, coupled with new player personnel on the field, will prove whether these decisions were the right ones. For now, Vrabel's not saying much. The results this fall, however, will speak for themselves.