Former Coordinator Back to Work With Titans

Jim Schwartz weighed retirement this offseason but instead has signed on to assist Mike Vrabel, Shane Bowen.


The Titans formally announced the addition of Jim Schwartz as senior defensive assistant Wednesday morning.

“He has a deep level of football knowledge and has overseen a great deal of success on the defensive side of the ball, so it always good to add a quality coach to our staff," coach Mike Vrabel said in a release. "This role will provide our defensive staff with Jim’s experience and perspective in the staff meetings and on the practice field.”


Once again, a veteran defensive coordinator has ended a brief retirement to work for the Tennessee Titans. In this case, it is to work for the Titans again.

Jim Schwartz is part of the current staff, although his exact title and responsibilities remain a work in progress, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

The 54-year-old in reportedly decided in January – when his contract with the Philadelphia Eagles expired – that he intended to take off for at least a year and even would ponder retirement. His break turned out to be far shorter.

The team has not officially announced his addition to the staff.

“There may be some more additions to our staff as we work our way through the offseason,” coach Mike Vrabel said Monday, “but our staff is pretty much in place and (I’m) excited about it.”

Regardless of his role, Schwartz is easily among the most experienced defensive coordinator among the Titans coaches. He spent the last five years in charge of the Eagles’ defense after one season directing the Buffalo Bills’ unit.

His first opportunity to run a defense came with Tennessee in 2001, and he remained in that role through 2008. His final two Titans’ defenses finished among the NFL’s top 10 in points allowed, takeaways, and yards allowed.

Schwartz left Tennessee to become head coach of the Detroit Lions. In five seasons with the Lions, a team that went winless the season before he arrived, he went 29-51 with one playoff appearance.

Shane Bowen is the man in charge of the current Titans defense, and – officially speaking – he is a first-time coordinator. He was named to the role in January after having worked in that capacity, according to Vrabel, throughout the 2020 season. Vrabel has one season as a defensive coordinator with the Houston Texans (2017) to his credit.

Linebackers coach Jim Haslett, who joined the staff in 2020, has been a defensive coordinator with four different franchises.

Vrabel’s first defensive coordinator in Tennessee was Dean Pees, who joined the staff two weeks after he retired from the Baltimore Ravens. Pees was 68 at the time and spent two seasons directing Tennessee’s defense before he retired again. This time he stayed away for a year before he decided to go back to work, this time for former Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith with the Atlanta Falcons.

Schwartz has maintained a home in Nashville in recent years. It is clear now that it is not a retirement home.