Mike Vrabel apparently liked what he saw from the Tennessee Titans’ coaching staff this season.
Now, he wants to see more from a handful of its members.
The Titans announced promotions for four assistant coaches Friday, including the installation of coordinators on offense and defense, a new assignment for one and the addition of one other.
“I spent the last two weeks evaluating our current staff and talking with others outside our organization,” Vrabel said in a release from the team. “I am excited for all of these guys taking the next step with us.”
Shane Bowen is now the defensive coordinator, a role he effectively performed in 2020 even though no one had the title. Bowen officially has been Tennessee’s outside linebackers coach for the past three seasons.
Todd Downing is the new offensive coordinator. He was hired in 2019, when Arthur Smith was promoted from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator. Downing was an offensive coordinator for the then-Oakland Raiders in 2017.
“Todd did a great job with the tight ends over the last two years and had important role in the game-planning process each week,” Vrabel said. “I was impressed with the details of his teaching and the production from his group and the offense in general. I am sure he will have some new ideas to implement, but the core system will be in place to build upon, which I think is important.”
Luke Steckel will replace Downing as tight ends coach after seven seasons as an offensive assistant, and Ryan Crow will replace Bowen as outside linebackers coach after three seasons on the staff, two as a defensive assistant (2018-19) and one as a special teams assistant.
“Shane will move into the dedicated role of coordinator, with Ryan taking over the outside linebackers this year, and I am looking forward to him growing in that role,” Vrabel said. “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.”
Additionally, Matt Edwards returns to assistant special teams coach, a job he had for two seasons (2018-19) before he moved defensive assistant in 2020.
Finally, Kenechi Udeze was named assistant defensive line coach. Nearly all of his coaching career has been spent in the college ranks, most recently as linebackers coach at Vanderbilt (2020) and as a defensive assistant on LSU’s 2019 national championship team.