The Tennessee Titans had us fooled. More specifically, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel had us fooled.

He reportedly met with Steelers defensive assistant Teryl Austin for the Titans defensive coordinator opening. Vrabel made us all think he realized the error of his ways and that he will hire a coordinator.

Instead, he promoted linebackers coach Shane Bowen. Bowen was a defensive coordinator last season but without the title, and the Titans’ defense was very, very bad.

I can’t help but feel this move screams complacency. I don’t understand any way Vrabel can justify making Bowen the official head of the defense.

Vrabel must believe the defense’s problem was personnel-wise. The team had no true pass rushers, and when you can’t get to the quarterback, your secondary looks terrible.

So on the bright side, this move could mean the Tennessee Titans will go all-in for a pass rusher at some point. But they did last year, and it failed. Miserably.

Either two things will happen now. First, the defense improves, and everyone commends Mike Vrabel for having loyalty and allowing Bowen to grow as a defensive coordinator.

The second one is it fails once again. If the second one happens, Vrabel’s seat could start to warm up. Head coaches live and die by their coordinators, right?

Tennessee Titans fans are no strangers to seeing coaches get fired due to that coach having loyalty to a coordinator. I am unsure how accurate the reports were that the Titans fired both Mike Mularkey and Mike Munchak for that reason.

Vrabel has succeeded more times than not finding coordinators. Perhaps Bowen was wearing too many hats last season due to not having the official role.

Firing Vrabel would be tough to do, especially as soon as next offseason.

Vrabel’s AFC Championship run in 2019, followed up with an AFC South Title in 2020, will cause the Tennessee Titans to hesitate on firing him too soon.

However, if the defense flops, Vrabel will head into the 2022 season needing to prove himself on the ball’s defensive side for once.

The only thing there is to do is see how it pans out. Vrabel believes in Bowen, so Bowen needs to prove he can take this Tennessee Titans defense to the next level. Regardless, this move is uninspiring, and the outcry among Titans fans is justified.

Featured image by Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports


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