The Tennessee Titans have fired head coach Mike Vrabel, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Titans finished the 2023 NFL season 6-11 and missed the playoffs for a second straight campaign. Vrabel had led the team to four straight winning seasons, including the AFC Championship Game back in 2019. But the Titans combined to go 13-21 over the past two seasons and the franchise appeared to regress. So add the Titans to the list of teams looking for a new head coach this offseason.
Before we get into potential replacements, let’s look at the Titans’ roster. Tennessee will likely enter next season with second-year QB Will Levis as the starter. Malik Willis will likely be the backup and we could even see somewhat of a competition during training camp and preseason. But Levis should have the first crack at QB1. It’s unclear if he’s the long-term answer but the franchise will want to evaluate that situation before exploring options in the draft or free agency. Maybe the team brings in a veteran QB to compete with Levis.
The big player who likely is leaving if Pro Bowl RB Derrick Henry, who just wrapped up the final year of his contract and will become a free agent. The Titans appear set at RB, however, after the emergence of Tyjae Spears this season. Expect the Titans to let Henry walk and proceed with a backfield led by Spears especially since the veteran spent time after Week 18’s victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars thanking the city for the past eight years of his career. Tennessee could explore options to trade veteran WR DeAndre Hopkins, who will be in the final year of his deal. Treylon Burks has two years left on his rookie deal and could be thrust into WR1 duties if Nuk is dealt. Burks has shown flashes of his talent, but injuries, mainly concussions, have derailed the start of his career.
Tennessee doesn’t get much of a break on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive end Denico Autry, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, cornerbacks Sean Bunting and Kristian Fulton and safety Terrell Edmunds are all going to hit free agency. All told, the Titans have 13 free agents on the defensive side of the ball.
The good news for the new head coach is that he will have the No. 7 overall pick to work with. Vrabel was more of a defensive head coach, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Tennessee go with a more offensive-minded head coach moving forward. Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is getting a lot of buzz this offseason Other offensive coordinators that could be on the Titans’ short list include Bobby Slowik (Houston Texans), Brian Callahan (Cincinnati Bengals) and Todd Monken (Baltimore Ravens). If the Titans decide to stay with a defensive focus, Dallas Cowboys DC Dan Quinn, Ravens DC Mike Macdonald and Los Angeles Rams DC Raheem Morris should be among the top available.