Titans Rumors

2023 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Search Tracker

As the head coaching carousel spins, many of the league’s offensive and defensive coordinator positions are open as well. Teams seeking new head coaches will soon begin OC and DC searches — some have already started those processes — but a handful of other teams that did not make HC changes are also searching for top assistants.

The Browns and Patriots have begun 2023’s coordinator hires. Here are the rest of the teams searching for new OCs and DCs. As new searches emerge, they will be added to the list.

Updated 1-26-23 (10:06pm CT)

Offensive Coordinators

Baltimore Ravens (Out: Greg Roman)

Los Angeles Chargers (Out: Joe Lombardi)

Los Angeles Rams (Out: Liam Coen)

New York Jets (Out: Mike LaFleur)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Out: Byron Leftwich)

Tennessee Titans (Out: Todd Downing)

Washington Commanders (Out: Scott Turner)

Defensive Coordinators

Atlanta Falcons (Out: Dean Pees)

Carolina Panthers 

Miami Dolphins (Out: Josh Boyer)

Minnesota Vikings (Out: Ed Donatell)

NFL Reserve/Futures Deals: 1/23/23

Today’s reserve/futures deals, mostly featuring teams recently eliminated from the postseason:

Buffalo Bills

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Chargers To Conduct OC Interviews With Luke Steckel, Greg Olson

The Chargers’ search for a new offensive coordinator is continuing, and two more names have been added to the list of candidates. Los Angeles will conduct an interview with Titans tight ends coach Luke Steckel this week, reports Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

The 37-year-old began his coaching career with the Browns in 2009. He spent four years in Cleveland under the title of assistant to the head coach. He held a similar one the following year when he joined the Titans staff, and began working with the team’s offense in a number of different capacities.

One of those came as an assistant wide receivers coach, a post which the Princeton graduate held in 2017. For three seasons after that, he returned to the general position of offensive assistant. Over the course of the past two years, he has operated as the team’s TEs coach, including this past campaign where veteran Austin Hooper rebounded to a degree from a down 2021 season in Cleveland and rookie Chigoziem Okonkwo flashed potential as the campaign progressed.

Meanwhile, Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport tweets that the Chargers will also interview Rams assistant Greg Olson tomorrow. The 59-year-old, unlike Steckel, has a plethora of NFL experience, including 14 years as an OC at the pro level. Most recently, that involved a four-year stint with the Raiders in which his units generally put up middling numbers.

Olson rejoined the Rams’ staff last offseason, having spent one year as the team’s QBs coach during Sean McMay‘s first season as head coach. The latter recently confirmed that he will remain in place for 2023, though many changes (including OC Liam Coen returning to Kentucky) have already taken place. Olson could be in line for a larger role with the Rams given their multiple shake-ups, but the Chargers would also represent an intriguing opportunity.

L.A’s AFC franchise suffered a shocking Wild Card defeat this season, contributing in part to Joe Lombardi‘s dismissal. Their search for his replacement will include an attempt to build off of his success in the passing game, but also find more balance for the unit and maximize Justin Herbert‘s potential. Steckel and Olson represent intriguing, yet very different, options for the team to consider.

Titans Plan To Hire Commanders’ Chris Harris For Defensive Role

The Titans and Bears both requested an interview with Commanders defensive backs coach Chris Harris yesterday, and according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Tennessee plans to hire Harris to be their defensive pass game coordinator and cornerbacks coach. No deal has been finalized as of yet, as Harris likely has his door open for larger opportunities.

Harris has been critical during recent years in the development of a secondary that contains lots of youth behind veteran cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and Bobby McCain. The youthful group proved to be one of the league’s best this year, giving up only 3,252 passing yards, good for fourth best in the NFL. The secondary struggled to force turnovers through the air but limited opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of 59.9, the second best for an NFL defense this season. The performance is a stark change from last year, when Washington gave up the fourth most passing yards in the NFL.

Although Tennessee has made it known that Harris is their preferred man for the job, Harris certainly has incentive to hold on signing a lease in Nashville. The past couple of years have seen Harris participate in a few interviews for defensive coordinator positions. He was reportedly a finalist for the Packers coordinator job two years ago and interviewed with the Colts last year.

Harris has been a hot name in coaching circles lately. While the Titans defensive pass game coordinator and cornerbacks coaching position would be a step up for the 40-year-old, if Harris has a chance to become a defensive coordinator in the NFL, he’ll likely hold out for that opportunity.

Titans Considering Tim Kelly For OC Vacancy, Request Interview With Chris Harris

The Titans are one of several teams currently in need of a new offensive coordinator. Their ultimate decision with respect to replacing Todd Downing may not take them outside of the organization, however.

Tennessee has met with passing game coordinator Tim Kelly to discuss their OC position, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweets. The 36-year-old has been an NFL coach since 2014, when he joined the Texans’ staff. Three years, later he took on the title of tight ends coach, one which he held for a pair of seasons. In 2019, Houston promoted him to offensive coordinator.

The Texans put up middling numbers during Kelly’s first two seasons at the helm. They ranked 13th in the NFL in yardage over that span, finishing 14th, then 18th in scoring. During the 2021 coaching cycle, the Texans denied requests from outside teams interested in interviewing him, showcasing their interest in retaining him. However, the 2021 season (during which quarterback Deshaun Watson sat out amidst his trade request) saw the team plummet to last in the league in yardage and 30th in scoring.

That led to Kelly’s intra-divisional move this past offseason, where he joined the Titans as an offensive assistant under Downing. Tennessee averaged only 171 yards per game through the air, the third-worst figure in the league this year. Injuries to quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the team’s lack of established wideouts certainly contributed to their underwhelming totals and to Downing’s firing. Regardless, Fowler notes that Kelly represents the “strongest in-house candidate” for the OC position.

On the other side of the ball, the Titans have requested an interview with Commanders staffer Chris Harris (Twitter link via Fowler). The former All-Pro safety began his coaching career in Chicago immediately after hanging up his cleats. He spent two seasons with the Bears, followed by four years with the Chargers as their assistant DBs coach. He took a promotion coaching the same position in Washington in 2020, and has remained there since.

Fowler adds that a potential Titans hire would likely come with the title of passing game coordinator in addition to Harris’ current capacity coaching in the secondary. The 40-year-old could also garner interest as a defensive coordinator, however, as he looks to continue his career ascension on the sidelines.

Titans To Interview Charles London For OC; Titans, Rams Seeking Justin Outten Meetings

Charles London‘s schedule is filling up. In addition to his Thursday interview with the Commanders, the Falcons’ quarterbacks coach will meet with the Titans, Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports tweets.

Tennessee is also interested in Justin Outten, though it is not certain the Denver OC is on the radar to replace Todd Downing. The Titans want to interview Outten for an unspecified staff position, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (on Twitter). Nathaniel Hackett brought Outten over from Green Bay, making it unlikely he stays in Denver. Additionally, Pelissero tweets the Rams want to meet with Outten. Both the Rams and Titans are looking for an OC, but each team is requesting an Outten meeting for an unspecified job on their offensive staff.

[RELATED: Broncos Block Ejiro Evero From Falcons DC Interview]

London has been Atlanta’s QBs coach for two years, coming over shortly after Arthur Smith was hired, and has a history with the Titans. Although London’s roles as position coaches have come elsewhere, he stopped through Tennessee as an offensive assistant in 2011. That may be less relevant than London having spent two seasons working under Smith. The Titans have promoted their past two OCs (Smith, Downing) from within.

Outten went through a rather complicated year in Denver. Hackett attempted to interview Adam Stenavich and Jason Vrable, but the Packers blocked those moves. Those denials led to Outten’s Denver arrival. At the time, the Denver OC job was a non-play-calling opportunity. That changed down the stretch, with the embattled Hackett handing play-calling duties to QBs coach Klint Kubiak. This move bypassed Outten, who was previously the Packers’ tight ends coach. Outten, however, called plays during Denver’s final two regular-season games.

The Titans have already reached out to two Chiefs staffers — Eric Bieniemy and Matt Nagyabout the OC position. Because Andy Reid is the Chiefs’ primary play-caller, the Chiefs cannot block Bieniemy from taking the interview; the next Titans OC will call plays. More names should enter the equation soon, however.

The Rams’ OC search has not heated up yet, with Sean McVay recently indicating he will be back for a seventh season. An Outten hire for an unspecified position would be more interesting for the Titans, considering their play-caller is not yet in place. McVay is the Rams’ play-caller and has gone without an OC before.

Titans To Hire Ran Carthon As GM

Hours after a finalist contingent emerged, the Titans have made their choice. They plan to hire 49ers director of player personnel Ran Carthon as their next general manager, Dianna Russini and Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com report (on Twitter).

Carthon, who has been with the 49ers for six years, joined Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham and Titans interim GM Ryan Cowden as the finalists for this position. A day after the Cardinals hired Titans exec Monti Ossenfort, the league’s last GM vacancy — for the time being, at least — is now filled.

Carthon, 41, has been an NFL staffer since 2008 and has held high-ranking titles for the 49ers and Rams. A former Florida Gators running back and son of ex-Giants fullback and longtime NFL assistant Maurice Carthon, Ran has been in the mix for GM roles for a bit now. He interviewed for the Bears, Giants and Steelers’ GM jobs last year and met with the Cardinals last week. Carthon will now be set to team with Mike Vrabel in Tennessee.

The Titans hiring Carthon, who is Black, will equip the 49ers with third-round picks this year and in 2024. Due to the NFL modifying its Rooney Rule to reward third-round selections to teams who hire minority execs as GMs or minority assistant coaches as HCs, the 49ers will benefit again. They have been given eight third-round picks — for the hires of Martin Mayhew, Robert Saleh, Mike McDaniel and now Carthon — since the NFL greenlit this rule. Carthon becomes the sixth minority GM hired since 2021.

Tennessee’s hire doubles as one of the more unique GM additions in recent history. No HC change is in sight, with Vrabel having established himself as one of the league’s most respected coaches. Carthon, then, will be tasked with working alongside the sixth-year Titans HC to retool the roster. Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk made the surprising decision to fire Jon Robinson less than a year after giving him an extension that ran through the 2027 draft. The Titans signed both Vrabel and Robinson to new deals in February 2022, but Adams Strunk reversed course and cited personnel decisions and the team’s repeated trouble with injuries as reasons for the Robinson ouster.

Hired in 2016, Robinson helped rebuild the Titans into a consistent contender. He tabbed Vrabel in 2018, and the two guided the Titans to three straight playoff berths from 2019-21. This year brought change, with the most notable move being the A.J. Brown trade. Adams Strunk said Brown scoring twice against the Titans did not impact her decision to fire Robinson, despite the firing coming soon after the Tennessee-Philadelphia matchup in December. One of Carthon’s duties will be to help rebuild a Titans receiving corps that dearly missed Brown this season. Overall, the Titans closed the season with seven straight losses, going from the AFC’s No. 1 seed in 2021 to a team with a 7-10 record and a less stable future a year later.

The 49ers, who hired Carthon in 2017 after his five-year tenure as the Rams’ director pro personnel, promoted him from director of pro personnel to director of player personnel in 2021. Following Mayhew’s 2021 exit, Carthon joined Adam Peters as a top John Lynch lieutenant. The 49ers have ventured to two NFC championship games and a Super Bowl during Carthon’s tenure, and their pro personnel department oversaw quite the seminal transaction in 2017 — a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers have withstood injuries to both Garoppolo and Trey Lance this year to become the NFC’s No. 2 seed behind seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy. Although Peters is viewed as the most likely Lynch successor, Carthon with have the chance to work as front office leader first. The Titans tried to interview Peters, but the 49ers’ assistant GM declined the opportunity.

This move could lead Cowden elsewhere, though that is not yet certain. Robinson hired both Cowden and Ossenfort, and the former — who joined Robinson’s staff from the jump seven years ago — worked as Tennessee’s interim GM to close out this season. Cunningham also interviewed for both the Titans and Cardinals’ GM posts. Considering Cunningham just completed his first year in an assistant GM role, this GM hiring cycle illustrated the league’s view of his work.

NFL Reserve/Futures Deals: 1/17/23

Today’s reserve/futures deals:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

2023 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

So far this offseason, only two NFL presented general manager vacancies. The Cardinals and Titans have now each made their choices. If other teams decide to make GM changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-17-23 (4:27pm CT)

Arizona Cardinals

Tennessee Titans

Titans Planning Second GM Interviews With Ran Carthon, Ryan Cowden, Ian Cunningham

After Monti Ossenfort landed the Cardinals’ general manager gig, the other top Jon Robinson lieutenant remains in the race for the Titans’ top front office post. Ryan Cowden is one of three confirmed finalists for the job.

Tennessee is planning second interviews with Cowden, 49ers exec Ran Carthon and Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The Titans have gone through six GM interviews thus far. Cutting the field in half could well mean this is the finalist contingent to succeed Robinson. Cunningham has already gone through his second interview, per SI.com’s Albert Breer, who notes the meeting occurred Monday (Twitter link).

His ties to Robinson notwithstanding, Cowden’s inclusion as a finalist is unsurprising. The Titans named Cowden as interim GM upon firing Robinson, and he shared personnel responsibilities with Mike Vrabel to close out the season. Cowden has been with the Titans since 2016, coming over from the Panthers shortly after the team hired Robinson, and has received two title bumps during his time with the team.

Cunningham advanced to the finals of the Cardinals’ GM search as well. The Bears exec is believed to have finished second for that position, according to veteran NFL reporter Mike Jurecki (on Twitter). Even that illustrates the progress Cunningham has made over the past year. He was one of four Eagles execs who rose to assistant GM positions in 2022, being the first to see one of those promotions. The Bears hired Cunningham to work as Ryan Poles‘ top lieutenant, and he is currently playing a lead role in the team’s rebuild.

The Titans requested GM interviews with both Carthon and fellow 49ers exec Adam Peters, but the latter declined a meeting. With Peters being viewed as the likelier John Lynch successor among the two, Carthon’s best path toward a GM job likely will be with another organization. Carthon, 41, has been the 49ers’ pro personnel director since Lynch’s 2017 arrival but has held high-ranking roles with two teams. Prior to coming to San Francisco, Carthon served as Rams director of player personnel under Les Snead from 2012-16. The son of former Giants fullback Maurice Carthon, Ran has been an NFL staffer since 2008.