Combine Comments From Carthon and Callahan: Titans Brass Establish Offseason Gameplan

The 2024 NFL Combine kicked off with a lot of insight and perspective on the Titans’ plans heading into the Draft. New Head Coach Brian Callahan and second-year GM Ran Carthon took to the podium at the Indiana Convention Center on Tuesday to field questions from both local and national media regarding the state of the team, free agency, and how the Titans will approach their rebuild. 

“It’s a really deep class, there are a lot of talented young men”, said Carthon during his availability. It may feel like that idea is thrown out there every year, but the 2024 class is truly flush with talent from the blue chippers in round one to the hidden gems on Day 3. And lucky for Tennessee, their two greatest needs are two of the deepest positions groups available.

“We’re really deep at receiver in this draft, and O-Line as a whole … two areas that we are going to be focussing on.” Carthon continued throughout his presser and extended media availability to emphasize that the Titans will prioritize prospects who are “playmakers” above all else. And with the Titans currently holding the seventh overall selection, it’s fair to think they will look to target that type of player there. receivers like LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze are the two players that come to mind who could immediately elevate Will Levis and the Titans’ offense as a whole. However, if the Titans wanted to play the pick more conventionally, OT Joe Alt’s all-around game or OT Olu Fashanu’s athletic ability present a real impact at the tackle position.

But if their guy isn’t available, could the Titans look to trade back?

“We like seven, but I’m open … We definitely would be willing to listen”. Carthon emphasized the importance of positional value in the draft and why it’s no exception this year. The second-year GM once again cited how deep the offensive tackle class is, offering the possibility that the team could wait to address the glaring need later in the draft. It could make sense and is also not out of the realm of possibility to move back, still select a premiere tackle talent, and acquire some extra capital to use later.

It should still be emphasized how heavily this team wants to address both the wide receiver and offensive line needs to begin the rebuild in Tennessee. Those are the positions they’re dialed in on.

We followed up with Callahan about Ran Carthon’s idea of securing a playmaker in the upcoming draft, asking the new head coach which traits need to be added to the Titans’ barren and one-dimensional wide receiver room.

“We could use explosiveness and speed that could really help us. … When you’re trying to build the receiver room you want to collect all those things.” Callahan finished his answer by noting “Hopefully we can find a couple of guys that fit us”. If the Titans do end up opting to take the safer route of offensive tackle at seven, the receivers at the back end of this class in the fourth and fifth rounds could be guys the Titans look to target. Receivers like Michigan’s Cornelius Johnson or Georgia’s Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint could be targets in the later rounds. Both shined in their respective college all-star weeks and could be solutions to pair with Deandre Hopkins and other players found in free agency.

Then the questions shifted to the current status of the Titans, and how the team can improve with what they already have. One of the current players both Carthon and Callahan were questioned on was Will Levis, and more importantly, what a post-Ryan Tannehill world will look like.

The Titans currently carry just Will Levis and Malik Willis on their roster, and Callahan all but confirmed that a backup QB competition is coming. By way of the draft or free agency, the Titans will look to shore up a position Callahan called “undervalued”.

“There’s another element of backup QBs that’s really important, how are they in the room with the starter? That matters.” With the amount of cap space the Titans are projected to have this offseason, Callahan seemed to strongly suggest the importance of bringing in a veteran mind and arm to pair with Levis in the QB room and on the sideline.

Will Levis could get a sophomore season boost with a veteran in the room, but the new face of the franchise will need to find consistent growth and success on his own as the starter. Carthon chimed in on the development of Will Levis and his keys to success in year two. “For him, it’s continuing to get time on task.” Ran also emphasized adding consistency to Levis’ game, citing the revolving door of offensive schemes and systems Will has played in since his time at Kentucky. 

Wrapping up his availability, Callahan touched on the unique situation the Titans find themselves in, having two first-time coordinators and Callahan himself being a first head coach. Callahan weighed the pros and cons of the situation, describing how there are some growing pains, but the ability to experiment and “do our own way” is a good one. Callahan ended with confidence citing how backfilled the roster is with veteran coaches.

Brian’s father Bill Callahan brings 25 years of experience to the table as the team’s new OL coach. Other position coaches are also lifelong NFL coaches, such as Tyke Tolbert, Frank Bush, and Steven Jackson. These men all have over 20 years of coaching experience apiece. It’s a blend of styles that will mix fresh new ideas from the young coordinator group with the experience and perspective of veterans.

The one that’s the most important? The aforementioned Bill Callahan, received remarkable reviews in Tuesday’s press conference. “…Big Coach, who is one of the best in the business. I really wish you could have seen his profile tape meeting. It was a clinic” Carthon ranted and raved about the impact Bill can and will have on this team and that will surely make its way into the decision the Titans make at the seventh pick.

Author: JT Ruhnke

Leave a Reply