The Tennessee Titans hired Jim Schwartz on Tuesday. It was a move that kind of came out of nowhere, even though Mike Vrabel hinted at it the day prior.
I’m hearing the #Titans are adding Jim Schwartz to the staff as a senior assistant.
— Brent Dougherty (@brentdougherty) April 6, 2021
Schwartz spent a lot of time with the Titans organization. He was a defensive assistant in 1999, linebackers coach in 2000, and defensive coordinator from 2001-2008.
Schwartz also spent time as the Detroit Lions head coach from 2009 to 2013, Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator in 2014, and Philadephia Eagles defensive coordinator from 2016-2020.
Adding Schwartz to the coaching staff was a big move by Mike Vrabel. Here are three reasons why.
MENTOR SHANE BOWEN
I doubt the only reason Jim Schwartz took this job was to mentor Shane Bowen, but him being here certainly does that.
Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen is just 34 years old and is already in charge of an NFL defense. Before this year, Bowen spent most of his young career as an assistant at the college and pro level.
This season will be his first time wearing the official Defensive Coordinator hat, even though Mike Vrabel would have you believe he was that last year.
Regardless, the young coach has some learning to do. With Mike Vrabel being just 45 years old himself and spending only one season as a defensive coordinator (2017 with Houston), he probably isn’t the best candidate to teach Bowen the ropes.
In comes Schwartz, who has 13 seasons of experience as a defensive coordinator with five seasons of head coaching experience on top of that.
Before all of that success, Schwartz spent time as an assistant before getting his first defensive coordinator gig with the Titans at age 34. That sounds a lot like Bowen. Schwartz is the perfect candidate to come in and help Bowen thrive in the defensive coordinator position.
In 2020, the defensive coordinator position was uncertain. Mike Vrabel was in charge, and Shane Bowen was just there to communicate. After a while, many fans were calling for the Tennessee Titans to hire a defensive coordinator fast to salvage the defense.
If the Titans thought about that possibility, they probably quickly realized how difficult it would be to bring an outside guy to save the defense.
This year though, they will have Shane Bowen as defensive coordinator and Jim Schwartz as his senior assistant. In my last point, I mentioned Schwartz could help mentor and mold Bowen, but if things don’t work out, the Titans could fire or strip Bowen of his title and give it to Schwartz.
With Schwartz already being in the building all offseason and on the sidelines, he will already know the system and have a relationship with the players. So the only difference it’ll make is the voice in the players’ ears on gameday.
AN EXPERIENCED VOICE
I touched on this a little in my first point. But this dives more into it because it is essential.
Experience is vital in the NFL. If you’ve been there, you are more likely to know what’s coming and how to handle it.
Vrabel has playing experience, but his coaching resume is not very long yet. He was only a defensive coordinator for one season and spent a few years before that as an assistant.
It’s safe to say Vrabel is still learning as we speak about coaching in the NFL. As for Shane Bowen, he has little-to-no experience at the NFL level. His first coaching gig in the NFL was just five years ago with the Houston Texans as an assistant.
These two guys were running the Tennessee Titans’ defense last season.
On the other hand, Schwartz has nearly three decades of NFL experience dating back to his first gig as a Personnel Scout with the Cleveland Browns in 1993. It’s nice to see that Vrabel acknowledges this fact and brings in an experienced voice to help the defense improve.
You can say Vrabel has an ego and is afraid to admit his shortcomings, but I see him realizing what is needed for the team and getting it done in this move. Schwartz’s experience should help Bowen and Vrabel put together a sound Tenessee Titans defense.
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