Mike Vrabel must clearly define the roles of Shane Bowen, Jim Schwartz

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans announced Tuesday morning that Jim Schwartz is now a senior defensive assistant on Mike Vrabel's Tuesday morning.

His original function with the organization was undefined, with a consultant feel and a to-be-determined feel. Monday sources were telling people Schwartz "had a role" with the team. 


Photo: 2008 Titans' media guide

It's now been determined, as Brent Dougherty first reported Monday. “We are excited to add Jim to our staff,” Mike Vrabel said in a press release. “He has a deep level of football knowledge and has overseen a great deal of success on the defensive side of the ball, so it always good to add a quality coach to our staff. This role will provide our defensive staff with Jim’s experience and perspective in the staff meetings and on the practice field.”

I retract my complaint about Vrabel's failure to add a significant outside voice to his defensive staff.

Mike Vrabel is a better head coach than Mike Munchak was.

But he's got to guard against what happened to Mike Munchak's defensive staff in 2013.

Munchak added Gregg Williams, like Schwartz a former Titans defensive coordinator, to a staff that already included Jerry Gray as defensive coordinator.

And after Munchak was fired following that season it gradually came to light that players were unclear on who was in control of the defense and felt they got some mixed messages.

Now it won't just be defensive coordinator Shane Bowen and Schwartz, but a defensive head coach as well.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

I'm, sure Vrabel will clearly define roles and players will have a much more certain sense of who is in charge of what than they did in the Gray-Williams scenario, or in 2015 when Ray Horton was Ken Whisenhunt's defensive coordinator and Dick LeBeau was assistant head coach/defense.

Schwartz was effectively an autonomous head coach for defense for the last five years in Philadelphia, working under an offensive head coach in Doug Pederson. This is clearly a different deal for him and it will be interesting to watch how it plays out.

To Vrabel's credit, he got the Titans what they needed: Some outside perspective on a defense that was terrible on third down and couldn't generate pressure. Personnel was a root cause, but coaching was a factor and Schwartz can certainly help.


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