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Podcast: Why are Titans following a Cleveland model?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A new podcast episode  -- "The Cleveland Model?" -- is up on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and YouTube, which you can see below.

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastWhichever platform you prefer, please subscribe, rate and review.

Subjects I dive into:

💥 Ran Cathon's front-office structure
💥 Mike Vrabel's in-house hires
💥 The importance of the spring
💥 A notable Vrabel slip of the tongue
💥 A shift to analysts on the coaching staff
💥 Flex scheduling for Mondays, and eventually Thursdays?
💥 Tim Kelly's resume

You can find previous podcasts here.

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Mike Herndon: Uncovering the Titans' options for rebuilding their offensive line in free agency

Mike Herndon: Uncovering the Titans' options for rebuilding their offensive line in free agency

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- NFL free agency doesn’t officially open until the negotiating period (also known as the legal tampering window) opens at 11 a.m. Central Time on March 13th. But with the official salary cap number now set at $224.8 million, it’s a good time to take a look at the Titans' cap numbers and start to really dig in on what is possible for new GM Ran Carthon in the next couple of months.

Dalton RisnerDalton Risner with Mike Munchak in 2019/ © Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Based on that new projected cap number, the Titans are set to be $21,478,634 over the cap when the new league year starts according to OverTheCap.com. Of course, they’ll have to do some maneuvering to get under the cap prior to that point and those moves could start coming relatively soon.

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PK TV: Reaction to Tim Kelly, Titans' coaching moves

Paul KuharskyNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tim Kelly has been available to Mike Vrabel for a long time, so the wait to Feb. 7 had a lot of us convinced the Titans would be hiring their new offensive coordinator from outside.

But he promoted from inside for the third time in a row and he provided a lot of positive rationale talking about Kelly as we'd expect.

Tuesday Vrabel also talked the media through his other new hires including Charles London, passing game coordinator and quarterback coach, and Chris Harris, defensive passing game coordinator and cornerbacks coach as well as the promotion of Jason Houghtailing to offensive line coach and several other shifts.

I know it all left you with a lot of questions and eager for discussion. So we gathered to talk it all out and bounce our reactions off each other. 

You can head to the private Facebook page or head below to review our members-only conversation. If you're missing out, you can sign up to be able to rewatch and be part of the next one live.

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The best thing Mike Vrabel said about a Tim Kelly Titans' offense

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The personnel was bad, sure, but even so the Titans’ 2022 offense was stale and predictable. See a certain down and distance or personnel package and the scoreboard might as well have flashed run or pass.

Tim Kelly

© George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

That’s why I thought the most significant thing Mike Vrabel said in his Zoom call with local media to discuss the changes to his staff addressed that and how he sees room for significant change -- if not in the Titans' offensive identity, in ways that sort of surround and present that identity.

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Hoping Tim Kelly actually had little influence on the Titans' offense in 2022

GTim KellyNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Here’s hoping Tim Kelly was a backburner guy, an advisor in the mold of Jim Schwartz and not a big factor in the Titans' offense in 2021, his first year with the team.

His title said he was the passing game coordinator, and that passing game was terrible, firstly because of the poor personnel. Surrendering to A.J. Brown’s noise and demands and dealing him to Philadelphia neutered the offense, deciding Aaron Brewer would suffice to replace Rodger Saffold was an overconfident move and Robert Woods brought zero explosion to town. Then injuries stacked up and created more issues.

But Mike Vrabel’s said he doesn’t want to be known for coaching talent and I’d think that would apply to the guys who coach for him too.

And so very high on the list of questions for him when he speaks later this afternoon, a question he will doubtlessly dodge, is what exactly did Tim Kelly do last season that puts him in position to recraft an offense and call plays for it?

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The sort of draft trades of the past the Titans now need to avoid

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As we enter weeks of further speculation about the potential for the Titans to make a deal up from No. 11 to get one of the draft's top quarterbacks, I’ve been thinking about another sort of draft weekend trade the franchise needs to get a whole lot better at or start to avoid.

Five times during Jon Robinson’s seven drafts, he dealt two or more picks for one pick in a move-up to get a targeted player.Dez Fitzpatrick

Dez Fitzpatrick in training camp against the Bucs

Giving up a second and third in 2018 for a 16-spot second-round jump that positioned Tennessee to draft Harold Landry was a winning move. And a 2017 move-up for Jayon Brown panned out.

But in three other more recent instances the team gave up seven picks to position themselves for Dane Cruikshank, Dez Fitzpatrick and Malik Willis.

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Titans mail: Mike Vrabel and his offensive staff, the plan post-Derrick Henry and depth questions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We are on the cusp of the weekend again and that's beautiful, though that bye week between the Championship Games and the Super Bowl sure has an empty feel to it.

If you missed the podcast, well that's a mistake. Here are links to it for you on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts and YouTube.

Caleb Shudak

Courtesy Tennessee Titans

Again, a lot of good questions rolled in this week. I'm hoping to have to start breaking some of these off for their own posts.

Here's the best of the very good batch.

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Is the end of 'Hoss' with the Titans another move in a cutthroat trend?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Paul Noska worked under 10 Oilers/Titans head coaches and, technically, seven general managers, though his overlap with Ran Carthon was quite short.

Wednesday, the team didn’t renew Noska’s contract, ending his 40 years with the franchise and their last remaining personnel tie to the Houston Oilers. “Hoss,” as he was known, is 59 and knew no other life than serving a light-blue locker room.

Paul Noska and Earl Campbell

Photo courtesy Titans Facebook

The team's rationale for the move is unclear. There may be some big reason he was not brought back. It would run counter to the character generations of players have responded to.

“Hoss was so old school and I loved it,” said Bernard Pollard, a safety with the Titans in 2013 and 2014. “He and his staff made sure the guys were taken care of. Hoss was so serious about work and making sure the job was done. He was great at his job and he made sure the guys under him knew how to be great as well. One of the best equipment staffs I’ve been around. Love that dude.”

The move seems a bit symbolic of a trend with some of the team’s senior-most employees.

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