Titans promote former Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly, hire 1st female coach


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel has shaken up his coaching staff and announced Tuesday that he promoted Tim Kelly to offensive coordinator from passing game coordinator.

Before joining the Titans for the 2022 season, Kelly worked with the Houston Texans between 2014 and 2021 with the last three seasons as offensive coordinator.

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Vrabel also announced several new hirings and changes to his existing staff.

The Titans added Charles London from Atlanta to replace Kelly, hired last year as the passing game coordinator, as the new pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach; Chris Harris is the new defensive passing game coordinator and cornerbacks coach.

Vrabel also has hired the franchise’s first full-time female coaching assistant, adding Lori Locust as defensive quality control coach from Tampa Bay along with Justin Hamilton in the same position.

Tony Dews is switching from coaching running backs and two-time NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry to tight ends, while Luke Steckel moves from coaching tight ends to the Titans’ new run game analyst. Quarterbacks coach Pat O’Hara now is the passing game analyst.

Jason Houghtaling takes over as offensive line coach. Tennessee still must hire a running backs coach.

Kelly replaces Todd Downing, who was fired after two seasons.

He played in college at Eastern Illinois at defensive tackle and went into coaching as an assistant graduate at Illinois Wesleyan in 2008. He spent 2010 at Minnesota State-Moorhead, 2011 at Ball State as a graduate assistant and 2012-2013 at Penn State in the same role.

London spent the past two seasons coaching quarterbacks in Atlanta for former Tennessee offensive coordinator and now Falcons head coach Arthur Smith. The Titans had their best offensive production in 2020 in Smith’s last season as coordinator. London interviewed last month for Washington’s offensive coordinator vacancy.

Harris played eight seasons in the NFL and has spent the past nine as a coach. He spent the past three seasons coaching Washington’s defensive backs. He also has coached with the Chargers and started as a coach in 2013 with Chicago where Harris started his NFL career in 2005.

Locust spent the past four seasons as assistant defensive line coach for Tampa Bay, including the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl victory in the 2020 season. She was an assistant defensive line coach in the Alliance of American Football and a coaching intern with the Baltimore Ravens during their 2018 training camp.

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