NASHVILLE – Brian Callahan got emotional.
At other points during Thursday’s introductory press conference, the new Titans head coach showed some fire.
With plenty of questions about the team’s roster, his coaching staff and the challenges ahead in turning the Titans into a contender again, Callahan made one thing clear when asked what he wants to see from his team on a consistent basis.
“Resilient and relentless,” Callahan said. “You want your team to have those two qualities, and if you have those things, if you are resilient and can handle the ups and downs, the good and the bad, and you are relentless in how you approach every day at work, every day at practice, every game you play, your results, they’ll come.
“If you turn on the tape and you watch the Tennessee Titans, I hope those are the two words that come to mind.”
Callahan arrives in Tennessee after 14 years of NFL coaching experience, including the past five seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Callahan was a popular candidate on the NFL circuit, with trips planned for Carolina and Atlanta after his visit to Tennessee.
But the Titans convinced Callahan to stay in Nashville. Callahan said it became evident to him the Titans would be the best fit for him and his family, and the two sides struck a deal.
“It felt just like the place I was at (in Cincinnati),” Callahan said of the Titans. “And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible, because I loved being there. You felt the atmosphere here, you felt the intensity, you felt the want to be great. And when I walked in here Monday for the interview, that’s one of the things that stood out. There’s a lot of passionate people here that want the Titans to be a great football team. I felt like, “That’s where I want to be.”
“I felt like this was the perfect fit for me.”
Over the past three seasons (2021-23), when as Callahan served as offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, the Bengals offense ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in several categories: sixth in scoring (24.9), seventh in passing (250.8 yards per game), seventh in red-zone efficiency (61.5 percent), 10th in third-down percentage (41.0) and sixth in time of possession (31:00).
Callahan played a key role in developing Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, just like he had an influence at previous stops with the Raiders, Lions and Broncos with quarterbacks Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford and Peyton Manning.
On Thursday, Callahan discussed Titans quarterback Will Levis, saying he likes his competitive spirit, and ability.
But now he has an entire team to coach, and he’ll do it his way.
“My coaching style is consistent, my demeanor is pretty consistent,” Callahan said. “I pride myself on being a great teacher, that is first and foremost. As a coach, that is all you really care about is how well you can teach and articulate to the players what they need to do. I have plenty of intensity. I have a pretty laid-back demeanor most of the time, as you guys will see, but when it is time to make corrections and bring the energy that is necessary, I can do that. But my coaching style is a teaching coaching style.
“We’re trying to make sure that our guys know exactly what to do, how to do it, and they can go execute at a really high level and as fast as humanly possible.”