On January 24th, Pete Thamel reported that Ohio State University’s Cornerbacks Coach, Assistant Coordinator/Defense, and Special Teams Coordinator Kerry Coombs would be joining Mike Vrabel’s staff in Nashville.
Source: OSU DB coach Kerry Coombs is leaving for the Tennessee Titans. He worked with Mike Vrabel at OSU.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 24, 2018
It was not announced at the time what role he would be filling with the Titans.
But recently, Paul Kuharsky reported that Coombs will be taking over as Tennessee’s defensive backs coach. Deshea Townsend has reportedly turned down an offer to remain on the staff as Coombs’ assistant.
Appears @OsuCoachCoombs (first reported to be coming to #Titans by @PeteThamel), will coach #Titans defensive backs. Deshea Townsend was offered a position as his assistant and will instead be moving on.— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) January 26, 2018
Earlier this week, it was reported that DeShea Townsend could potentially be the only member of Mike Mularkey’s staff to remain with the Titans. It appears that will not be the case.
In addition to Deshea Townsend (DBs): Arthur Smith (TEs), Craig Aukerman (assistant special teams) and Luke Steckel (assistant WRs) are interviewing for spots on Vrabel's staff. #Titans— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) January 24, 2018
We still await word on the fate of the other coaches, Smith, Aukerman, and Steckel.
Additionally, Mike Vrabel said on his appearance with the Midday 180 on Friday that he is currently working with strength and conditioning coach Steve Watterson on what is essentially a trial basis to get an idea of how Watterson works.
Regarding Coombs, I’m not sure how I feel about the defensive backs coach being hired before the defensive coordinator, but perhaps that is why there hasn’t been an official hiring announcement from the team yet.
While it is a shame to lose Townsend, who was a good coach, I do think Coombs is a considerable upgrade. There’s no denying the talent that Ohio State has produced (across the board, but especially) at cornerback in recent years.
In 2016 and 2017, the Buckeyes had three first round corners, Eli Apple (#10) , Marshon Lattimore (#11), and Gareon Conley (#24). Conley likely would have been drafted in the top half of the first round if not for his off-field question marks surrounding allegations that were eventually dropped. And in 2018, Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward is expected to be drafted in the first round, as well.
You can read more about Coach Coombs here.
Mike Vrabel’s first official-unofficial hire is a home run. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the staff falls into place.