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5 offensive coordinator candidates for Titans head coach Brian Callahan

Who will Brian Callahan hire to be his offensive coordinator?

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Titans hired former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan as their new head coach on Monday evening. Callahan is an offensive-minded leader that will prioritize Will Levis’ development. Callahan will now assemble his own coaching staff, including the appointment of an offensive coordinator.

Callahan will likely call plays in Tennessee, but his OC will be tasked with an important job that includes installing the offense this offseason. Callahan has worked with a bunch of outstanding offensive coaches. We’ve identified three potential OC candidates:

THOMAS BROWN, PANTHERS OC

The Titans once interviewed Mike Vrabel and Matt LaFleur and hired both of them, Vrabel as head coach, and LaFleur as OC. I can see a similar scenario playing out with Callahan and Thomas Brown. Coach Brown is unlikely to remain with the Carolina Panthers, who are hiring a new head coach.

Brown and Callahan haven’t crossed paths professionally but both are well-versed in the Sean McVay/Kyle Shanahan offense. Brown and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor both worked under McVay with the Los Angeles Rams and helped install their variation of the West Coast Offense. Callahan later did the same for Taylor in Cincinnati.

ALEX VAN PELT, FORMER BROWNS OC

There has been talk about Callahan’s dad, Bill Callahan leaving his post with the Cleveland Browns to join his son in Tennessee. Former Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt is a strong candidate to also bring his coaching talents to Nashville. Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski relieved Van Pelt of his duties at the conclusion of their campaign.

Van Pelt previously spent two seasons (2018-19) as Taylor’s quarterbacks coach in Cincinnati. He worked directly with Callahan, who was the offensive coordinator. Van Pelt and Callahan possess a notable coaching connection, and likely share similar concepts.

ERIC STUDESVILLE, DOLPHINS AST. HC/RB COACH

Eric Studesville is one of the most respected assistant coaches in the league. The 56-year-old Studesville is currently with the Miami Dolphins, where he’s survived multiple coaching changes. In Miami, Studesville has worked as a running backs coach, run game coordinator, and co offensive coordinator. Most recently, Mike McDaniel made Studesville an associate head coach.

Studesville was the Denver Broncos’ running backs coach in 2010, and even served as their interim head coach later that season. In 2011, Studesville stayed with Denver and became the running backs coach for the next six campaigns (2011-16). Callahan and Studesville spent six campaigns (2010-15) together with the Broncos. Callahan likely possesses a terrific amount of respect for Studesville.

BO HARDEGREE, FORMER RAIDERS OC

New Las Vegas Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce isn’t expected to retain Bo Hardegree as his offensive coordinator. Hardegee was originally appointed in Vegas by former head coach Josh McDaniels. Hardegree is now looking for his next coaching gig.

Hardegree is a quality coach that worked under Bill Belichick in 2021. Hardegree previously worked alongside Callahan in Denver in 2014 when both were offensive assistants. Hardegree is well-versed in multiple offensive schemes and would be an asset to Callahan.

KLINT KUBIAK, 49ers PASSING GAME COORDINATOR

Klink Kubiak is the son of Gary Kubiak, one of the masters of the West Coast Offense. Kubiak is currently employed as Kyle Shanahan’s passing game coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers. Shanahan’s assistants are frequently in line for promotion.

Kubiak and Callahan haven’t worked together, but share similar concepts and beliefs. Kubiak joined the Broncos as an offensive assistant in 2016 the same month Callahan left Denver to become the Detroit Lions’ quarterbacks coach. Kubiak later returned to Denver as their passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and also enjoyed a stint as the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive coordinator.