There was another NFL head coaching vacancy added to the growing list on Tuesday morning when it was announced that the Tennessee Titans had relieved Mike Vrabel from his duties. That makes six current head coaching vacancies (as we wait on the Bill Belichick decision) around the league, and the names of potential candidates to fill the positions makes this one of the most interesting hiring cycles that we have seen in recent memory.
NFL Odds: Mike MacDonald Is The Favorite For Titans Job
Titans fired head coach Mike Vrabel, per sources.
Vrabel led Tennessee to four consecutive winning seasons after arriving in 2018, but the Titans have experienced back-to-back frustrating seasons, finishing multiple games under .500 both times.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2024
The firing of Vrabel may come as a surprise to some. The Titans struggled the last two seasons, but Vrabel was one of the more successful coaches in the league during his first four years with the team. Tennessee made three straight playoff appearances between 2019 and 2021, and made it to the AFC Championship in 2020, the season prior to him winning the NFL Coach of the Year award.
So where do the Titans go from here? Here are some of the more interesting names listed on the odds board at BetOnline for who will be the next head coach in Tennessee:
Mike MacDonald (+300)
The oddsmakers say that the Titans are most likely going to stick with a defensive-minded approach. The leader on the board is the current Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald, who figures to be one of the hottest available candidates during this year’s cycle. He has been in his current position for the past two seasons, and has been with the Ravens organization since 2014, outside of one year that he took the defensive coordinator job at the University of Michigan.
MacDonald, 36 years old, would be the youngest head coach in the NFL should he be hired.
Bill Belichick (+400)
Could the Patriots and Titans essentially swap coaches? There has been no concrete decision made on Bill Belichick’s future in New England, but there is plenty of speculation that he’ll be let go and that Vrabel would be the obvious replacement. But are the Titans the NFL team that Belichick would want to continue his storied career with? There will be plenty of interest in the Hall of Fame coach should he be let go, and he’ll likely have his choice for which situation suits him best.
Bobby Slowik (+500)
Slowik is actually a few days younger than Mike MacDonald, so if the current Houston Texans offensive coordinator gets hire’d then he’ll be the youngest coach in the NFL. Slowik spent much of his career under Kyle Shanahan, first with the Redskins as a defensive assistant, and then with the 49ers in various offensive roles after spending a few between years as a PFF analyst. He branched off last year but stayed in the same coaching tree, following DeMeco Ryans to Houston for the 2023 season.