By Dianna Russini, Joe Rexrode and Jeff Zrebiec
New Tennessee Titans coach Brian Callahan continued filling out his staff Wednesday night, bringing Baltimore Ravens secondary coach Dennard Wilson to Nashville as the Titans’ new defensive coordinator, league sources said.
Wilson, who played in the league with Washington for one year in 2004, has coached defensive units with four different teams since 2012. He started with the St. Louis Rams as a defensive quality control coach and rose to defensive backs coach after the team moved to Los Angeles.
From there, he moved on to the New York Jets and then to the Philadelphia Eagles. He was passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach with each franchise before joining Baltimore in 2023.
With the Ravens, Wilson coached the defensive backs unit that totaled 18 interceptions and only allowed 18 passing touchdowns while giving up 3,263 passing yards. The Baltimore defense became the first unit in NFL history to lead the league in points allowed, sacks and takeaways in the same season.
Earlier Wednesday, Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald took the head coaching job with the Seattle Seahawks.
What this means for Callahan’s staff
This comes off as an early win for Callahan as he builds a staff in Nashville, and it ends any possibility of Shane Bowen, the Titans’ defensive coordinator under Mike Vrabel, being retained. It will also make for a very young group heading up this staff considering the up-and-comers Callahan is considering for offensive coordinator.
No one like Wade Phillips, who came into Los Angeles with Sean McVay, or Dean Pees, who came out of brief retirement to join Vrabel when he got the Titans job. Of course, Bill Callahan could bring that veteran presence if the Cleveland Browns were willing to let him go. — Joe Rexrode, Nashville sports columnist
What Wilson meant to Baltimore
Wilson did a superb job in his one season working with the Ravens secondary. Under him, second-year safety Kyle Hamilton made the jump into All-Pro status. Veteran safety Geno Stone, who had previously been non-tendered by the Ravens, led the AFC in interceptions. Brandon Stephens, a former college running back who played mostly safety with the Ravens over his first two seasons, established himself as a legitimate starting cornerback.
Veterans, like Ronald Darby and Arthur Maulet, played some of the best football of their careers. Even with perennial Pro Bowl corner Marlon Humphrey missing a chunk of the season with injuries, the Ravens secondary played sound football all year and limited big plays. Wilson deserves a lot of credit for that. — Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens beat writer
(Photo: Ken Murray / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)