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Titans finalize staff, Haslett to coach inside linebackers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Mike Vrabel has finalized his Titans coaching staff by hiring Jim Haslett as Tennessee's inside linebackers coach.

Who calls defensive plays for 2020 has yet to be determined, but it will be someone currently on staff after the moves announced Thursday. Vrabel did not hire a defensive coordinator to replace Dean Pees.

“Adding quality coaches to our staff has always been my priority with the ability to teach, develop and inspire,” Vrabel said in a statement. ”I have known Jim (Haslett) since my rookie season at Pittsburgh and was impressed with how he taught and developed the players on our defense. Over his career, he has experience and success as a head coach, defensive coordinator and linebacker coach."

Vrabel lured Pees out of retirement in January 2018 after being hired as Tennessee's head coach. Pees announced his retirement for the second time Jan. 20, a day after the Titans lost the AFC championship game to Kansas City.

This Titans' coaching staff does have a pair of coaches who have been defensive coordinators. Vrabel was defensive coordinator for Houston in 2017 before being hired by Tennessee. Haslett was Vrabel's defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh between 1997 and 1998. He has been a defensive coordinator for 12 seasons including New Orleans in 1996, St. Louis from 2006-2008 and Washington from 2010 through 2014.

Haslett also was the Saints' head coach from 2000 through 2005 and was AP coach of the year in 2000. He was interim head coach with the then-St. Louis Rams in 2008 and with Florida in the United Football League in 2009. He coached linebackers with the Raiders in 1993 and 1994, New Orleans in 1995 and with Cincinnati between 2016 and 2018.

A second-round draft pick by Buffalo in 1979, Haslett was the AP defensive rookie of the year as a linebacker himself. He was an All-Pro in 1980 and played eight NFL seasons.

The Titans, who hired Anthony Midget as secondary coach last week, also moved Ryan Crow to assistant special teams from defensive assistant, Matt Edwards will be defensive assistant after being an assistant for special teams and Scott Booker will coach safeties after being a defensive assistant.

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Updated February 6, 2020

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