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Coaching Snapshot: Offensive Assistant
02-14-2019, 08:53 AM,
Post: #1
Coaching Snapshot: Offensive Assistant
Mike Sullivan A look into OC Matt LaFleur’s offensive staffName: Mike SullivanRole: Offensive Assistant NFL Coaching Experience: 15 seasonsPositions Coached: Assistant Offensive Line Coach (Cleveland Tennessee Titans T-Shirt , 2001-2004), Offensive Line Coach (Cleveland, 2007-2008), Offensive Line Coach (San Diego, 2009-2012), Offensive Line Coach (Cleveland, 2013) and Assistant Offensive Line Coach (Tennessee, 2014-Present)Collegiate Coaching Experience: Graduate Assistant (Miami University, 2000), Offensive Line (Western Michigan Tennessee Titans Hats , 2005-2006).Coaching Track RecordCleveland BrownsMike Sullivan’s NFL coaching career started in Ohio. Sullivan, a former NFL offensive lineman, assisted Offensive Line Coach Larry Zierlein from 2001-2004. Sullivan and Zierlein were members of Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians’ staff - a group that included ex-Titans OC Terry Robiskie. HC Butch Davis had a solid group of coaches - some of whom would have successful years as NFL coaches. Arians, Todd Bowles and Chuck Pagano eventually became head coaches themselves.Cleveland’s last playoff berth was in 2002 under Davis’ staff. During Sullivan’s time with the Browns, he helped coach Pro Bowl OL and Super Bowl Champion, Shaun O’Hara - who signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent. Unfortunately, the bulk of O’Hara’s success - as has been the case for some - took place once leaving the Land.Sullivan left the Browns organization following the end of the Davis-era. He returned to Cleveland in 2013 under new HC Rob Chudzinski. Sullivan’s working relationship with Chudzinski began in the 2004 season in Cleveland. Chudzinski served as the Browns Tight Ends Coach.Chudzinski, who was going on his third stint with Cleveland, would only last one season following a 4-12 finish in AFC North. San Diego ChargersPrior to reuninting with Chudzinski in Cleveland, Sullivan worked with him in San Diego. Under HC Norv Turner Tennessee Titans Hoodie , Sullivan worked with fellow Offensive Line Coach, Hal Hunter, as a position coach for the offensive line. Turner was able to post a 13-3 record - the second best record in the AFC behind only the Colts - and tied for second with the New Orleans Saints for second best record in the league. The Chargers season ended with a disappointing loss to the New York Jets in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.Sullivan coached OG Kris Dielman to second team All Pro Honors. Dielman would earn a Pro Bowl nod the following season, but the Chargers would fail to reach the post season. In fact, San Diego would remain out of the playoffs for the remainder of Sullivan’s time with the team.Tennessee Titans2014 marked the beginning of the short-lived Ken Whisenhunt-era in Nashville.Sullivan was hired to assist Offensive Line Coach Bob Bostad in 2014. Bostad would remain the coach of the offensivel line for two seasons. In 2014, LT Taylor Lewan was the Titans first round selection. Sullivan has been with the team since Lewan’s rookie year and has witnessed first hand the growth and maturity that contributed to Lewan becoming an elite talent.Sullivan’s first two seasons in Nashville each ended with last place finishes in the AFC South. After some coaching shakeup, Sullivan hung around and assisted HOF Offensive Lineman Russ Grimm. Grimm helped the Titans’ offensive line transform from one of the leagues worst to arguably the top offensive line in the 2016 regular season.Although the 2016 Titans fell short of a postseason berth, the team managed to reach the playoffs the following year and earned a road win over Kansas City. Grimm retired following the 2017 season amid coaching staff changes. After the smoke cleared, Sullivan remained as one of the few survivors post-Mularkey.With the number of changes to the offense in general - combined with the additions of depth at offensive line during free agency - keeping Sullivan on staff made sense. His established relationship with the offensive line group will help the team transition into the new offense. Moreover, Sullivan’s experience in working with the offensive mind of Turner provides him with the insight that may help him explain some of the “newer” concepts. Turner’s offensive style involved working with sophisticated tight ends that had reliable set of hands that could also be used based on their individual versatility. Turner’s offensive designed involved forcing a team to defend the entire field - shades of Don Coryell. Will LaFleur’s offense feature similar concepts? It is probable. Sullivan’s coaching experience in diverse offensive will aid tremendously. He will help Offensive Line Coach Keith Carter inject new concepts/techniques in the trenches. Mike Vrabel has recently been talking about close games a lot with his Titans.After Tennessee pulled out three straight victories by three points apiece Youth Customized Tennessee Titans Jerseys , the first-year coach and the Titans are coming off a one-point loss. The Titans had been a league-best 9-1 since the start of 2016 in games decided by three or fewer points.Now Vrabel and the Titans get to see how they react to losing a close game 鈥?a 13-12 decision to Buffalo 鈥?and Vrabel believes the Titans will find out who they really are."It's not about what kind of team you are when you're winning, it's about when things go bad and you lose," Vrabel said Monday. "Can you stick together or does one side of the ball start looking at the other side? Do people start pointing fingers? That can't happen. I won't let it. I think that's where we have to start."Even before Vrabel was hired in January, the Titans had been very good in close games. Then they added three more such wins before going to Buffalo."This one we wasn't able to pull it off," safety Kevin Byard said. "We win the close games it's like we're celebrating that. When we lose it, it's like the building's falling down and stuff like that. So at the end of the day, we just have to regroup and get back together ... correct the things we need to correct and get on the Ravens."Well, the Titans have a few things to fix before hosting Baltimore (3-2) on Sunday in their lone home game in October.The offense matched its season high in turnovers with two lost fumbles and an interception, and the Titans lost both of those games. Dropped passes also have been an issue. Nick Williams, the receiver beaten for position on the interception , also dropped a would-be touchdown pass as Tennessee settled for the first of two field goals in the fourth quarter.The Titans went through a second game without scoring a touchdown, and they rank 29th in the NFL in scoring average at 17.4 points per game.The loss of three-time Pro Bowl Delanie Walker, who broke his right ankle in the season-opening loss in Miami , has been very noticeable with tight ends not catching a single pass over the past two games. Jonnu Smith dropped a pass in Tennessee's overtime win against Philadelphia but didn't catch the two passes thrown to him in Buffalo. Luke Stocker didn't catch the one thrown to him.Asked if the Titans need more from their tight ends, Vrabel said they need more from everybody, including himself."The only two guys we didn't need more from (Sunday) were the kicker and the punter," Vrabel said. "They did their job."Later Monday, the Titans promoted tight end Anthony Firkser from the practice squad.Tennessee is tied for fourth in scoring defense, giving up just one fewer point (86) than the offense has scored (87). But the Titans, who ranked fifth against the run last season Tennessee Titans Womens T-Shirt , are 26th in that category after giving up 144 yards to the Bills."We're 3-2," Byard said. "We're still ahead of the division. We're still in a good position. We have to play better of course, but there's still a lot of optimism left in this locker room."Notes: To make room for Firkser, the Titans waived RB Dalyn Dawkins.Follow Teresa M. Walker at s://teresamwalker

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