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Titans expected to hire Ravens defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson as defensive coordinator

Titans head coach Brian Callahan has found a coordinator for his defense.

Tennessee is expected to hire Ravens defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson as its next defensive coordinator, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported on Wednesday, per sources.

Wilson, who interviewed with the Titans on Saturday for the position, will be entrusted in his 13th season coaching at the NFL level with bolstering a unit that fell just below average during the 2023 season. Tennessee is coming off a year in which it ranked 16th in scoring and 18th in yards -- although it was weakest where Wilson's expertise is strongest, with the 29th-ranked passing defense.

The 41-year-old Wilson was part of a coaching staff in Baltimore this past season that orchestrated the league's No. 1 scoring defense. The secondary was key in that ranking, as evidenced by the Ravens allowing the second-fewest passing touchdowns in the league and finishing sixth in passing yardage allowed.

Wilson also worked with the Eagles in 2021 and 2022, serving as the passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach during his second year, when Philadelphia ranked first in passing yards allowed. Before that, he coached for the Jets and Rams.

The news of his expected hiring comes on the same day that the Ravens lost their defensive coordinator, Mike Macdonald, who departed to take a head coaching job with the Seattle Seahawks.

There are building blocks in Tennessee, such as defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and linebacker Harold Landry, who has 22.5 combined sacks across two years separated by his 2022 preseason ACL tear.

But the list of pending free agents, which features Denico Autry, Azeez Al-Shaair and Sean Murphy-Bunting, is long.

The Titans head into the offseason with an estimated $68.1 million of cap space, per Over the Cap, second-most in the NFL. They could certainly use that to retain pieces brought in by the old regime, or they could allocate part of that cash to help construct an improved defense in Wilson's image.

Whatever the approach, he'll be counted on immensely to help Tennessee return to the playoffs after two misses in a row.

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