On Wednesday night, news broke that the Detroit Lions will be adding Tennessee Titans assistant head coach/defensive line coach Terrell Williams to their own coaching staff. Per Dianna Russini, Williams’ role will be Detroit’s defensive run game coordinator and defensive line coach. It’s unclear what this means for current Lions defensive line coach John Scott Jr.
The overall reaction to Williams’ hiring is overwhelmingly positive. At the very least, it appears the Lions have a coach who could develop into their defensive coordinator, should they lose Aaron Glenn. Williams has a resume filled with leadership opportunities. Not only was he the assistant head coach under Titans head coach Mike Vrabel in 2023, but he was also the acting head coach for the team during their preseason game against the Chicago Bears—a helpful gesture from Vrabel.
“I think that him dealing with and talking to the trainer, and again we will have a lot of conversations between now and Friday, but just handling things with the roster and discussing those things with the assistant coaches,” Vrabel explained. “How we want to play the game, let him make those decisions in the game. We’ll go into the game with things we think we need to try and get done and I’ll help him where need be. I think it will be a great opportunity. Well deserved. Something that I wanted to do.”
This week, Williams is the head coach for the American Team of the Senior Bowl.
So how do the Titans—who are going through an entire coaching change this offseason—feel about the loss? Here are some of the most notable reactions from Tennessee media and fans:
Terrell Williams is a big loss for the #Titans.— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) February 1, 2024
I'll say this. Given the inexperience of the HC + DC (and likely OC, too), I feel Brian Callahan could use someone with Williams' experience on his staff.
Williams will be an excellent fit alongside Dan Campbell in Detroit. https://t.co/bbGAUcj5uf
Losing Terrell Williams as reported by @DMRussini is a big loss for the #Titans. Ironically, I was just talking to Texas DT T'Vondre Sweat today about Williams. Sweat said Williams helped show him how to better use his hands in just two days of working won't him at the Sr Bowl.— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) February 1, 2024
I never said they wouldn't. But that does not stop me from saying Terrell Williams is an outstanding coach. No position on the Titans saw better development than the DLine over the past six seasons.— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) February 1, 2024
Williams was one of the few coaches from Mike Vrabel’s staff I was a fan of keeping. He did an excellent job during his tenure in Tennessee and would have been an asset to rookie head coach Brian Callahan.
Amidst the chaos of Dennard Wilson being hired, the #Titans appear to be losing DL coach Terrell Williams.— Sam Phalen (@Sam_Phalen) February 1, 2024
Has been a key member of Mike Vrabel’s staff for years. Future defensive coordinator IMO. https://t.co/OJNLbG5WUo
(NOTE: Williams interviewed for the Bears defensive coordinator position earlier this year.)
Terrell Williams doing a fantastic job future HC material— Don Merryfield (@DonMerryfield) January 30, 2024
This kinda stinks. Terrell Williams is damn good at what he does and hope it’ll be on display even more in Detroit https://t.co/ABBNm8S8zs— Tre (@TreJeanNFL) February 1, 2024
And here’s a little taste of him coaching at the Senior Bowl this week: