Dean Pees confident Mike Vrabel can handle defensive play calling

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Dean Pees retired after last season, leaving after two seasons as the Titans’ defensive coordinator. Mike Vrabel didn’t replace Pees, though.

Instead, Vrabel likely will carry the dual role of head coach and defensive coordinator.

Vrabel recently said Shane Bowen will lead the defense when the head coach isn’t available, but Vrabel remained evasive on who actually will make the calls. Expect Vrabel to do it.

Pees pointed to Mike Zimmer handling both jobs with the Vikings, giving Vrabel a vote of confidence to do the same.

“I think it all depends on the person,” Pees told The Midday 180, via Paul Kuharsky of paulkuharsky.com. “Look, Mike is a very, very smart guy. He’s going to do whatever needs to be done which is the best for the team and the best chance for success. And if he feels he can’t, he won’t. If he feels he can, he will. If I were a fan of Tennessee, I would have the utmost confidence that he was going to be able to handle it one way or the other going forward.”

Pees spoke highly of Bowen, the outside linebackers coach who appears on his way to becoming a defensive coordinator.

“A very, very sharp and upcoming coach,” Pees said. “He is going to have a bright future in this profession. He is a very hard worker who is a very loyal guy, he is very, very football intelligent. He really relates to the players well, they love him. He has a very, very bright future.”