Mike Vrabel addressed the media today after a let down loss in Buffalo. Some of the main themes of his message were consistency, effort, and focus. As usual, the coach refused to point the blame at any individual players, saying that the only two guys that the Titans didn’t need more from against the Bills were Ryan Succop and Brett Kern.
It sounded like Vrabel was disappointed in the effort from the defense on the Josh Allen touchdown run. There appeared to be a lack of intensity from some players in pursuit of the Bills quarterback on that play and that’s unacceptable. As Vrabel said, “they can beat us, but they can’t outwork us.”
Vrabel was quick to take responsibility for the delay of game penalty that pushed a 3rd and 3 to a 3rd and 8 during a Titans drive on the edge of field goal range. He said that he thought they were going to get it off and didn’t want to use a timeout if he didn’t have to.
The big injury question coming out of the Bills game was with regards to Taylor Lewan who left early with a foot injury. He is having an MRI today to see what exactly is going on with the injured foot. It’s something that Lewan said he’s dealt with in the past.
Dennis Kelly has a chance to be available this week according to Vrabel. He said that they worked him out before the game on Sunday and the biggest hurdle remaining is Kelly feeling comfortable that he’s ready to play. If Lewan’s injury is going to keep him out for any length of time, Kelly’s availability will be critical for the offense.
Vrabel was asked about his feelings about the wide receiver depth and simply responded that he and Jon Robinson will continue to evaluate the roster at all positions, including receiver. I know the clamoring for Dez Bryant is going to ramp back up after Nick Williams let a potential win slip right through his arms in Buffalo, but do we really think adding the receiver who led the NFL in drops in 2017 to this roster is going to fix the drop issue?
Vrabel praised Jonnu Smith’s work in pass protection, saying that it was much better this week than it was against the Eagles. Regarding his lack of targets, he said that he needs to continue to build trust with Marcus Mariota.
The Titans coach had a conversation with Rashaan Evans about the tweet regarding inside linebacker not being his primary position. Vrabel said that Evans can’t have it both ways with regards to social media and has to be consistent with his approach regardless of whether the team wins or loses. Regarding his play in the game, he said that he thought Evans had some good moments, but also a couple missed tackles that he would like to have back. Specifically one where he tried to crush LeSean McCoy instead of just squaring him up and making the tackle.
One thing that really struck me from the press conference was Vrabel’s willingness to admit that he doesn’t know everything regarding quarterback and running back play specifically. He admits that he’s never played those positions and therefore he can only make suggestions and lean on others who have. It’s refreshing to hear a coach admit to not being an all-knowing expert on all things football.