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2020 NFL Draft: Interview with Titans UDFA LB Cale Garrett

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Deciding which team to sign with as an un-drafted free agent is a life-changing decision. Picking the right opportunity can be imperative to the outlook of the rest of your career. There are many factors at play, but being able to identify the right fit is key to making the right decision.

The Titans recently confirmed the signing of 14 un-drafted free agents, and former Missouri linebacker Cale Garrett is among them. The Titans are a tough, physical football team and Garrett was one of the most productive linebackers in college football.

Garrett recently spoke with MCM about how he formed a relationship with coach Haslett and coach Vrabel throughout this process, what he brings to the table, and why he can’t wait to meet... Beau Brinkley.

JM: Congratulations on signing with the Titans as a UDFA.

CG: Thank you so much. It’s an honor and a privilege to play for coach [Jim] Haslett and coach [Mike] Vrabel. I’m thankful for this opportunity.

JM: What was draft weekend like for you?

CG: It was definitely stressful. There wasn’t much fun to it until it was all sorted out. I’m happy with how things played out. At the end of the day, I’m confident that Nashville was the right spot for me. I’m really excited to be a member of the Titans organization. I think this opportunity gives me the best chance to make an NFL roster. I also think the fit with coach Haslett and coach Vrabel is perfect for me.

JM: How did this opportunity with the Titans come about?

CG: We had some great communication in the weeks leading up to the draft. Coach Haslett called me a few times the week before the draft. He checked in with me. He told me that he really liked me. He was very honest with me. He flat out told me that they probably wouldn’t draft me but if I was still hanging around after the draft, he asked me to strongly consider the Titans as the best option for me. We all agreed that I fit into their plans really well. Coach Vrabel called me a few days later to basically reiterate everything that coach Haslett and I talked about. We had some great conversations. I felt really good about the vibe I received from those two. This is where I wanted to be.

JM: It sounds like you had some other opportunities on the table, but the relationship that you built with coach Haslett and coach Vrabel was tough to beat.

CG: We really did. My agent and I looked at every offer from a probability standpoint. Which opportunity gives me the best chance to make a roster? Which coaches did I get along with best? We felt the answer to both of those questions was right here in Tennessee. I genuinely feel like coach Haslett and coach Vrabel have a plan for me. It’s a fantastic organization. I really appreciate what everybody here has already done for me. I feel good about my chances to make the team.

JM: I love that. How would you describe your skill-set? What’s your favorite part about playing the linebacker position?

CG: I’m a very physical player. I read the game at a high level. I’m usually in the right spot. It’s a very demanding position. You have to know what everybody else on the field is doing. You’re involved in every play. Whether it’s defending the run or in pass coverage, you have a role to play. I love the feeling of being involved and engaged the entire time. It’s an awesome position.

JM: You were very productive at Missouri. You were on pace for another excellent season in 2019 before an injury cut your final season short. Do you feel like you were a little underrated throughout the pre-draft process?

CG: Maybe I was. People can think whatever they want about me. It is what it is. I wouldn’t personally describe myself as underrated. I’ve never put much thought into that. I can only control what I can control. I just try to make the most of every opportunity. I don’t care if I don’t make the headlines or the whole world doesn’t know who I am. As long as I get an opportunity to play football and do what I love, that’s all that matters to me.

JM: I like that. Is there one Titan that you can’t wait to meet, practice against or get some advice from?

CG: Yes, Beau Brinkley. We went to the same high school and college. He’s had such a good NFL career. He’s been their long-snapper for such a long time. I can’t wait to speak with him. I probably won’t practice against him much but I look forward to being out there on the punt unit with him.

JM: I absolutely love that answer. It’s not every day that I hear “Beau Brinkley” as the answer to that question.

CG: Well, that’s my final answer (laughs).

JM: That’s the best. I’ve really appreciated your time today, Cale. In closing, what are your goals and aspirations over these next few months?

CG: I’m just going to take it all in and take things one day at a time. I’m going to learn the playbook to the best of my ability. I’m not going to get cut because I wasn’t doing enough on my end. I won’t get cut because I didn’t work hard enough. If they don’t think I’m good enough, you can live with that. You can’t live with knowing that you didn’t do enough. That’s how I look at it. I’m going to give it my best shot and do everything I can on my end. I’ll let the chips fall where they may.