Two years ago at this time, the Tennessee Titans were the number one seed in the AFC. Mike Vrabel was on his way to winning coach of the year because he did a masterful job keeping his team on track with numerous injuries - the biggest of which being a foot injury to Derrick Henry that held him out of the final nine games of the regular season. The Titans would lose in the divisional round to the Cincinnati Bengals, but even with that Vrabel’s stock couldn’t be higher. So how did Vrabel and the Titans get to the current point where neither party is sure they want to keep working together?
It really all started when the Titans traded A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles on the first night of the 2022 NFL Draft. Vrabel was visibly angry when the cameras cut to the Titans’ draft room that night. That was the beginning of the end for then-general manager Jon Robinson. That trade combined with numerous failures in the draft and free agency led to Amy Adams-Strunk firing Jon Robinson last December.
There are reports out there from multiple people who say that Vrabel wanted Ryan Cowden to be the next general manager. Cowden was on Robinson’s staff. AAS went in a different direction and hired Ran Carthon from the San Francisco 49ers. That arranged marriage reportedly did not sit well with Vrabel and is a big reason the Titans are where they are today.
However, we cannot pin all of this on the situation with Vrabel and Carthon. It is impossible to ignore the fact that Vrabel’s record over the last two seasons is 13-21. Had the Titans made the playoffs in both of those seasons, the discussion around Vrabel would be entirely different.
So now AAS finds herself at a crossroads. There was a report out there yesterday that Vrabel has asked for a person over both him and Carthon to have the ultimate final say. Joe Rexrode said he had not heard that this morning on the radio, but while we don’t know exactly what the conversations between Vrabel and AAS have been, it seems pretty clear that Vrabel wants the current structure to change.
Again, if you had told me on January 9th, 2022 that we would be waiting to see if Vrabel was going to be the coach of the Titans in 2024, I would have thought you were crazy, but I guess I should have known that the craziest thing that can happen will happen when it comes to the Titans.