NASHVILLE- Titans head coach Mike Vrabel held his season-ending press conference Monday at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park.
Vrabel covered a ton of topics that day.
Here is a quick overview of the most notable topics:
-Vrabel acknowledged that there will be changes, and he was probably talking about his coaching staff and the roster. “Change is obviously part of this league, it’s part of professional sports,” Vrabel said. “I think there will be conversations here in the short term about the GM, and (wherever it is) that person and I will have conversations. We will have conversations with Amy (Adams Strunk) about the extent of the change that we have. I don’t think anything is necessarily going to happen overnight, but there is going to be change.
-Vrabel said he hasn’t made any changes to his coaching staff yet. He was asked specifically about offensive coordinator Todd Downing. “Our offensive coordinator and Todd,” Vrabel said, “will be part of the conversation and that will be part of my assessment this week as far as the football team goes.”
-Vrabel on his last message to the team: “I thanked them. I thanked the guys who started this process on April 18th – they’ve been through a lot. I thanked them for their dedication. Apart from a few games that i felt like maybe we were overwhelmed, i felt like we were competing unfortunately we were 5-6 in one score games, and that was something that had been our strength in the past and it wasn’t Vrabel said he also expressed to his players to stay in communication.
-Vrabel made it clear that securing the offensive line is a big priority: “When you don’t protect your quarterback, he gets hurt or turns the ball over. We have to do that. … We have to find guys who can protect the quarterback.”
-When Vrabel was asked about defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, Vrabel recalled “Jeff is under contract,” talking about his one-year option. He went on to describe how important he was to the team in terms of “leadership, responsibility and performance”.
–Asked about quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Vrabel said he wants Tannehill to “come back as healthy as possible and be our quarterback and figure out the things that are going to help us win.”
-Vrabel said he looks forward to working with Amy Adams Strunk in the organization’s process to find the next general manager. “I will help in any way I can,” Vrabel said. “We had good conversations about it. It’s not like Amy kept me in the dark about the process and how it happened.”
-Vrabel has spent a lot of time talking about the injury situation over the past two seasons. He said the team will fix it and continue to investigate why everything has been a problem. Vrabel said the team will take a closer look at soft tissue injuries. Vrabel said how the team trains, regeneration days and ways to test players to prevent injuries will also be considered. “We’ve had two terrible years injury-wise,” Vrabel said. “Before that, I think it was at a level where you could say it was within the range of normal.” Vrabel acknowledged that the Titans drafted some players with injury histories. “I don’t know if it’s still a predictor of the future,” Vrabel said. “In some cases maybe it was, and in some cases it wasn’t.”
-Vrabel said his message to Malik Willis moving forward “is to keep improving, to keep growing, and to keep working on the things that we’ve kept discussing” to help him be a better quarterback.
-Vrabel said he was happy with what he saw from quarterback Josh Dobbs during his short stint with the team, and he expects the team to have a conversation about his potential future with the team . “I liked having him here, and I think he made an impact in a short time,” Vrabel said. “We’ll have those conversations and we’ll see where we end up.”
-Vrabel was asked to assess himself after a season the team ended with a seven-game losing streak. “We didn’t do a good enough job – we lost too many games,” Vrabel said. “That personal reflection, nobody would rate that they did a good enough job because we didn’t win. … The short answer is: it wasn’t good enough.”
-Vrabel said receiver Treylon Burks needs to work to continue improving after his rookie season. “I think he realizes what he can do,” Vrabel said, “if he’s fit and he’s ready to go, he’s big and he’s healthy. He worked his tail and had a few unfortunate injuries – he hurt his toe, had the concussion But I’m thrilled to work with him and I’m excited for him and his future It probably started slow, but that’s how you learn sometimes, going through it.
-Vrabel said outside linebacker Harold Landry, who suffered a torn ACL before the season, “looks good…and hopefully he’ll be ready to go (next season) and make a full recovery , and to start playing again as he was before he was injured.”
-When asked about the identity of her football team, Vrabel said: “The same thing I always wanted her to be – smart, tough and fast,” Vrabel said. “(I want it to be) physical. I still think there’s a degree of physicality that is required in this game at every level. Basically, play with technique. But we have to go faster. We have to be a faster football We are rarely the fastest team.”
-Speed is a big priority for the team this offseason, as Vrabel closed today’s 30-plus-minute presser with this: “You want the fastest roster you can (have),” a said Vrabel. “You want everyone to be fast – you want your D-line to be able to run, you want your corners to be able to run, receivers. It’s a fast game, so that’s what you’re trying to do all the time – find players as fast as possible who can play football.”