The Tennessee Titans moved to 9-4 yesterday after their shutout victory over the 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguars.
After yesterday’s victory, the Titans are now tied for 1st place in the AFC with the Patriots and Chiefs who both share similar 9-4 records. However, Tennessee is currently the 2-Seed in the AFC due to tie breaking scenarios.
Head coach Mike Vrabel held his weekly Monday afternoon press conference and he addressed several intriguing topics about yesterdays game and a plethora of other things so let’s dive right into what stood out the most from Monday’s press conference.
Did the pass rush early in the game set the tone for the rest of the day defensively?
Vrabel: “I think that and the run game, the way that we were able to swarm and tackle. We tackled exponentially better this game. It’s good to see that you emphasize and focus on translate to the game. But that first play was a product of the coverage helping the rush… some of the pressure stuff that we did was executed well and sometimes when we were able to get there with four guys.”
What do the Titans need to see from Golden Tate to be activated on gameday?
Vrabel: “You can only activate so many guys, we’ll see where he’s at this week. He’s been working hard, catching punts, and trying to show us some of those things.”
Vrabel also said: “he’s (Golden Tate) working hard, he’s conscientious, I like seeing him in the meetings, it feels like he’s getting a better grasp of what we’re doing. Each and every week will be different as far as who we have up and who we have active and where we see everybody fitting.”
With Julio Jones and Racey McMath back in the lineup, was the team hoping to throw more down the field?
Vrabel: “yeah we’ll do whatever we can do to try and get the ball down field. TRY to, (yesterday) the quarterback got sacked or hit, we gotta protect the quarterback.”
Did the early lead combined with the way the defense was performing lead to a more conservative approach offensively as the game progressed?
Vrabel: “Sure, we’ll do whatever we have to do every week to win a football game. We didn’t turn it over, we had two penalties — they had nine (penalties), four turnovers so after that to me it’s really a moot point. We’re going to coach and do the things we feel like win football games…”
Vrabel also said: “When you do the things that we talk about that we know that contribute to winning football games, you give yourselves a chance. I know it wasn’t perfect, and there was a lot of things we liked offensively, we’ll continue to try and improve there and find the small details.”
What challenge does a Mike Tomlin coached team present?
Vrabel: “They’re physical, very physical on defense, usually always very sound, Pittsburgh it’s obviously a tough place to play. I think Theres a mindset and mentality that they’re gonna be in every football game, you’ve seen them comeback, you’ve seen them battle back and be in it at then end whether they’re playing with Ben Roethlisberger or anybody else for that matter.”
Vrabel also said: “We’ll continue to get our players ready to go on the road to play in Pittsburgh in December knowing that there’s probably going to be some elements and things that we’re going to have to deal with, we’re gonna have to kick it well, finish drives, try to score points and see if we can defensively try and stop a really good back, some really good receivers, and a Hall of Fame quarterback.”
Any particular reason Vrabel seemingly spent more time with the offensive line yesterday?
“Yeah, I’m the head coach of the team, Paul (Kuharsky)… I talk to every group the entire game.”
What role will Zach Cunningham have?
Vrabel: “I’m not sure of the role, Zach is a player that has really good length, he’s a very instinctive player, he triggers, he’s had a lot DK tackles and has been a very productive player in this league. Where all that fits as far as a role, I wouldn’t be able yo tell you right now obviously. He’s played on the punt team, he’s done a great job as a tackler on the punt team, as well as when he started at inside linebacker.”
Vrabel also said: “We anticipate that he’ll be ready to go and practice on Wednesday.”
Are the Titans thinking long term with the addition of Zach Cunningham considering his contract?
Vrabel: I’m thinking about this week for me personally. Where is he at, and how can he help our football team? And figuring out different ways to make sure that he knows what he’s doing and where we’re going to put him and what we’re asking him to do. That’s really my focus right now.”
What has Buster Skrine done that’s impressed Vrabel so much?
“(Buster) stays late meeting with our secondary coaches, meeting with Midge (Anthony Midget), He said he’s played gunner before and that he’ll help on special teams… He learned a lot of terminology inside, played outside for us yesterday. Those types of things, his practices, he’s competitive and communicates. Those are a lot of positive things.”
Does Vrabel feel the need to address the disciplinary issues Zach Cunningham had in Houston that led to his release?
“All I can go by is what he does here. We all have clear expectations for everybody, we all have rules, I don’t even know what the situation was in Houston, I’m focused on the Titans.”
How does the team go about preparing for two games over the next 10 days?
Vrabel: “From a coaching standpoint, you have to somehow look ahead and somehow be ready to go. You can’t just wait until you get on the plane after the game in Pittsburgh. So from a coaching standpoint, we’ll have some stuff done. We’ve played Thursday night games, we’ll pull out that schedule. But there won’t be anything mentioned from my standpoint to the football team, it will be all about this week and the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Bud Dupree Update
Vrabel: “Bud is progressing, we understand that he can comeback this week, we’ll see how he does and make the call from a personnel standpoint.”