Titans won’t change their pre-game midfield ritual – no disrespect intended

By John Glennon

When the Titans take the field during pre-game introductions in Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, coach Mike Vrabel expects it to be a business-as-usual situation.

“Our players will run out there to midfield like they've done since I've been here,” Vrabel said. “They'll break it down and come over to the sidelines and I'll make some last-minute adjustments or talk to some of the assistants. We'll go from there.”

Why would this Sunday be any different than the routine the Titans have followed for years?

Because it will be the Titans' first game since Ravens coach John Harbaugh drew national attention to Tennessee's pre-game ritual of gathering at the midfield logo and “breaking it down,” getting themselves emotionally ready for the upcoming contest.

An irked Harbaugh, flanked by a Ravens assistant, took offense to the proceedings last Sunday, approaching Titans players on the field and starting a war of words with Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler. That in turn led to the arrival of Vrabel and an animated discussion – Vrabel telling Harbaugh to “Go coach!” and Harbaugh responding “It's disrespectful!” – as officials separated the pack.

The lively moment prompted CBS broadcaster Ian Eagle to say he'd “never seen a scene like that before.”


But while the emotional . . .

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