From Super Bowl LIV: Titans HC Mike Vrabel Gives Update on Coaching Staff, Talks Expectations, and What's Ahead


MIAMI BEACH – Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is in the middle of the Super Bowl festivities this week, fulfilling commitments related to Super Bowl LIV.

He's been congratulated on his team's success on a number of occasions following a season when the Titans made it to the AFC Championship Game.

Vrabel, however, is a little uncomfortable accepting praise.

"A great year is winning a championship," Vrabel said. "We lost in the AFC Championship, and I told the team, 'This isn't a funeral.' We are going to celebrate our success. We have beaten a lot of good teams in two years. But there is no consolation. We want to win a championship."

Vrabel made his comments to Titans Online before walking on the ESPN set at Lummus Park in South Beach, where he later appeared on NFL Live.

Vrabel said he's in the process of putting together his coaching staff, and he's already made progress.

The Titans have hired Anthony Midget as the team's secondary coach. Midget, who has 14 years of coaching experience, including six seasons (2014-19) with the Houston Texans, replaces Kerry Coombs, who left to take the job as defensive coordinator at Ohio State.

Midget served the past two seasons as the Texans secondary coach. In 2018, the Texans finished ninth in the NFL in interceptions with 15 and fourth in points allowed (19.8). Midget joined the Texans in 2014, as the assistant secondary coach, and spent four seasons in that role before being promoted to secondary coach.

Before joining the NFL, he spent one season at Penn State (2013) coaching safeties, and five seasons (2008-12) at Georgia State, including one season as defensive coordinator in 2012.

"I would say he has a vast knowledge of the system," Vrabel said of Midget, "and the secondary guys are going to be in good hands going into their third year in the system, Midge having coached it for four or five years in Houston."

Also, Vrabel said inside linebackers coach Tyrone McKenzie won't return as part of the coaching staff in 2020.

Vrabel said he's "still working through some things" when asked about McKenzie's replacement, while saying "I am leaning toward a veteran coach."

As for the defensive coordinator spot that opened up following the retirement of Dean Pees, Vrabel didn't sound like he's in a big hurry.

And he pointed to the success of Arthur Smith on the offensive side of the ball last season. Smith was promoted to take over as OC, and the Titans had great success in 2019 on offense.

"I am going to try and do what is best for the team," Vrabel said. "I would say to bring in a guy who hasn't been in our system and done what we have done in Houston or here isn't what I want to do. So whoever calls the defense, we are going to do pretty much what we have done. We are going to continue to add and enhance things, but to me that is not a big deal. I want guys that are loyal, that are great teachers and good developers.

"Everything is going to be just fine (on defense). We waited and were patient last year (with Arthur) and the fit was right."

Vrabel plans to remain in South Florida for another day or so before heading back to Nashville.

He doesn't plan to attend Super Bowl LIV between the Chiefs and 49ers.

Already, he's looking ahead to 2020. He talked about meetings that are taking place on a regular basis with Titans General Manager Jon Robinson.

"We've had some time to reflect and I have been tying to move toward next season, trying to hire a staff and make sure that we have the right guys in place," Vrabel said. "And Jon and I continue to talk daily about our roster and what it will look like. We are now working toward next season."

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