MOBILE, Ala. – First impressions mean a lot to Titans coach Mike Vrabel, and here at the Senior Bowl, he's getting a look at some of college football's top prospects for the first time.
Later in the NFL Draft process, he'll get more opportunities to see players at the NFL Combine, and at Pro Days.
Vrabel, leading up to his sixth NFL Draft with the team, is looking for future Titans. He's not looking to rule players out if they make a not-so-good first impression, however.
"I don't think you ever want to live in that world," Vrabel said. "I think this is just another piece of the evaluation process that gives us an opportunity to get a lot of great players in one place. It's an opportunity to get our first exposures to these guys, and start the process of getting ready for the draft. … And we're trying to add the right guys to our roster."
Vrabel watched Tuesday's practices alongside new Titans general manager Ran Carthon, who was hired two weeks ago.
The two men traveled here together, and they've been joined by members of the team's scouting staff.
Vrabel said it's been great to get to know Carthon, and his philosophies, even better.
"Absolutely," Vrabel said. "Everything has been good. We have been working through things, looking at the roster and all those other things we have do. We're trying to blend what he thinks, what I think, and what's best – that's the most important thing."
At the same time, the Titans are getting to know the prospects better as well.
"I think it has been good to kind of start with these interviews and talk with the players and have an idea on what it is they're looking to show this week … and see how many of them actually do (it)," Vrabel said. "You want to see how they take that conversation to the practice field, whether it's about route running, whether it's about playing at the line of scrimmage. I think you look at: Do they improve over the course of the week with the coaching? Everybody has different techniques and what they are working on, that they are instructed to do throughout their season. But what you see here from one day to the next day, what their consistency level is, what their practice speed looks like, how they can take the information than comes at them in a short period of time and be able to come out here and function. Those are things we're all looking at."
Vrabel, who is also juggling with the responsibility that comes with finding new coaches on his staff, said that process is ongoing well.
Vrabel still has openings at offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, and secondary coach following decisions he made at the end of the 2022 season.
"It's going good," Vrabel said of the interview process. "I feel good about where we're at, and having a plan for multiple scenarios. I've enjoyed meeting with a lot of different coaches and hearing ideas and visions and (I'm) trying to figure out what's best for us. … (It will happen) when the time is right, and when the opportunity is there."
In the meantime, the mission is to find future Titans players.
That process continues today.
"I think you're always trying to get faster, and I think you are always trying to be good at the line of scrimmage," Vrabel said. "You see teams that are still playing have elite quarterbacks, but there's an element of speed and playmaking on those teams as well.
"We're looking to find guys that are going to make us better."