NASHVILLE – Titans head coach Mike Vrabel joined Voice of the Titans Mike Keith and Amie Wells on a special live episode of the Official Titans Podcast on Thursday.
On the episode, aired exclusively for season ticket members, Vrabel answered questions while on video from the basement of his home.
Some of the questions focused on football, some focused on the upcoming NFL Draft, and some focused on the challenges the team is facing during the coronavirus pandemic. Of course there were also some non-football questions.
Here's a look at some of the highlights:
This year's NFL Draft will be done virtually as NFL coaches and general managers aren't currently allowed in team facilities.
Since the Titans won't have access to their War Room, Vrabel was asked about the lack of face-to-face contact he'll have with Titans General Manager Jon Robinson and members of the scouting department during this year's draft.
"I don't think it will affect us in one way to find the best players for our football team, and this city," Vrabel said. "I think it will be unique, but I don't think it will affect the players that we bring in. I can get Jon on my laptop, and I can Facetime him right now while we are talking. We just got done talking to players through Facetime, so we'll do the same thing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (during the draft)."
When asked whether the team will draft by position need or best player available, Vrabel said the team will have to take care of needs in the draft, "but there's also times where you look up and say, 'Well, you just can't pass on this guy because he's the best player. So, there's a combination of both."
While gearing up for the NFL Draft, Vrabel has been watching plenty of tape on prospects.
But when asked what shows he's been binge-watching while staying at home, he provided some insight into what's been on TV in the Vrabel household.
"Ozark, I finished Ozark," Vrabel said. "I fell into the trap of the Tiger King unfortunately – the kids were watching it and (my wife) Jen was watching it."
With a smile, Vrabel described what it was like to watch Tiger King.
"It was like back when I used to watch Jerry Springer, when you thought that the next episode couldn't be any more ridiculous than the one before," Vrabel said. "That's what I felt like I was watching."
On Trading Jurrell Casey
Vrabel was asked for more perspective on the team's decision to trade defensive lineman Jurrell Casey to the Broncos last month.
"We are just trying to do what is best for our football team," Vrabel said. "Jurrell was an amazing player. The two years that I was here he was great for our football team, and there's tough decisions that you have to make every year. Just like we talk about with all decisions, whether it is on-field decisions or decisions about practice or personnel, we are trying to make them with the best interest of the football team in mind and that's really what it came down to."
The best question of the podcast came from season ticket member Kyle from Wichita, Kansas.
And it provided Vrabel's most comical answer.
Vrabel, asked to pick one player from this year's roster to quarantine with, responded with this:
"Probably somebody who would be the quietest, so not Taylor (Lewan) – Taylor is out," Vrabel said. "And probably somebody that doesn't use a lot of toilet paper, so Ben Jones would probably be out, just a hunch."
Vrabel then got somewhat serious.
"I love our team, you know I do," Vrabel said. "I am going to be sad because I know we're not going to start (the offseason program) on time and I will have to be able to find ways to visit with these guys with the video conferencing and also with their coaches."
Vrabel was asked which players he expects to step up from a leadership standpoint in 2020.
He used the answer to compliment running back Derrick Henry.
"It's not who I think, it's who develops into those roles," Vrabel said. "I think we have some great leaders. I am excited to see Ryan (Tannehill) continue to lead our football team.
"I am excited to see Derrick continue what I thought was … his biggest improvement was in leadership. So I am excited to see that continue whenever we get back. And I know these guys are staying in contact with one another, because that is what teammates do. Ben Jones is always a great leader, and defensively Kevin Byard and Kenny (Vaccaro), and Rashaan (Evans) is going to continue. DaQuan (Jones) and these guys. … Leadership evolves as players come back and they see guys that are willing to put the team into their own personal needs. And hopefully in some sort of way everybody can lead."
Favorite Player as a Kid?
Vrabel's childhood sports heroes played for the Browns and Cowboys.
"I was a Cleveland Browns fan because we lived near Cleveland, so I loved Bernie Kosar," Vrabel said. "I learned to throw sidearm because of Bernie.
"But I was also a Dallas Cowboys fan, so I loved Tony Dorsett. I remember that 99-yard touchdown run and watching him play for the Dallas Cowboys."
Before the end of the 30-minute video podcast, season-ticket member Donovan from Los Angeles asked Vrabel what his facial hair will be for the 2020 season.
Vrabel said it's too early to say while revealing his wife gave him his most recent haircut.
"We're trying to keep the gray out right," Vrabel said.
"We've found that shorter is better. We did quarantine haircuts and Jen cut everybody's hair, so if there's any nicks in there we can blame her. But we did quarantine haircuts in the tub the other day."
Plenty remains to be seen as far as offseason programs go across the NFL.
The Titans were scheduled to begin on April 20, but that's already been postponed.
Right now the Titans, like every other NFL team, are waiting.
"There's obviously planning, and there are things that have been talked about," Vrabel said. "We are in the process now of getting those iPads out to the players. We're waiting on some more information from the league on when that may start and should start, and what that's going to look like. There are some negotiations I think that are happening now with the league and the NFL Players Association.
"So we are waiting to see, and getting some direction from the league as to what that may look like. But there are certainly things we are working through internally that we have discussed, that we've run, had practice runs and talking about security and things that are critical to our players and to our team."