NASHVILLE – Titans head coach Mike Vrabel held a video conference call with reporters on Monday.
Here's a quick look at some of the biggest topics during the 26-minute call:
-Vrabel discussed the additions of edge rusher Bud Dupree and defensive lineman Denico Autry while also noting pass rush is an area the Titans have to improve in 2021. "I think that these guys are instinctive players who have made plays and have been productive throughout the course of their careers," Vrabel said. "I've coached against those guys and watched them from afar and have always respected how they played -- they're certainly difficult to prepare for. Denico, we saw a few times a year, Bud not quite as much, but (we) studied him extensively coming out (in the NFL Draft) and (we've seen) the impact he's made for the Steelers as well."
-Vrabel said the Titans have been busy with the Zoom interviews preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft, especially since they're not able to meet with the prospects after Pro Days this year. Still, Vrabel said the organization has had a lot of interaction with players. (Per NFL rules, teams are allowed five zoom interviews with each prospect). "We have been pretty booked up," Vrabel said. Vrabel said the Titans have sometimes had nine guys on some of the initial zooms with players, but acknowledged the numbers aren't as high on follow-up visits.
-Vrabel said he interviewed and considered several candidates at the coordinator spots before promoting Todd Downing to offensive coordinator and Shane Bowen to defensive coordinator earlier this offseason. "I'm very confident and excited about our staff," Vrabel said. "I make decisions that I think are going to help the football team, and that's where we're at with the entire staff." Vrabel said there could still be some additions to the staff during the offseason.
-Vrabel said plenty of uncertainty remains as it relates to the offseason program, "but we're prepared to start the offseason virtually from a meeting perspective." He anticipates some restrictions in the weight room in the event players are back in the building to have in-person meetings during the offseason. "The experience we went through last year hopefully will help us function," Vrabel said, "whether that be virtually or at some capacity in person."
-Vrabel said the team has a lot of respect for tackle Dennis Kelly, who was released last month. As for who fills the right tackle spot in 2021, Vrabel anticipates competition. Offensive linemen Kendall Lamm (formerly of the Browns) and Ty Sambrailo (re-signed) are versatile, and capable of playing multiple of positions, Vrabel said. "They can play either tackle," Vrabel said, "and we've seen Ty play more than just the tackle position in the NFL. I would say two guys who can play both sides, as well as Ty can kick inside and play a guard spot."
-Vrabel likes the addition of former Rams receiver Josh Reynolds, and he said he'll have an opportunity to compete and to play. "I think Josh is versatile," Vrabel said, "and I think he can play inside and play outside and he's really continued to build confidence as he is going into his fifth year."
-Vrabel discussed second-year cornerback Kristian Fulton and his potential. "He got injured (last year) and didn't get a chance to compete there early on, and lost a lot of valuable reps," Vrabel said. "He got to play for us a little bit there late, so this will be an important offseason for him both physically and mentally, and I think by all accounts he is ready to do that."
-The NFL Draft is a little over than three weeks away. Vrabel provided a glimpse of what the team will be looking for: "We're looking for good players," Vrabel said. "That's Jon Robinson and I's challenge, with the assistance of the scouting department, with the assistance of the coaching staff, and everybody here. We're just trying to find players that will come in and have a competitive spirit, love football, be willing to learn and improve, put the team first, all those types of things that we think are important, and also being talented. Whether they are starters, I don't that is necessarily anything that I would look for – the expectation is that they come in and they help the team and they add value each and every day."