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Hot Topics from Titans Coach Mike Vrabel's Monday Presser, Including his Day After Thoughts on the Two-Point Try


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team's 20-19 loss to the Chargers.

The Titans have a bye this Sunday before returning to action to face the Cowboys on Monday Night Football.

Here's a look at some of the hot topics:

Two-point play

Vrabel answered multiple questions about the decision to go for two at the end of Sunday's loss to the Chargers, and the play call.

After quarterback Marcus Mariota connected with tight end Luke Stocker for a one-yard touchdown with 31 seconds left, the Titans decided to try and take the lead rather than kicking the extra point.

"I wanted to win the game and thought that would be an easy way to score," Vrabel said. "I felt like I was decisive and let the coaches know what we were going to do based on the time of the game and where we were. … We'd probably do the same thing if it happens in the Dallas game."

Before the play, Vrabel describes how things unfolded with offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. The Titans ran the play from the one after the Chargers were penalized on the prior two-point try.

"This was: 'Matt, what do you like here? We are going to go for two.' We liked one play (an incomplete pass), there was a penalty, and then it was, 'I still think that we should throw the football."

On the play, Mariota's pass to receiver Taywan Taylor was deflected, and it sailed over his head in the back of the end zone.

Vrabel said the Titans didn't execute the play on a number of levels.

Vrabel said the Titans have certain "boxes in the game plan" that are two-point conversion type plays, and the team decides on which ones to use based on what the team expects the defense to do.

"I think there's a lot of things that go into consideration," Vrabel said. "What is it that we think is going to give us the best chance? What front are they going to be in? Can we run the quarterback? Are they going to be blitzing?"

Vrabel was asked about dealing with the agony when such a big decision - to go for the win -- doesn't work. He said everyone was disappointed with the outcome, but vowed to continue to work.

He recalled his thoughts after seeing his wife and son after the game.

"You walk out of there, and you see them and I'm like: 'Was it a (expletive) call? And she's like: 'Naw, I don't think so," Vrabel said. "As long as you have your family and people that care about you. ... We'll push through this thing."

Oh, those drops

The Titans have been guilty of too many dropped passes this season – two more drops came in one series against the Chargers.

Vrabel said the receivers just need to catch the ball.

"We'll keep working," Vrabel said. "I'm going to stand behind them and continue to try and push my arm through the back of them (to challenge them). We're going to put the boxing gloves on and continue to do those types of things.

"You have to practice it as fast as you can. It is never going to be a game-tempo, but it has to be fast enough where there's going to be some carry over when the games come. … You just keep working it."

Levin Praise

With starter Quinton Spain sidelined, Titans second-year offensive lineman Corey Levin stepped in and played every snap. Levin was a sixth round pick by the Titans out of Chattanooga.

"He held his own," Vrabel said. "I think that it's his first real crack at the big time, playing guard.

"He battled, and he competed. He won some matchups and lost some, like a lot of guys. But he competed, and I know that from watching the film. He competed his tail off and fought to the end."

In addition to Spain, guard Josh Kline was sidelined late, and replaced in the lineup by Dennis Kelly.

Vrabel acknowleged tackle Jack Conklin is not quite back to 100 percent, but said he's improving.

Kicking himself

Vrabel challenged a fourth quarter play on Sunday, and it cost him a time out.

He was still upset about it on Monday.

"I blew a call – I had a dumb challenge," Vrabel said. "Instead of having a time out at the end, I blew it. I was (expletive) challenge, and we could have used that time out to give ourselves 30 extra seconds to help the players."

Vrabel challenged a completion to Chargers receiver Keenan Allen, but the play was upheld after review.

"You get frustrated," Vrabel said. "Just thinking it was close … to the ground. Bad decision."

Bye Week Plan

The Titans have a bye this weekend before facing the Dallas Cowboys on November 5.

Vrabel said the Titans will identify things the team needs to improve on, and practice before players get a break.

"We'll get these guys out of here so they have a time to take care of the things they need to do to get away, and to get their bodies healthy," Vrabel said. "And the same thing for the coaches."

Vrabel said the Titans need to do a better job to keep from giving up big plays on defense – Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed touchdown passes of 55 and 75 yards on Sunday.

On offense, the Titans drops passes and threw an interception in the red zone against the Chargers.

Vrabel said he'll also evaluate himself.

"How can I do a better job coaching," Vrabel said. "How can I do a better job teaching? How can our coaches do a better job getting the message to the players? How can the players absorb it, and take it out to the field? And then obviously the most important thing we do is our performance on game day, and how do we improve that."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 at Wembley Stadium in London. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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