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Hot Topics From Titans Coach Mike Vrabel Presser on Friday


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The preseason is over for the Titans.

The next time the team takes the field it will be in the regular season opener at Miami, on September 9.

"I think it's high," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said of the excitement level. "I mean, I am ready to go. I think (the players) are. We'll finish up the roster and we'll have them back in on Monday ready to go, with all of our attention and focus geared toward the Dolphins."

Roster cuts

The Titans, and all 32 NFL teams, must trim their roster by 3 p.m. on Saturday.

On Thursday night, the Titans had 90 players. By Saturday, the team must be down to 53.

"I don't think there is anything final with our roster right now," Vrabel said. "We all have been through this, a lot of us as players and coaches … and I think any time you remove guys from your roster you want to be respectful, you want to be honest. They've put a lot of time in, they've put a lot of effort in.

"So I think you just make sure that you are respectful and honest to them, and thank them for their time."

First team offense

The Titans scored touchdowns on two out of three drives during the first two games of the preseason, but the unit was shut out on four drives in Pittsburgh in Week Three of the preseason. The starters didn't play on Thursday night.

Vrabel gave his take on quarterback Marcus Mariota and the starters.

"You look at the seven drives, and I thought four of them were pretty accomplished, and I think three of them were kind of duds – the three, three-and-outs to finish the Pittsburgh game," Vrabel said. "I think if you look at the other ones I think we can all point to some things that were really good."

Vrabel said Titans need to be consistent, and the team needs to avoid the three-and-outs, which he referred to as "clunkers."

What did the Titans show in the preseason?

The starters on both sides of the ball played limited snaps in the preseason. Some didn't play at all.

As far as what the Titans put on display, well, Vrabel said it was pretty basic.

"We have pretty much have five or six calls defensively, kept it pretty simple on both sides of the ball," Vrabel said. "Our thought process was to kind of run some base stuff and see if the fundamentals from training camp have carried over, and in some cases they have."

Vrabel said the Titans could improve on technique, and other aspects of the game.

"We've played a lot of base defense," Vrabel said. "And we really haven't expanded the package."

Jack Conklin update

Titans right tackle Jack Conklin hasn't practiced with the Titans this offseason.

Conklin suffered a torn ACL in the team's playoff game at New England, and he began training camp on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list.

"Again, there has been no final decisions made with the roster," Vrabel said when asked about Conklin's status. "(GM) Jon (Robinson) and I have had a lot of conversations this morning, but no decisions have been made, and no decisions are final.

"I would just say that Jack is progressing and doing well."

Vrabel said the overall health of the Titans "is looking better" and "we'll try to get as many players back for that first week as we possibly can."

More Spillane praise

Undrafted rookie linebacker Robert Spillane led the Titans in tackles during the preseason with 24.

Vrabel once again praised the Western Michigan product, for his effort, and resiliency. Spillane was credited with a half-dozen tackles vs the Vikings, and he was in on a 4th-down stop in the fourth quarter.

"Spillane was cramping up (last night), goes inside, gets an IV and comes back out and finishes the game," Vrabel said. "Those are real positive things for players, and it's a great lesson.

"He should be proud of just the effort of pushing through a game like that, where he is covering kicks, it's humid, and he's played 60-something snaps of defense."

Challenge flag

Vrabel said he was pleased with progress made by his team in training camp, and the preseason.

With a smile, he said one of his regrets centered on a red flag.

"I didn't get to challenge a play," he said. "I was hoping to be able to throw the flag, so I could at least figure out how far I was going to throw it, whether I was going to launch it out in the middle of the field or just kind of drop it."

Vrabel said he just didn't get many good opportunities to challenge a play.

"I was hoping there would be something I could challenge," Vrabel said. "But I couldn't get that accomplished."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 of the preseason on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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