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Hot Topics from Titans Coach Mike Vrabel's Monday Presser


NASHVILLE – Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a video conference call on Monday, one day after the team's 41-38 win over the Houston Texans.

Next up for the Titans is a playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

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

Proud of Accomplishments

The Titans on Sunday clinched a playoff berth for the second consecutive season under Vrabel, while clinching the team's first AFC South title since 2008.

The team's 11-5 record marked the best finish for the franchise since 2008, when the Titans went 13-3.

Vrabel wants his players to be proud of what they've accomplished, but he also wants them focused moving forward.

"Our first goal was to win the division, host a home playoff game, and now it's about winning that next game, that next playoff game, against an opponent we have a lot of respect for and is playing very well, and is no stranger to playoff football," Vrabel said.

"I want (our players) to come in with the attitude that they are winners. We won 11 games, and we won our division. … Not that we can sit there and say we have arrived, or that we are going to show up on Sunday and somehow beat the Ravens. No. But I think we have to have that winning attitude and that winning mentality that you have to carry through into the playoffs, when it is a single-elimination tournament."

Familiar Opponent

The Titans knocked off the Ravens 30-24 in overtime, back in November, in Baltimore.

In last year's playoffs, the Titans beat the Ravens 28-12.

Now, the Titans will play them for the third time in a calendar year.

Vrabel acknowledged the Titans have a lot of familiarity with the Ravens, and "we have a lot of respect for them and understand it will be a difficult task."

"It's always hard to prepare for a good football team, for a sound, physical football team that has a history of winning, and they're playing well," Vrabel said of the Ravens. "We'll just have to dial in the stuff we need to improve on and try and take care of these keys as we see are going to be the ones that are going to help us beat the Ravens."

The Lamar Challenge

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has thrown for 2,757 yards and 26 touchdowns this season, with just nine interceptions.

Jackson has also rushed for 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns.

"Not sure of many people who can match up with Lamar Jackson's speed, so if you have, let me know and we'll throw them in there," Vrabel said. "We're going to have to play team defense. It's option football, and when it's not we'll have to be sound in the pass game. He is clearly a threat, and he is clearly an unbelievably dynamic player who poses a lot of problems."

Vrabel said Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins, who has 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns, is playing with a lot of confidence, but said he's just part of a dangerous Baltimore run game.

"Not every play is a read, or an option type play," Vrabel said of the Ravens. "But when it is, you are going to have to be sound, and there's going to have to be responsibilities that everybody is going to have to take care of, because that is when they take advantage of your missed assignments."

Defensive Issues

Vrabel was asked about silver linings from the defense on a day when the team recorded a team-high four sacks, while getting some early stops in the red zone.

Vrabel wasn't ready to hand out many compliments following a game when the Titans surrendered 38 points, and 457 yards.

"(The Texans) had 10 plays for 263 yards," Vrabel said. "Hopefully we can stop giving up big plays, and make teams earn it, and make some plays along the way."

Vrabel said the Titans tackled well against the Ravens in the first meeting this season, but he said the Ravens are a different team now.

Praise for Derrick Henry

Titans running back Derrick Henry ran for 250 yards against the Texans, and he led the NFL and set a franchise record with 2,027 rushing yards in 2020.

Henry became the eighth player in league history to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a season. His 2,027 rushing yards gave him the fifth-highest total in NFL history behind Eric Dickerson's 2,105 (1984), Adrian Peterson's 2,097 (2012), Jamal Lewis' 2,066 (2003) and Barry Sanders' 2,053 (1997).

"I am honored and privileged to be able to coach a player like Derrick, who has been durable, reliable, and dependable throughout my time here," Vrabel said.

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