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Hot Topics From Titans Coach Mike Vrabel's Monday Presser


NASHVILLE – Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team's 16-0 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Next up for the Titans is a game against the Chargers on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

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

QB Talk

The Titans replaced starting quarterback Marcus Mariota with back-up Ryan Tannehill in Sunday's game at Denver.

So, who will be the starter this Sunday against the Chargers?

"I think that decision will be made this evening and tomorrow, and then we'll let everybody know," Vrabel said. "We'll let the players involved know, let the team know and then let you guys know."

Vrabel said he plans to discuss the decision with Titans general manager Jon Robinson and his staff.

"I just want to make sure that we're going through everything that we need to go through and what we want to do offensively, not use the emotion of the game to make a decision," he said. "Just sit back here with our coaches, talk to the trainer, find out what the injury report looks like, find out what the game plan is going to be, find out how we need to beat (the Los Angeles Chargers) and then figure out who we're going to do it with offensively and defensively."

Identity on Offense

The Titans are ranked 27th in the NFL on offense – 19th rushing, 29th passing.

Vrabel was asked about the team's offensive identity.

"There isn't one," he said. "If you look at what we've done, it hasn't been good enough consistently. The identity is that it's sound, it's physical, it operates fast, it's efficient. There's time where we get the ball out, there's timing, there's trust in what each other is doing. The line covers guys up, lets the running backs get into the line of scrimmage, make yards. So, the identity is something that has to be clearly improved. We have to do a better job of taking advantage of the opportunities to string plays together, not have a bad play, not have a penalty, not have things that set us apart, not have five-yard runs that should be 30-yard runs because one thing happened along the way."

Simmons Update

Titans rookie defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons will practice with his teammates for the first time with hopes of playing in the near future, possibly as early as Sunday against the Chargers.

Simmons, the team's first-round pick, began the season on the team's Non-Football Injury list. NFI rules allow players to begin practicing with the team after Week 6.

When the Titans feel Simmons is ready, they'll need to move him to the 53-man roster while making a corresponding move.

"We anticipate him practicing," Vrabel said of Simmons. "Again, we'll make a smart decision, as always, in the best interest of the player when it deals with injuries and his comfort level as to when he might return."

Simmons traveled with the team to Denver, his first road trip of the year.

"Just to start to bring him back into the process of what it looks like here at the end of the week as far as meetings and game prep," Vrabel said, "having not done it at this level was just something that we wanted to try to do."

Offensive Line

The Titans surrendered seven more sacks on Sunday, and that brings the total to 29 for the season.

Mariota has been sacked 25 times, and Tannehill was sacked four times on Sunday.

Vrabel was asked why there is seemingly no progress from the offensive line's pass protection.

"I wouldn't necessarily say (that)," Vrabel said. "I know that there was some pressure at times, but I'm not going to stand up here and say that there was consistent pressure. Having watched the tape probably more times than what I've should in the last however many hours, there were some good pockets. There were times that we blocked (Von) Miller, and there were times that we stood in there and picked up the twist that we talked about. I watched Rodger (Saffold) flatten out a penetrator that we talked about last week, deliver him to Taylor (Lewan), Taylor collected him and got it blocked. Now, there were other times where we got picked, and other times that we didn't get our hands inside and gave up some pressure. But, I'm not going to sit here and say that they just ran by us, or ran over us all day."

So, is the offensive line progressing?

"It's hard to say progress when you lose because the ultimate goal is to win," he said. "But my job is also to point out the times like I just mentioned when Rodger (Saffold) had a penetrator in front of him and he punched him three or four feet out to Taylor (Lewan), and Taylor was able to collect him and deliver the second guy to Rodger. I have to show them that today, and then I'll have to show them when we got loose sometimes on the inside, and they twisted and picked us. I have to show them that too."


Titans linebacker Jayon Brown suffered a groin injury on Sunday, so his status moving forward is in question.

"Didn't finish the game," Vrabel said of Brown, "so we'll see where he's at going forward and try to get him back here towards the end of the week. But, wasn't able to finish the game."

As for outside linebackers Cameron Wake and Sharif Finch, who were inactive, Vrabel said: "We'll see where they are as we move through the week. I'm not really sure here on Monday."

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