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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 31-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Here's a look at some of the hot topics as the team looks ahead to this Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears.

Adam Humphries Update

Titans receiver Adam Humphries left Sunday's game with a concussion, and on Monday Vrabel said he's being evaluated.

Humphries took a hit to the head while attempting to make a catch near the end of the first half in Cincinnati.

Humphries stayed down for a long time as his teammates took a knee. He eventually left the field on at cart and headed to the locker room, where he was evaluated by the team's medical staff.

"Hump is up and moving around, and he is in concussion protocol," Vrabel said on Monday. "He is doing better, like I said, than when he left the field."

Fixing the Defense

The Titans are ranked last in the NFL on third down defense, and after seven games the team has just seven sacks.

Four of Tennessee's first seven opponents have scored 30 points or more.

Vrabel said the team's weekly plan coaching and preparing the defense is a collaborative effort while saying the team needs to coach and play better on Sundays.

But he made it clear he's taking responsibility for the issues.

"Put it all on me – that's my job," Vrabel said. "My job is to make sure that we go out there, and that we have the details covered and the plays that we are calling, every player on our team knows what is expected of them. When we lose, put it on me. That's my job, that is what I signed up for. I am back to work, and I am excited, I am determined to get us back to winning football."

Trade for Desmond King

The Titans on Monday traded for Chargers defensive back Desmond King.

"(GM) Jon (Robinson) and I talked, and he's a player he and I felt like could help us, has played DB, has been disruptive, has been an effective blitzer, and has done some things," Vrabel said of King. "We'll see where he's at when he gets here. He's going to be away from the building for a while, going through protocols. We won't know much until much later in the week. Everything that we've heard is he's a player that loves football, is competitive, and he's played a number of different spots."

King (5-10, 201) earned AP All-Pro honors at cornerback and second-team All-Pro as a punt returner in 2018 for the Chargers. In his four season as a pro, King has tallied 213 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 7.5 sacks in 53 games played (23 starts) for the Chargers. During his All-Pro season (2018), he totaled 60 tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and an 13.8-yard average as a punt returner.

King was a fifth-round pick out of Iowa in 2017.

The Titans sent the Chargers a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

In a video conference call on Monday, Vrabel acknowledged King has played the majority of his career in the slot, "and by all accounts, that's where he would start out."

Vrabel said there's a chance King could be available for Sunday's game vs the Bears, but he indicated some testing and travel protocols are on the horizon. Vrabel said he believes Saturday is the earliest King could be with the Titans.

"I would assume he will be involved in Zoom meetings for most of the week," Vrabel said.

As a college player at Iowa (2013-16), he was a four-year starter and earned the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the nation's best defensive back. He also earned Iowa's award for MVP on defense and the special teams award. For his college career, King recorded 14 interceptions, including eight in his junior season, and three interceptions returned for touchdown. He also posted a career punt return average of 11.2 yards.

Clowney Talk

Titans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney missed another sack on Sunday, and he's still without a sack on the season.

"The next time, I am confident that J.D. or whoever will come through there and knock the football out," Vrabel said. "We missed (Joe Burrow), and we missed him a couple of other times. He's athletic, and big and has good play strength. There were some good rushes, and there were some things that we did well. And obviously there were things we didn't do well."

Clowney was credited with a tackle on Sunday. Heading into Sunday's game, Clowney had been credited with six QB pressures.

"He's had very disruptive plays," Vrabel said. "I think we've all had some really good plays, some plays that we'd all like to have back. … He probably tried to nail him too hard and not wrap up and Joe did a nice job of spinning. It's one play, and a play he would love to have back"

What About Kern?

Titans punter Brett Kern suffered a hand/wrist injury when he was knocked to the ground after making a throw following a botched extra point attempt late.

Vrabel said Kern's status moving forward will be known later in the week. In addition to his punting duties, Kern is also the holder on field goals and extra points.

"We'll know more about Brett here later on today after we've done everything with the tests," Vrabel said. "It will be close here at the end of week to see how he's doing. He's such a valuable member of our team. He is excellent at his job. So we'll see (how the injury) affects his ability to not only catch the snaps, but to hold for Stephen (Gostkowski)."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8 at Paul Brown Stadium. (Photos: Donald Page)

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