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Hot Topics from Titans Coach Mike Vrabel's Monday Presser

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NASHVILLE – Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a video conference call on Monday, one day after the team's 24-17 win over the Chicago Bears.

Next up for the Titans is a game against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday at Nissan Stadium.

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

Big Challenge Upcoming

The Titans are 6-2 at the midway point of the season, and alone atop the AFC South heading into the contest against the 5-3 Colts.

It marks the sixth time in the Titans era (since 1999) and the first time in 12 years the Titans have won at least six of their first eight games after previously doing so in 1999 (6-2), 2000 (7-1), 2003 (6-2), 2007 (6-2) and 2008 (8-0).

"We can only focus on the short week, but I think that we've put ourselves in position to play a lot of meaningful football games in the second half of the season," Vrabel said, "and this one would be the most important. It's a short turnaround to a division opponent who is playing really good football. We understand how good they are."

Vrabel was asked about the potential of the Titans being able to host a playoff game if they stay atop the AFC South. A win over the Colts, of course, would help.

He wanted no part of that thinking.

"No one is talking about playoffs, no one is talking about hosting games," Vrabel said. "Yeah, that is always going to be the goal, finding ways to get there and having (playoff games) here. But right now, it is about the preparation and the recovery that is going to be needed to win a game on Thursday night."

What's up with Adoree'?

The Titans have until Wednesday to make a decision on cornerback Adoree' Jackson, who remains on the team's 'Designated for Return' list.

The Titans must decide then whether to activate Jackson from Injured Reserve, or keep him on IR, which would end his season.

Vrabel said previously he expects Jackson to play at some point this season. The Titans could activate Jackson and made him inactive on game days until he's ready. Jackson suffered a knee injury the week before the opener.

"The plan is to evaluate him and see if we feel like, and he feels like he can play football," Vrabel said. "That's what the plan is, to try and evaluate him here and then make a decision on Wednesday. That's all we can do, that's all we can ask him to do is to continue to work to get to a point where he feels like he can contribute and help us on the field."

Young Guys Stepping Up

The Titans got production from several young players on Sunday, including defensive back Breon Borders, outside linebacker Derick Roberson and defensive lineman Teair Tart.

Borders finished second on the team with nine tackles, Roberson had three tackles and a forced fumble, and Tart had a quarterback hit while playing 22 snaps after being elevated from the practice squad on Saturday.

Vrabel sounded pleased, but he said no one should be celebrating.

"I think all those guys earned more opportunity against the Colts," Vrabel said. "But it will be important that they don't spend a whole lot of time in the batter's box staring at the home run (and) they move on like we always do, whether we win or lose. Our whole focus is making sure these guys are building and trying to earn a larger role."

Desmond King's Day

Defensive back Desmond King was credited with two tackles and a fumble recovery on Sunday, and he also scooped up that fumble and raced 63 yards for a touchdown.

Not bad for a guy who was traded for last week and went through Zoom meetings and COVID-19 testing protocols before being cleared to play the day before the game.

King started the contest, and he played in 54 of the team's 77 defensive snaps.

"I think he earned the respect of a lot of people within our organization, our coaches and players and (GM) Jon (Robinson) just by being able to learn everything virtually, come in and have some communication and interaction with the players on Saturday and then going out there and having a lot of snaps and competing and doing a nice job," Vrabel said of King, formerly with the Chargers. "When you love football, you find ways to do your job …. He'll earn more snaps based on the job he did yesterday."

Injury Updates

Vrabel didn't really offer much on injuries.

Asked about outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, who did not play Sunday because of a knee injury, Vrabel said, "he wasn't close enough to play, and we'll see how it goes this week."

Asked if he had an update on guard Rodger Saffold, who left Sunday's game with a shoulder injury, Vrabel simply said, "No."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Chicago Bears in Week 9 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donald Page)

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