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Hot Topics From Titans Coach Mike Vrabel's Tuesday Presser


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Tuesday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team's 34-17 loss to the Houston Texans.

This Sunday, the Titans face the Jets at Nissan Stadium.

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

4th and 1 Call

Faced with a 4th and 1 at the Houston 3-yard line against the Texans, the Titans opted to hand the ball off to tight end Luke Stocker, who was lined up as a fullback.

The play didn't work – Stocker was stuffed.

"They made a play, and we didn't," Vrabel said. "We'll have to do it better the next time, and that's how it goes. They pinched in. It didn't work for us last night."

Protection Probs

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was sacked six times on Monday night, and he's been sacked 35 times in 10 games this season.

Vrabel said the Titans need to do a better job in the run game and in play-action to help with protection. When asked about potential changes up front, he said the team is always considering options, and some of it will be based on health.

As for the overall play of the offensive line, Vrabel said the unit has been inconsistent.

"I think probably like a lot of the groups, inconsistent," Vrabel said. "There's times where we block 'em and there's a good pocket, or we run the ball. And there's times where maybe some guys aren't doing their job and don't execute. So it is inconsistent."

Run defense

Texans running back Lamar Miller ran for 162 yards on Monday, including a 97-yard touchdown run.

Vrabel blamed the team's poor run defense on a number of things.

"Any time that there's runs, it's usually a combination of the edge not being set, there's seams in there, and then missed tackles," Vrabel said. "There was a seam, and he ran away from us and we weren't able to get him on the ground. We'll have to do better this week."


Titans cornerback Malcolm Butler entered the concussion protocol as a result of a stinger he suffered on Monday night. He'll be evaluated during the week.

Receiver Taywan Taylor has missed the past three games with a foot injury, but Vrabel sounded optimistic about his chances of returning.

Running back David Fluellen is more of a question mark as he continues to deal with a knee injury. Safety Dane Cruikshank will be out at least another week with a knee injury.


As a result of Monday's loss, the Titans (5-6) are now three games behind the Texans (8-3) in the AFC South.

The Titans trail the Colts and Ravens, both 6-5, for the second Wild Card spot. Several other teams are also 5-6.

Vrabel was asked about his message to the team.

"You just have to get ready and try to find a way to win a game," Vrabel said. "Put our full focus on the Jets, coming back home. Try to be more consistent, with the way we practice, the way we prepare, and ultimately the way we perform."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Houston Texans in Week 12 of the 2018 season on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 at NRG Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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