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Hot Topics From Titans HC Mike Vrabel's Monday Presser


NASHVILLE – The Titans beat the Jaguars 20-0 on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

On Monday, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel talked reporters at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

Here's a look at the hot topics from the presser, as the Titans will now turn their attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who they'll face on Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

-Vrabel discussed in more detail the acquisition of linebacker Zach Cunningham, a player the Titans claimed last week after he was waived by the Texans. Vrabel said he expects Cunningham, who starred at Vanderbilt, to practice with the team on Wednesday as the team ramps up preparations for the Steelers. "I am not sure of the role (he'll play)," Vrabel said of Cunningham. "But Zach is a player who has really good length, is very instinctive. He triggers, has had a lot of tackles. Has been a very productive player in this league. Where all that fits as far as a role, I wouldn't be able to tell you right now." Vrabel noted Cunningham has played on the punt coverage team in addition to starting at inside linebacker during his career.

-Outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who has missed the past three games with an abdominal injury, is eligible to come off of Injured Reserve for Sunday's game. Vrabel said Dupree continues to be evaluated, and he made no promises about a pending return. "Bud is progressing," Vrabel said. "We understand that he can come back this week. We'll see how he does and make the call from a personnel standpoint."

-Titans linebacker Rashaan Evans was one of the team's most productive players on Sunday, finishing the game with an interception, a team-high six tackles, and tackle for a loss. Evans missed the previous five games while injured. Vrabel said it was good to have Evans back, and 'I felt like he was excited to play." "He did some good things, a lot a good things," Vrabel said. "He brought a physical presence. … He had really good coverage on the first play of the game that allowed Denico (Autry) the time he needed to get the sack. He just needs to keep progressing."

-Veteran receiver Golden Tate, signed to the team's practice squad last month, hasn't been activated for a game since his arrival. Asked what Tate needs to do to be active, Vrabel said: "We can only activate so many guys." "We'll see where (Golden) is this week," Vrabel said. "He has been working hard, catching punts, trying to show us some of those things. … He is working hard, he is conscientious. I like seeing him in the meetings. It feels like he's getting a better grasp of what we are doing."

-The Titans held the Jaguars to just eight rushing yards on Sunday, and Jacksonville managed just nine first downs and 192 yards on offense while being shut out. Vrabel the Titans "tackled exponentially better" against the Jaguars. "We were able to swarm and tackle," Vrabel said. "It's good to see the things that you emphasize and focus on translate to the game."

-The Steelers, led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, are 6-6-1 heading into this weekend's game at Heinz Field. Vrabel knows the challenge well, because he's face Mike Tomlin-coached teams in the past. "They are physical," Vrabel said of the Steelers. "They are very physical on defense, usually always very sound. Pittsburgh is a very tough place to play. I just think there is a mindset and a mentality that they are going to be in every football game. You've seen them come back, and you've seen them battle back and always be in it at the end, whether they are playing with Ben Roethlisberger or anybody else for that matter, and that is just going back in the last couple of years. … We'll have to get our players ready to go, to go on the road, playing in Pittsburgh in December, knowing that there's probably going to be some elements and things we'll have to deal with. We're going to have to kick it well, finish drives, try and score points, and see if we can defensively try and stop a really good back (in Najee Harris) and really good receivers and a Hall of Fame quarterback."

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