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Hot Topics From Titans HC Mike Vrabel's Monday Presser


NASHVILLE – Titans Coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after his team's 36-22 loss to the Jaguars.

Here's a look at the hot topics from today's presser as the Titans turn their attention to Sunday's game vs the Chargers:

-The Titans have now lost three games in a row, and Vrabel said, "the challenge is getting back to eliminating bad football." Vrabel pointed out the four turnovers, failing to impact the opposing team's quarterback, and not being good at the end of the first half situationally, among the things the team needs to correct. "It's been a long time since we've created a turnover, or hit anybody hard enough to knock the ball loose, or intercept it, or tip it up in the air and catch it," Vrabel said.

-Vrabel said defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, who has been held without a sack the last three games, is playing at less than 100 percent. "That's something we've had to manage, and I appreciate his willingness to help us and manage it," Vrabel said of Simmons. "(He's) doing everything that he possibly can to get to the games."

-Vrabel was asked about the status of defensive lineman Denico Autry, who has missed the past three games with the knee injury he suffered against the Packers. "I hope he is," Vrabel said when asked if Autry is getting closer to returning. "We could use everybody."

-Vrabel did not offer an update on rookie receiver Treylon Burks, who missed Sunday's game with a concussion. "We'll see where Treylon is – I'm not going to comment on anybody that's in the protocol," Vrabel said. "That's not my job – my job is to tell them to be honest with the doctor and the trainer and to check in on them on how he is feeling. It is not my position to predict whether we'll get them back at practice."

-Vrabel said Titans running back Dontrell Hilliard, who was carted off the field on Sunday with a neck injury, is doing much better, "but Dontrell won't be available this week obviously. But we'll continue to monitor him. I've seen him today and he's going good, which is the most important thing."

-Vrabel said receiver Racey McMath, playing for the first time this season on Sunday after missing the first 12 games while on Injured Reserve, put a lot of work in to be ready, "and from an assignment standpoint, it was good" on Sunday. "I think probably knocking some of the rust off on special teams," Vrabel added on McMath, "and physically he came out OK." 

-Vrabel said rookie tight end Chig Okonkwo, who had six catches for 45 yards and a touchdown, did some good things on Sunday. "The statistics probably cloud some of the overall play," Vrabel said of Okonkwo. "There were some mistakes that I felt like he made. But there was some production, which was good, and some corrections he made. And the execution in the red zone. But there were some other things that didn't really help us." Vrabel acknowledged the Titans are asking Okonkwo to do a lot, but he said some of the details have to get cleaned up.

-Vrabel said he wants players to keep a good attitude. "I'd like for all of us to make sure that we're doing our part to fix the things that need to be fixed," Vrabel said, "and to rid ourselves of the things that get you beat, which are turnovers and mistakes and the things that happened (on Sunday)."

-Vrabel the Titans "will take a look at it" when asked if the team will bring in another quarterback to take the place of Logan Woodside, who was signed to the active roster of Atlanta Falcons, off of Tennessee's practice squad.

-The Titans face the Chargers and quarterback Justin Herbert on Sunday in Los Angeles. "They throw the football, and they are going to commit to it," Vrabel said. "They have a young quarterback with a live arm, and good skill players. We'll have to worry about the Chargers … but we have to correct some mistakes here today."

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