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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 17-10 win over the Texans.

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

-Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill didn't travel with the team to Houston, which ended his streak of 49 consecutive starts.

Tannehill was on last week's Injury Report with an ankle/injury designation.

Vrabel didn't reveal much, if anything, when asked for an update.

"We'll know more when we practice on Wednesday," Vrabel said of Tannehill. "We'll see on Wednesday when the Injury Report comes out."

-The Titans were able to win on Sunday with a big dose of running back Derrick Henry (32 carries for 219 yards and two TDs) and a lot of defense.

It's a formula Vrabel likes.

"I think we have to continue to appreciate who we are," Vrabel said. "It's certainly an element that we have to run the football, and we have to be able to create a lot of things off of that. Defensively we have to make sure we are not giving up X plays and all those things, and there's a physical style of brand that we want to play with."

-Malik Willis made his first NFL start on Sunday, and he completed 6-of-10 passes for 55 yards.

Willis was sacked three times, and he threw an interception.

"We'll continue to progress through and take a look and see where we are this week in practice," Vrabel said of Willis. "I think it's a good opportunity that he got his first start, and I know he'll learn a lot more and he'll learn from the things that he can correct and fix. That's the way we'll approach it – we'll try and make sure there's a plan in place and that everybody is confident, and we'll see how the game goes."

-Vrabel had some high praise for defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons.

Simmons, playing through an ankle injury, had a sack and two tackles for a loss against the Texans. On one play, he bulldozed Texans lineman Kenyon Green into running back Dameon Pierce for a loss.

"I can't say enough about him as a player and a person," Vrabel said of Simmons. "We've talked about his technique and how he's improved on that, and I think that continues to help him. This team means a lot to him, and we need Jeff to help us perform."

-Vrabel added he's also seen improvement from defensive lineman Teair Tart, who was credited with four tackles, including one for a loss.

Vrabel said Tart could earn more snaps with hustle.

"The more that Teair can play for us, I think the better that we are," Vrabel said. "But he has to play up to the standard and the effort which we expect. He is working on that and trying to do that. Because if he is not running to the football, we are not going to have him out there."   

-The challenge on Sunday vs the Chiefs is a big one.

Vrabel pointed that out when asked about cornerback Kristian Fulton, who had an interception against the Texans.

"Kristian knows that we hold him to a high standard, but he is going to have to do that against Kansas City, the No.1 passing offense in the league, No.1 for points," Vrabel said. "This week would be a good week to continue to improve and cover and tackle like he has done."

Vrabel elaborated further on the Chiefs, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

"It starts obviously with Patrick, and his ability to not only throw from in the pocket, and improvise," Vrabel said. "The understanding that he has with (Travis) Kelce and (Mecole) Hardman and it looks like JuJu (Smith-Schuster) is starting to be a focal point with (Marquez Valdes)-Scantling. They play three backs that can all catch the ball.

"They put a lot of pressure on you."

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