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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 as the team returned from its bye weekend.

Here's a look at the hot topics discussed at today's presser as the team turns it attention to the Jacksonville Jaguars:

-Earlier on Monday, the Titans moved receiver Julio Jones, receiver Racey McMath and safety Dane Cruikshank to the team's "Designated for Return from Injured Reserve" list, clearing their return to practice.

This designation opens up a 21-day window for all three players to practice with the team, and they will not count against the team's 53-man roster until being activated from Injured Reserve.

"Those guys have been working extremely hard to get back," Vrabel said of the threesome, "which is what we ask everybody that isn't participating."

When asked specifically about Jones, and whether his time off puts him in a better position to be consistently available down the stretch, Vrabel replied: "We're just focused on today, and seeing how (Julio) responds."

-Vrabel said the mindset coming off the bye will focus on a number of things.

"It's going to be real critical that we focus on fundamentals, our conditioning, practicing with speed, as we head here into December," Vrabel said. "All those things that make a difference in football games – taking care of the football, trying to disrupt it. … We have to find a way to turn it over, and go find those opportunities, and then take care of (the football).

"We need to focus on trying to eliminate bad football – that would be a huge key here in our success down the stretch."

-Vrabel said the Titans self-scout on a regular basis.

A quick nugget he threw out there during the presser:

"We're No.1 in the league in 3rd and 7 to 10," Vrabel said of the defense, "and we're 24th in the league in 3rd and 3 to 6. So, there's your self-scout. We need to get them in 3rd and 7 to 10 so you have some time to execute (stunts). (When it's) 3rd and 3, sometimes the ball is off."

-Vrabel was asked again about the health of running back Derrick Henry, and he provided no further updates.

"He won't be out there this week," Vrabel said of Henry. "That's all I can tell you."

-The Titans headed into the bye week with an 8-4 mark, but with losses in back-to-back games.

Vrabel acknowledged the team needed a bye to recover both mentally and physically, but he made it clear he believes his Titans are in a position to contend down the stretch.

"I didn't think that we were broken by any means," Vrabel said. "I thought maybe we were a little bent, I thought we were a little beat up, nicked up, but not broken.

"There's too many good things that happened in those two losses to think that somehow we're broken. We just have to do some things better, and do them more consistently, and eliminate some of the stuff that we've all witnessed gets you beat."

-Vrabel said veteran receiver Golden Tate, signed to the practice squad last week, continues to work to improve while also working on his conditioning.

"We'll see where his level of understanding of the offense is," Vrabel said of Tate, who did not play against the Patriots. "He's been a great pro, and he's been engaged and locked in in every meeting that I've had. I've enjoyed getting to know him, getting to work with him, and watching him."

-Vrabel said the Titans spent the morning getting tested for COVID-19 coming off the bye, before going into meetings.

The team was scheduled for a lighter practice later on Monday.

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