NASHVILLE – Titans Coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after his team's 20-16 loss to the Bengals.
Here's a look at the hot topics from today's presser as the Titans turn their attention to Sunday's game vs the Philadelphia Eagles:
-The Titans went 0-of-3 scoring touchdowns in the red zone on Sunday. The team kicked four field goals, including one that was missed. "We know we have to be much better in those opportunities, and we have been," Vrabel said. "There's evidence for many years of us doing that."
-Receiver Treylon Burks caught four passes for 70 yards in the contest, including a 51-yarder. Vrabel said Burks continues to improve, and "he's shown the ability to go up and get the football" while also playing fast.
-Vrabel didn't make any excuses for the late-game penalty called defensive lineman Kevin Strong, who was called for hitting the Bengals long snapper on a field goal. The personal foul penalty resulted in an automatic first down, and the Titans never got the ball back. "Any time you do that, that's going to be a penalty," Vrabel said. "We have to be careful. They're only looking for certain things. Make sure you don't cover him up and make sure you don't have the appearance of hitting him in the head or neck."
-Running back Derrick Henry managed just 38 yards on 17 carries on Sunday, and he was hit in the backfield on numerous occasions. Vrabel said Henry has a unique skill-set, "and we'll have to continue to find ways to get him into the second level, where we he can use his size, his speed." Vrabel said the screen pass to Henry, which resulted in a 69-yard gain, was well executed, "but our first focus is to find ways to run it."
-Defensive back Tre Avery played 18 snaps on defense on Sunday, and Vrabel said he made the most of his opportunities. "He did excellent," Vrabel said of Avery. "They challenged him. They tried him six times, and he won five and lost one. I'd say he was probably the best of the group of corners. He did everything that he could do with the snaps that he got. He gets in there and does it the way that we coach – he challenges, plays square, he had a PBU."
-Vrabel said kicker Randy Bullock, who has missed the past two games because of a calf injury, is making progress while also offering a compliment to kicker Caleb Shudak. "He is feeling better, but we'll have to monitor it as we go down toward the end of the week and see how he feels," Vrabel said of Bullock. Shudak was 3-of-4 on Sunday vs the Bengals. "We're focusing on getting (Randy) as healthy as possible," Vrabel said. "Caleb hit the ball well – had the touchbacks and had the one I'm sure he'd like to have back that wasn't his best swing. Other than that I thought he kicked the ball well."
-Vrabel said center Ben Jones "is working his way through" concussion protocol and "we'll see where he is on Wednesday."
-Vrabel the team will see how receiver Kyle Philips and outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi feel later this week to determine whether they could return to practice. Both players are currently on Injured Reserve.
-Vrabel was asked how to keep this week from "being all about A.J. Brown," who was traded to the Eagles this offseason. "It's the best team in the National Football League," Vrabel said of the Eagles. "There will be plenty of challenges. It's a good football team, on the road. The Titans and who we have proven to be, and hopefully who we are, have to prepare this week and we have to show up and try and do things that we know are successful and not start changing things and pointing fingers. Just be accountable, make the corrections, ask questions and learn from it. … Everybody is disappointed and upset when you lose, but it's a quick turnaround against an excellent football team."