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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 17-14 loss to the Chargers.

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

-Vrabel made it clear if quarterback Ryan Tannehill can play this weekend, he'll play.

Tannehill reaggravated his ankle injury against the Chargers, but he returned to the contest.

"He'll work extremely hard to get back, and (try to) find a way to make the game, like he always has," Vrabel said of Tannehill. "Again, we're never going to question his toughness, or his willingness to get back and help us win."

"If Ryan is healthy and Ryan can play, Ryan will be our quarterback."

-Vrabel was asked about the defensive coverage that allowed Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert to complete a 35-yard pass to receiver Mike Williams, which set up L.A.'s game-winning field goal in the closing seconds.

"The quarterback broke contain, and made a play down the sidelines," Vrabel said. "(The defense) was not good enough. Again, the quarterback broke contain, the guy made a play down the field. Whether they were on him or not, they made a play."

-Vrabel said back-up quarterback Malik Willis was prepared when he entered Sunday's game for an injured Tannehill.

Willis completed 3-of-4 passes for 20 yards in the first half.

"I thought he was prepared, and went in there and was the most comfortable that he's been in," Vrabel said. "Malik has put a lot of work in in trying to play the game and command the huddle and do all the things we've talked about as far as how he needs to develop throughout the week when there aren't a lot of reps."

-In addition to Tannehill, the Titans suffered at least seven more injuries in Sunday's game.

Dylan Cole (ankle), Terrance Mitchell (hamstring), Andrew Adams (wrist), Dillon Radunz (knee), Josh Thompson (concussion), Jack Gibbens and Nate Davis all left the game at one point. Some did not return.

"There's a lot of guys coming off that game that may or may not play in the game going forward," Vrabel said.

Through 14 games, the Titans have used more players (80) than any team in the NFL.

Vrabel the Titans have made efforts to track injuries, and prevent them. He said the team has "changed a lot" as it relates to training camp schedules, and also tracking the workload of players in practices.

"Football is a physical sport," Vrabel said. "Where we're at is where we're at. We'll have to find out who is available and try and get the guys ready to go. Professional football is a violent game."

-Vrabel was asked specifically about offensive coordinator Todd Downing's performance on Sunday.

"Probably like our entire team's effort – not good enough to win," Vrabel said.

When Vrabel was asked if he's calling some of the offensive plays, he responded: "I am responsible for every call that goes in, whether it gets executed, if it's a good call or bad call."

-Defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker had two sacks on Sunday for the Titans, and he now has 6.5 on the season.

"I thought he played really hard," Vrabel said. "I think he had some good rushes, power rushes. He played with a lot of energy, taking advantage of the snaps that he's gotten, and been productive. Hopefully he can help us. He's been very durable and worked extremely hard. I appreciate it attitude."

-Vrabel also praised the play of cornerback Roger McCreary, who made a key defensive play on Sunday that led to Joshua Kalu's interception at the end of the first half.

"Just seeing the look on Roger's face — he is so competitive," Vrabel said. "He wants to do so well. … To be able to know the situation and understand it (on Sunday), that's a fantastic play. … The last two weeks have been really good for him as far as overall consistency and we need that continue."

-Vrabel was asked if he'd consider resting some guys in next few games to make sure guys are healthy for the Jaguars game in Week 18. His answer: "No."

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