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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 24-17 win over the Colts.

Here's a look at the hot topics from today's presser:

-Vrabel offered high praise for the team's inside linebackers – David Long, Jr., Dylan Cole and Joe Schobert – for their play in Sunday's win over the Colts.

Cole tallied a team-high eight tackles while Long added seven of his own. Schobert, activated to the roster for Sunday's game, had six stops and a forced fumble.

The Titans, playing without Zach Cunningham, held Colts running back Jonathan Taylor to just 42 rushing yards on 20 carries.

"Really, really good against the run," Vrabel said of the group. "I thought the group that was in there … (The Colts) are a good running football team with a good back, and that was pretty much the difference in the game, being able to stop the run the way that we did.

"Guys were playing physical, guys were playing instinctive, and they did a nice job."

-Vrabel was asked about the team's inability to get points at the end of the first half, when quarterback Ryan Tannehill was tackled inbounds, and the field goal unit couldn't get out there before time expired.

The Titans didn't have a time out left to stop the clock, so the drive ended at the Indianapolis 25.

"We'll be better in those situations, starting with me," Vrabel said. "Obviously making sure that we're getting rid of the football and being able to get points there. We'll focus on those and make sure that's cleaned up moving forward."

-Vrabel said he saw some improvement from cornerback Caleb Farley, who played 27 defensive snaps (41 percent) a week after getting just one snap on defense vs the Raiders.

Farley was credited with four tackles. He did give up a deep ball vs the Colts.

"I thought he improved, and I thought there were some good snaps and some ones we'll continue to work on and improve," Vrabel said. "I thought he did a nice job when he was in there. It's a tough position to play – you are under the gun and you are going to have to be willing to have some balls caught on you and be able to come back and make a play. He had a pass breakup and the next play they went down the field on him. You have to be ready for the ball every single time."

-Vrabel did not offer a timetable on when receiver Treylon Burks might return.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Monday Burks is dealing with turf toe, but Vrabel did not reveal a diagnosis.

"I don't know how long he'll be out," Vrabel said of Burks. "We'll continue to evaluate him this week and see where he is at."

-Vrabel offered more praise for defensive lineman Denico Autry, who had two sacks and a forced fumble against the Colts.

"I appreciate the way he shows up to work," Vrabel said of Autry, "and his professionalism."

Vrabel said defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons deserves a lot of credit for the team's success in run defense as well. Simmons was credited with four tackles, but he was disruptive all day, Vrabel said.

"Jeff was a major impact in the run game," Vrabel said. "Making sure the line of scrimmage was firm … and he handled the double-teams and combination blocks."

-Inside linebacker Monty Rice, who is on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list, is expected to return to practice this week.

Rice traveled with the Titans to Indianapolis.

"Hopefully we can see Monty," Vrabel said. "He can begin his window and start practicing. He's been working hard and (the training staff and conditioning staff) has been working hard with him to get back."

-Defensive back Elijah Molden and receiver Racey McMath, who began the season on Injured Reserve, aren't expected to return to practice even though they are now eligible.

"I don't expect them out there this week," Vrabel said.

-Vrabel said safety Amani Hooker, who missed Sunday's game in Indianapolis, remains in the concussion protocol.

"He's still working his way through," Vrabel said of Hooker, "and we'll keep you updated there."

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