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Hot Topics From Titans HC Mike Vrabel's Monday Presser


NASHVILLE – Titans head coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday morning, one day after the team's 19-13 loss to the Steelers.

Next up for the Titans is a game on Thursday night against the San Francisco 49ers at Nissan Stadium.

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

-The Titans (9-5) lead the Colts (8-6) by one game in the AFC South, and they're currently the No.3 seed in the AFC playoff race. Vrabel said the Titans are focused on improving during a short week. "We are starting (preparations) today," he said. "We have to get these guys going physically, and mentally. This will be a huge week to try and improve mentally; we won't be able to do much physically. And you have to prepare to win a game against a great opponent. (It's) a great challenge, a (team) that's won five of their last six games."

-Vrabel said the Titans will make corrections off the game tape from Sunday, but the team's primary focus now is on the 49ers, and who might be available from a personnel standpoint for the Titans. "(The 49ers) are somebody that we don't have a lot of familiarity with," Vrabel said. "A lot of challenges, a lot of great players, and a good scheme." Vrabel said 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa, who has 15 sacks on the season, is talented, and he plays with great balance and quickness. He complimented the 49ers for their "attacking, penetrating front."

-Vrabel said linebacker Zach Cunningham, who led the defense in tackles in his Titans debut, got off to a "good start." Vrabel said "we'll continue to work with Zach and focus on improving mentally. That will be what everybody tries to focus on this week."

-When asked about the team's confidence level, Vrabel turned the topic to the turnovers that have plagued his team in three recent losses. The Titans turned the ball over nine times in back-to-back losses to the Texans and Patriots, and they turned the ball over four times again the Steelers. "There's always things that we can correct, but a lot of these things come down to our ability to take care of the football, and finding ways to create turnovers," Vrabel said. "To me, it comes down to taking care of the football. It's Captain Obvious, but that's really what it is. And trying to make sure that we are creating turnovers defensively."

-Asked about receiver Julio Jones, who didn't finish the game on Sunday because of a hamstring injury, Vrabel said, "going forward, we'll evaluate where he is, and see how he can help us on Thursday."

-Titans receiver A.J. Brown is eligible to come off of Injured Reserve this week. Vrabel didn't give any indication on whether he'll be able to play against the 49ers. "We'll see where everybody is today," Vrabel said. "These guys are filing in here today. Hopefully the guys who weren't able to play (in Pittsburgh) can help us this week in some capacity, and the guys who are eligible to return from IR we can make a decision on them." UPDATE: The Titans moved Brown to the team's 'Designated for Return from Injured Reserve' list later on Monday, clearing his return for practice.

-A roughing the QB call on defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons wiped out a turnover forced by the Titans. Vrabel wasn't surprised to see the flag, since Simmons hit Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger below the knee. "We've coached our guys, and the understanding from the NFL is that it's the defenders responsibility to avoid contact below the knees and above the shoulders when the quarterback is in the pocket," Vrabel said. "Nobody is playing harder for us than Jeff each and every down. … He just has to avoid making contact with his helmet or shoulder below the knee. Try and just swipe at the guy's ankle. That's what the rules are, and we know what it is."

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