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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 21-20 loss to the Giants.

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

-Vrabel said the Titans have to regroup, and eliminate the mistakes that got the team beat on Sunday.

After watching the film Monday, Vrabel listed several reasons why the Titans lost against the Giants, starting with the run defense.

Here's the clip:

-Asked about the way the Titans managed the clock – and field position – late, Vrabel said the Titans had confidence in kicker Randy Bullock to make the 47-yard field goal to win in.

Vrabel said the Titans wanted the football on the right hashmark, and that's why the team played the end-of-game sequence like it did.

"I am not disappointed in how that situation happened," Vrabel said. "I am disappointed that a guy we have a lot of confidence in missed. Randy is disappointed, but he's made a lot of big kicks for us."

-The Titans were 3-of-11 on third down on Sunday, and many of those were in short-yardage situations.

An end around to tight end Chig Okonkwo was among the most notable failures.

"It's something that we've been really good at," Vrabel said of the third and short situations, "and we'll continue to be really good at. That was disappointing."

-A total of eight rookies made their NFL debuts against the Giants, including wide receivers Treylon Burks and Kyle Philips.

Also, cornerbacks Roger McCreary and Tre Avery, running back Hassan Haskins, right tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, tight end Chig Okonkwo and punter Ryan Stonehouse all played. The eight rookies to play in the opener tied for the team's second-highest total since 1999. It matched the team's eight rookies in the 2015 and 2012 openers and trailed only the nine rookies to play in the 2004 opener.

"The young guys played good, man," Vrabel said of the rookies. "Treylon caught the ball well, he blocked. We'll start maybe seeing if he can make somebody miss in the open field instead of trying to run them over."

-Vrabel said Petit-Frere was solid, and overall the protection was good.

Tannehill was sacked just once, and that came on a bootleg where Tannehill didn't gain any yards.

"All in all," Vrabel said. "I thought we did some positive things up front."

-The Titans allowed Giants running back Saquon Barkley to run for 164 yards and a score, including runs of 33 and 68 yards.

As a team, the Giants ran for 238 yards, and Vrabel said some of the issues were related to missed tackles, and guys not being in the right spot.

"We had double-digit (missed tackles)," Vrabel said. "The (run) fits, making sure there's an edge, that there's a whole and that you're swarming."

-Philips was one of the bright spots for the Titans.

The UCLA product had a nice 46-yard punt return, and he also led the team with six catches for 66 yards. Yes, he muffed a punt as well.

"You saw a great punt return, and a great effort from him, a lot of great efforts from other guys out there," Vrabel said. "It wasn't perfect, because we muffed one.

"But Kyle is a competitor. He has a knack for getting open. Ryan was able to find him a couple of times yesterday."

-Tight end Geoff Swaim played 45 of the team's 65 snaps on offense.

Meanwhile, Austin Hooper played 40 snaps, and Okonkwo played 10.

Asked what Swaim has done to earn his role on offense, Vrabel replied: "He's the best blocking tight end that we have."

-Next up for the Titans in a trip to Buffalo to face the Bills on Monday night.

The Bills are coming off a Week 1 blowout win over the Los Angeles Rams.

"It's an excellent defense," Vrabel said of the Bills. "They put a lot of pressure (on the Rams) the other night. They're very sound, they're good tacklers. … Offensively they were able to break tackles, and the quarterback is very good – I have a lot of respect for Josh (Allen) and what he does, and the command that he has, his toughness, his physicality, and not only that, just his arm talent.

"So, it's a huge challenge on the road."

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