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Hot Topics From Titans HC Mike Vrabel's Saturday Presser


NASHVILLE – Titans Coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Saturday at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after his team's 23-7 preseason win over the Patriots.

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

-Vrabel was asked if he's seen enough to know who his No.2 quarterback – either Malik Willis or Will Levis - will be to start the season. Not yet, Vrabel said. "I don't think so," Vrabel said. "As it stands now, with Will's availability, and we'll get him back this week. But I thought that Malik took a big step yesterday. Unfortunately, you have the turnovers, but there was a lot of cool stuff that happened after that." Willis started two of the team's preseason games, and he played most the game on Friday, when he completed 15-of-20 passes for 211 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Levis, meanwhile, has missed the last two games. "Malik has to make some better decisions," Vrabel said, "and we'll see where Will's at this week (from a health standpoint)."

-Levis completed 9-of-14 passes for 85 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception in his lone preseason game, on August 12 in Chicago. Levis returned to practice earlier this week after missing the Minnesota game, and Vrabel said he "keeps progressing." But Vrabel said, like everyone else, the Titans would love to see Levis be able play more in order for him to improve in certain areas.

-Vrabel said some roster cuts could take place in the coming days, ahead of the NFL's cut-down deadline from 90 to 53 players on Tuesday. "And we'll work our way through the claiming period," Vrabel said, "and work our way through the practice squad."

-Outside linebacker Harold Landry played 11 snaps against the Patriots, his first action since 2021. "It was good to see him back out there, did some things," Vrabel said of Landry, who was credited with a tackle. "He has to focus on his pad level. He didn't have a ton of opportunities. But he played hard, I thought he had some good speed. It was good to see him back out there."

-Vrabel mentioned young receivers Colton Dowell, Kearis Jackson and Tre'Shaun Harrison. While they made some mental mistakes, "it was good to see them catch the ball. … They all got some opportunities, and I think they improved from Minnesota."

-Vrabel said the entire o-line needs to start better, "and make sure we're improving," no matter what the other team is doing. "We need to go out and play better, and use our rules, and block better, finish better. I would say that entire group as to have a big week. … The entire group, there's just too much inconsistency."

-Vrabel paid a nice compliment to veterans Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker. "It makes my job easy," Vrabel said. "(They) spread my message, and the coaching staff's message, into the locker room." Vrabel said he thanked Delanie Walker when he was at the facility recently for his impact on the team during his playing days.

-Vrabel said the new turf at Nissan Stadium was "great and amazing," and it felt good. "From a temperature standpoint, a fantastic product to be able to play games here when it's 100 degrees, and not have the field be 130."

-Vrabel said he anticipates both edge rusher Arden Key and tight end Chig Okonkwo being back at practice this week.

-The Titans face the Saints in the regular season opener in New Orleans on September 10. At the end of the week, the Titans will turn their complete attention to the opener. But right now, the team has 90 players, and they must be down to 53 by Tuesday. So, what's the plan? "We'll probably do that here at the end of the week," Vrabel said of Saints prep. "We'll target that Wednesday and Thursday, and try and compete still against us (until then) and get the roster where it needs to (be), and then try and have a couple of days with the Saints."

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