NASHVILLE – Titans head coach Mike Vrabel held a season-ending press conference on Monday, two days after the team's Divisional Round playoff loss to the Bengals.
The Titans held a final team meeting on Monday, and players went their separate ways.
Vrabel tackled a bunch of questions in a 25-minute press conference at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
Here's a look at the hot topics from today's presser:
-Vrabel noted the Titans have won 34 games in the past three years "but we haven't won a playoff game in two years, and that's when you have to be your best." Vrabel said the Titans weren't consistent enough in all three phases against the Bengals, and now the team will work to improve, whether it's taking care of the football, tackling better, covering better or being able to covert on third down.
-Despite the disappointing ending, Vrabel said he's "proud" of the 2021 Titans, who finished the regular season with a 12-5 record, as AFC South champs. "I am proud, because you come to work and you get to coach men that care, that are tough, that play extremely hard, that believe in our culture, effort and toughness, about putting the team first and about winning," Vrabel said. "I am disappointed, but I am not discouraged because I know the team that we have here."
-Vrabel said offensive coordinator Todd Downing "does a great job." "He's a great coach, and I think he's a hard worker," Vrabel said of Downing. "There's always going to be calls you'd like to have back, there's plays you'd like to have back." Vrabel said things have to be better in all three phases, "but I love the relationship Todd has with the assistant coaches and the players, and we'll all continue to improve."
-Vrabel lamented the way the game ended, with a late Bengals field goal after a Titans turnover. "It kind of felt like our type of game," Vrabel said. "I really thought we'd get a conversion (on third down), call time out, have 23 seconds and one time out, and execute those situations like we did all year, and kick a field goal to win, and it didn't happen."
-Asked about potential changes on his coaching staff, Vrabel said "we'll have meetings on that throughout the week and that's some other things I'll have to put into consideration."
-Vrabel offered words of praise for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, despite his three-interception game on Saturday. "He has elite toughness," Vrabel said. "We have to be great around him. But he has shown signs of accuracy, of decision making, the ability to extend plays, and to scramble, and leadership. Those are all things that you look for in a quarterback, and Ryan has shown us that. Unfortunately, we turned the ball over on Saturday."
-Vrabel said he expects running back Derrick Henry to work hard, and to come back ready in 2022. The team will have to make a decision on running back D'Onta Foreman, meanwhile, whose deal is up. "I'm sure Derrick will work extremely hard to get himself ready like he does every offseason," Vrabel said. "D'Onta has an expiring contract, and we'll see how that fits in with what we are going to do going forward. Those are conversations that Jon (Robinson) and I will have. But he was fun to coach, did a nice job for us, and certainly made the best of his opportunity."
-Vrabel said cornerback Caleb Farley and outside linebacker Rashad Weaver, draft picks who were lost for the season with injuries, continue to rehab. "Hopefully they can take a big step with the rest of these young guys when they're healthy," Vrabel said.
-Vrabel said players are undergoing final medical checks on Monday. He expects to have discussions with General Manager Jon Robinson regarding the roster and the team's free agents in the coming weeks.
-Vrabel made it clear he is committed to the Titans. "I am under contact, and my believe is that I will be here," Vrabel said. "I want to be here. I want to do the best job that I can for these players, that put so much into it. I don't want to be anywhere else."
-In closing Vrabel said this year's Titans didn't get the job done. "We fell short," he said. "We played hard, we competed, and we made some mistakes, too many mistakes. In the end, we'll have to be better."