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Hot Topics From Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel's Monday Presser


NASHVILLE – Titans head coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday, one day after the team's 37-19 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Next up is a game against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football at Nissan Stadium.

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

-Vrabel said receiver A.J. Brown didn't have any issues in his return to action after missing a game with a hamstring injury. Brown played 41 of 64 snaps on offense, and he caught three passes for 38 yards. After the game Brown said he was on a snap count for the game, and less than 100 percent. "Physically," Vrabel said, "I think he came out OK." Vrabel said the Titans want Brown to continue working on his conditioning.

-Vrabel praised safety Kevin Byard, who had 10 tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery he returned for a touchdown. Byard was also credited with a tackle of Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence at the 1, one play before the Titans stopped the Jaguars on 4th and 1. "It was great to see," Vrabel said. "He made a concerted effort to try to get to the football with speed. … He's been a very calming presence for us back there … and I thought he played fast."

-Titans running back Derrick Henry continues to be a workhorse for the team. Henry ran for 130 yards on 29 carries for the Jaguars, and he now has 640 yards and seven touchdowns on 142 carries after five games. Vrabel said "Derrick understands what his responsibility is to this football team and how to prepare" when asked if he's concerned about the workload. "We just have to try to be as smart as we can with recovery, and how it is going in the game, and how he feels," Vrabel said of Henry. "There's a fine there between knowing what he needs, and the impact that he has throughout the course of the game." Vrabel said Henry's performance oftentimes improves down the stretch in games when Tennessee's running game wears down opponents.

-Vrabel said outside linebacker Harold Landry, who had two sacks on Sunday and now 4.5 sacks on the season, "is playing well (and) he's playing fast. We ask him to do a lot, we put him in a lot of different positions, and he has responded well."

-Vrabel wasn't happy with the run defense, and for good reason. Jaguars running back James Robinson piled up 149 yards and a touchdown against the Titans, including a long of 58 yards. Vrabel counted 15 missed tackles, and said the overall tackling was not good. "It has to be better for everybody," Vrabel said of the run defense. "In the run game, to play the way that we did yesterday, that is not acceptable for any of us, to play like that in the run game."

-Vrabel didn't have any complaints about the play on the boundary involving Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons and Lawrence. Simmons was flagged for hitting Lawrence, who appeared to be trying to get extra yardage when Simmons him inbounds. "They are going to protect the quarterback," Vrabel said. "I get that he was inbounds. … You have to go full tilt to the tackle and understand that they are going to protect the quarterback on the sideline when they think he is trying to get out of bounds."

-Vrabel complimented cornerback Elijah Molden, who "put his face right on the football" to force an early fumble, and he said Molden and fellow rookie cornerback Caleb Farley both have areas where they can improve despite making some positive plays against the Jaguars.

-Vrabel gave no insight on whether receiver Julio Jones, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, might be back for this week's game vs Buffalo. "We'll see on Wednesday," Vrabel said. "We don't practice until Wednesday."

-Offensive lineman Corey Levin replaced left guard Rodger Saffold in the second half, and he ended up playing 27 snaps. "He was ready to go," Vrabel said of Levin, "and he went in there and worked with Taylor (Lewan) and picked up a couple of pick games and pick rushes with Ben (Jones). So, Corey was prepared and went in there and was ready to go." Vrabel said the Titans will continue to evaluate Saffold and his health and determine if he needs some time off to heal physically.

-Vrabel said he's been impressed by the Buffalo Bills, who improved to 4-1 on Sunday night with a 38-20 win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. "It looks like they are scoring at will, moving the ball," Vrabel said. "The quarterback (Josh Allen) looks like a running back, with an elite arm. It looks like it's Wildcat that throws for 350 yards a game."

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