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Six Things That Stood Out

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Hot Topics From Titans Coach Mike Vrabel's Sunday Presser


NASHVILLE – Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Sunday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team's 20-13 win over the New England Patriots.

The Titans return to action on Saturday when they face the Ravens in Baltimore.

Here's a look at some of the hot topics from today's presser…

Henry's Workload

Titans running back Derrick Henry racked up 204 of the team's total 272 yards against the Patriots.

Henry ran for 182 yards on 34 carries, and he also caught a pass for a 22-yard gain.

Vrabel said Henry is built for moments like Saturday night, and thinks there's a reason he's held up so well during the course of a season when he carried the ball 303 times for 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns.

"I think Derrick trains and prepares to be able to handle that load, to carry that load," Vrabel said. "He has a certain skillset, with size and strength and speed and durability – those are all great qualities for a running back in January. So he'll do everything that he has to to get ready and to do whatever it is that we ask him to do in the game plan.

"He's very unique – there's not that many running backs in the league like Derrick, because there's not that many players in college that are like Derrick, and by that I just mean a bigger tailback."

Challenge vs the Ravens

The Titans will face the Ravens at 7:15 CT on Saturday.

The Ravens, ranked No.2 in the NFL in total offense (yards) and No.1 in scoring offense, are led by quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has 3,127 passing yards and 36 touchdowns, along with 1,206 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Baltimore is ranked fourth overall on defense (yards), and third in scoring defense.

"Offensively they have the best player in the league, who is impossible to tackle," Vrabel said of Jackson. "They have a great scheme – on any other day it would be fun to watch, but not when you are trying to prepare for them and stop them. … They are well coached and they are physical and that's what the Baltimore Ravens have always been, especially with John (Harbaugh)"

Clock Management

By design, the Titans were whistled for a pair of penalties in the closing minutes, which allowed extra time to run off the clock.

Television cameras caught Patriots coach Bill Belichick looking upset when talking to officials, but it was a legal plan Vrabel took advantage of because he trusted his defense.

"(I) see how we're playing defensively, how the game is going, and how Brett (Kern) is punting the ball," Vrabel said. "Do we think that we can stop them?"

Asked about Belichick's demeanor, Vrabel said: "I can only concentrate on one team. Just trying to do what is best for us each and every week. … I just try and understand what the rules are and play by them, and use them to our advantage any way we can."

Game Balls

Vrabel regularly hands out game balls and recognizes players of note after games, and when asked about those players this week he said it was a team win.

"I just think right now the Titans, everybody that played in that game, contributed," Vrabel said.

But Vrabel went on to praise several of his players from the game, including linebacker Rashaan Evans and safety Kenny Vaccaro.

"Rashaan was very active, and was physical," Vrabel said. "I thought Kenny played safety how I envision safety being played – he was physical and he threw his body around for his team.

"Offensively we got a lot of great effort up front, came off the football. Certainly Derrick played very well, but you could kind of feel the line of scrimmage moving in the direction we needed to go."

Vrabel singled out safety Dane Cruikshank's performance on special teams, and he said punter Brett Kern was solid.

Jayon Brown's Health

Titans linebacker Jayon Brown left Saturday's game on two separate occasions with a shoulder injury, and after the second time he didn't return.

Brown watched the second half of the game in streets clothes.

"He's sore, like a lot of guys," Vrabel said when asked about Brown's health.

Vrabel was not asked about an injury status for any other player.

Adoree's Return, and Praise for Tramaine Brock

Titans cornerback Adoree' Jackson played vs the Patriots for the first time since Dec. 1.

Jackson started the contest, and he played in 58 of 61 defensive snaps. Jackson was credited with two tackles and two passes defensed, including one late.

"(He was) good," Vrabel said. "Tight coverage, late in the game there they had to have it and I thought he was in good, tight coverage. He didn't foul, it was a contested catch and he got a PBU. We'll need everybody available that we can have moving toward Saturday night."

Vrabel also complimented cornerback Tramaine Brock, who was acquired off waivers from the Cardinals late in the season. Brock played well on Saturday, tallying four tackles and two breakups while playing 45 snaps.

"He's gotten up to speed pretty quickly," Vrabel said. "And I appreciate his efforts, and I appreciate his willingness to try and do it how we're coaching. We're going to need a lot more of that on Saturday night."

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