MOBILE, Ala. –** New Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has started the process of scouting players here at the Senior Bowl.
He's also working on putting together his coaching staff.
"I want to put together a great staff, and I am not rushing that," Vrabel said on Tuesday. "You only get so many cracks at this thing. I am not going to hire a bunch of my buddies – I don't have that many of them. I don't think that is the way to go. I am looking for the right guys, the best guys to coach our team.
"So I am not going to rush it. I am going to vet the candidates and put a lot of thought into it, and meet with everybody (on the 2017 Titans staff), from the trainers to the strength coach, to the offensive coordinator. So I make decisions and other guys I am going to have back and interview."
Vrabel, introduced as the team's new head coach on Monday, said he met with defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau in person to inform him of his plans to move in a different direction at defensive coordinator.
"It's something I thought about and gave a lot of thought and consideration, and then after that I had to make a decision," Vrabel said. "It is hard to put into words what (LeBeau) has meant to this game as a player, and as a coach. Players love him, and players respect him and care about him. He is a Hall of Fame player and he is a Hall of Fame coach. That's all you need to say.
"(The tough decisions) come with sitting in that seat."
Titans general manager Jon Robinson has been in discussions with Vrabel about the staff, and decisions.
"We are still working through that," Robinson said. "We've had discussions with some of our coaches and let them know kind of our direction and having some discussion with prospective coaches about coming on board with us.
"I can't say enough good things about coach LeBeau. … His is a great man, and his courage speaks for itself both as a player and a coach and I wish him nothing but the best moving forward. But like Mike and I talked about, and all the candidates talked about when we interviewed them, in the end it is the head coach's decision to put his staff together and do what he thinks is best for the team. We talk about those decisions, but that's his charge."
Vrabel, defensive coordinator with the Texans last season, said he plans to hire a new defensive coordinator who will call the defensive plays. But Vrabel reiterated on Tuesday what he said during his press conference on Monday – he's going to have input in all areas.
"The DC will make the play calls – he will call the game," Vrabel said. "And if I tell him to run something, he is going to run it. … The defensive coordinator is going to call 100 percent of the game, except for when I tell him the one time I want to pressure the quarterback. We are going to have a great line of communication."
Earlier this week, ESPN reported Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day was Vrabel's leading candidate for the Titans' offensive coordinator position, but he decided to remain with the Buckeyes. Vrabel said he's considering other candidates as well, and both Vrabel and Robinson said other candidates have always been in the mix.
"Ryan was one of a few candidates," Vrabel said. "Ryan has a job at Ohio State, I love Ohio State, and we're going to interview the right guys for our offense and our team.
"We're in the process of meeting with guys here (for the OC job). We're going to meet with guys when we get back, and when I find the right guy I'll offer him the job."
Vrabel reiterated he's not in a hurry to put together his coaching staff.
"Our players don't come in until April 2nd, so whoever I hire is not going to be able coach the quarterback or coach the running backs or coach the receivers until April 2nd – the rules don't allow it," Vrabel said. "If I did anything that was rushed, I would be cheating our players."
New Titans head coach Mike Vrabel arrives in Nashville, Tenn. on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (Photos: Gary Glenn)