Titans HC Mike Vrabel Commends WR A.J. Brown for His Courage in Sharing Personal Message About Depression


NASHVILLE – Titans head coach Mike Vrabel on Monday commended receiver A.J. Brown for his bravery in revealing his battle with depression.

In an Instagram video post Friday, Brown opened up about his struggles with depression in recent years.

"I appreciate A.J.'s courage, and willingness to share that message," Vrabel said. "I am glad that we have been able to provide a safe space for most everybody that's been willing to reach out, to talk to somebody here, to somebody outside of here. And it's our job, it's part of our job, to make sure that they can deal with the stresses of life, the stresses of professional football, the strain it sometimes puts on the family.

"I appreciate his courage, and hopefully his message can help somebody else feel comfortable to seek help, to get things off their chest, to be able to talk through things, and I think that is a great example."

In the video Brown posted on Instagram and TikTok on Friday night, he revealed he considered taking his life a year ago Friday, but said talking to another person helped him.

He encouraged others to get help.

"I'm kind of nervous, even to be saying this, but a year ago from today, I thought about taking my own life. I had no more hope for better days and everything was just going wrong for me," Brown said in his video. "The reason why I am sharing this message today to you is that I'm still here, I'm still going, I'm still smiling, and I've got a lot of things to be grateful for. I just want to encourage everyone to protect your mental and talk to someone. Get things off your chest. Do things that make you happy. It's so important.

"I didn't think depression was real until it happened to me," Brown continued in the video. "But now I know it's really real. Guys, just talk to someone, gets things off your chest, and take depression seriously."

Brown, in his third season with the Titans, was a Pro Bowler in 2020 after a second straight 1,000-yard season. He leads the team with 41 catches for 567 yards and three touchdowns this season.

He's one of the team's most popular players with fans.

Vrabel said he wants players to know they have a safe place to discuss their feelings with the team's staff.

"These are real things that we all deal with," Vrabel said. "And it's great when people can, especially significant professional football players and athletes, are willing to address it and willing to make statements about it."

If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night, or chat online.

Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.

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