NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Amy Adams Strunk took over as controlling owner of the Tennessee Titans in March 2015, her mission was to "get this team right."
She made a big change at general manager, hiring Jon Robinson. She's shaken up the coaching staff, hiring Mike Vrabel as the team's new head coach this offseason as she set her sights on bigger things, and continued improvement, moving forward.
The Titans went from winning three games in 2015 to nine in 2016. And last season, the Titans won nine games and the franchise's first playoff game in 14 years.
All the while Strunk has established herself among NFL owners. In 2016, Strunk was appointed to the NFL's Hall of Fame Committee. And on Wednesday, the city of Nashville was awarded the 2019 NFL Draft, a proud moment for the city and the franchise.
Titans president and CEO Steve Underwood praised Strunk from the spring meetings in Atlanta, citing her dogged determination, her willingness to make tough decisions, and her overall vision of the team, and the big picture.
After posing for a picture with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Strunk spoke proudly when discussing the city landing the NFL's prized event. And for a moment she looked back at how much things have changed since she took over the leadership role for the franchise just over three years ago, as well as her finding her footing among the league's 32 owners.
"I think whenever you come into a group it is just best to come in kind of softly, and get the lay of the land," Strunk said. "Every year it has gotten a little more comfortable for me, and with winning, it makes everything easier, all the way around.
"I am a person that I get on a mission, and my mission was get this team right. And I think we are headed that direction and now it is up to Jon and Mike to continue on. I am just happy to be where we are now."
On Wednesday in Atlanta, most the talk from the Tennessee contingent centered on what's on the horizon for the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville.
Strunk also discussed the team's 2018 draft class, which included former Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans, Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry III, and some draft weekend aggressiveness from Robinson, who moved up to land the team's top two picks in the draft.
Strunk said it provided further proof of just how far the team has come in recent years. And how much the GM enjoys working the draft.
"I am so excited," Strunk said of Evans and Landry. "It was a luxury this year to be able to move around and go get the guys that we wanted – that was so important. When Jon took over we needed so many things, so many positons. He didn't have that luxury – we needed draft choices. Now, we got to kind of zero in and get who we wanted and Jon did that – they're good players, high quality guys.
"(Watching it unfold), it's Jon at his best. He is in his element, he is focused, you can see the wheels turning. He is picking up that phone and you are hearing, "No, yes, no, OK." That is why when people ask me leading up to the draft: Do you have inside scoop on who he is going to pick? I say, 'Are you kidding?' This could change 300 times before we get to that choice. I try to watch things leading up to the draft, but with Jon you know it can change. It can change in a minute."
Coming off a 9-7 season in 2017, Strunk is optimistic about what's in store for 2018.
She smiled when a reporter looked ahead to the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville. In announcing Nashville as the draft site, Goodell put the Titans on the clock.
Strunk would rather be picking 32nd than first, of course.
"I would say 32nd (would be great), but you know what: I know Jon well enough to know we won't be 32nd," Strunk said with a laugh. "We'll move back or move up or do something. That is just Jon."
Nashville Mayor David Briley, Titans CRO Stuart Spears and Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. President/CEO Butch Spyridon discuss Nashville being selected to host the 2019 NFL Draft. (Photos: Kristen Sheft, Nashville)