Mike Vrabel is a first-year head coach. When it comes to the offseason program, he’s a seasoned pro.
Speaking to reporters on the first real day of work, Vrabel said all the right things about the team’s “voluntary” workout program. Which isn’t really “voluntary.” But when speaking about it, coaches must act like it is.
“Obviously we didn’t take attendance. Everybody understands it’s voluntary, so to be honest with you, I don’t know,” Vrabel said, via the Tennesseean, regarding whether everyone showed up “It looked pretty good to me. But we didn’t take attendance and the guys that were here seemed engaged.”
Vrabel was indeed aware that some players weren’t there, because they told him they wouldn’t be there.
“I know a few guys that weren’t [here], because they had some things that came up, and they texted their coach,” Vrabel said. “They communicated. They said, ‘Hey, coach, I’m not going to be there. Something happened.’ Which, that’s all you can ask from them.”
Technically you can’t even ask for that, given the voluntary nature of the program. Even if it’s not really voluntary.
“There is no concern,” Vrabel said. “Whoever’s here is going to get coached, is going to get developed and is going to learn our system. Honestly, I mean that. Because they’re all working. If they’re pros, they’re going to be working somewhere.”
He’s right about that; long gone are the days when the season ends and a player throws his cleats in the garage and waits for training camp. Players stay in shape, either on their own or under the auspices of their strength coach.
Still, there’s value in being around the coaching staff and teammates. Vrabel realizes, however, that he can’t say it. Eventually, he’ll have a locker room full of players who won’t need to hear it.