Titans hire Mike Vrabel as head coach

Getty Images

When the Titans fired Mike Mularkey as their head coach, some pointed to Josh McDaniels as their target because of his shared Patriots history with Tennessee General Manager Jon Robinson.

The new Titans head coach does have history in New England, but it isn’t McDaniels. The Titans announced on Saturday that they have hired Mike Vrabel to fill the opening.

“I am excited to get to work and that work starts now,” Vrabel said in a statement. “We want to build a culture around winning, competitiveness and toughness. Everything we do is going to be geared towards winning and being physical. We want to prepare our players so they know what to do, which will allow them to play fast and aggressive.”

Vrabel spent last season as the defensive coordinator of the Texans after being promoted from linebackers coach. He also coached at Ohio State after spending 14 years playing in the league. He was a member of the Patriots from 2001-2008, winning three Super Bowls while Robinson was working as a scout for the Patriots.

“I have always had a great deal of respect for Mike as a player and as a coach,” Robinson said. “I saw him up close as a player for the Patriots and saw how he prepared himself to be successful on a daily basis. He was the ultimate team-first player and he embodies that same mindset as a coach. He is intelligent, energetic, detailed and a leader whose deep passion for this game will resonate with our players. As a coach, I have seen him develop talent at both the college and NFL level, and put players in position for them to be successful. I am excited to get him in front of our team and watch us grow together as a team.”

The other reason some thought McDaniels, who is expected to take the Colts head coaching job, might be the pick in Tennessee was the need to further the development of quarterback Marcus Mariota. That will now likely fall to the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach that Vrabel picks to head things up on that side of the ball. That decision and Mariota’s progress will likely have a lot to do with how well Vrabel does in his first head coaching job.

82 responses to “Titans hire Mike Vrabel as head coach

  1. It’s not a bad hire. Takes a great coordinator from a division rival at the least. I’ve been a big fan of Vrabel since his playing days and love his tenacity. Hopefully he keeps Dick Lebeau. Time to grab a new OC now but unfortunately there isn’t too many “sexy” options

  2. Great hire. Titans will be in the playoffs again next year and for many years to come. Vrabel will be around for a long time. Anxious to see his plan for OC…Helfrich would’ve been a great hire for him.

  3. He had one year as DC in the NFL with a defense that lost several of it’s best players to injury and suspensions. After which they got absolutely smoked several times. He did a very good job as linebacker coach before that.
    Only way I can see this grade is an incomplete. Guess his ol’ buddy thinks different.

  4. Tennessee appear to be taking a pretty big risk. Vrabel was a great former player on good teams but with only 2 years experience as a position coach in the NFL and 1 year of experience as a Defensive Coordinator, he is very thin re hands on coaching experience in leading a team. Time will tell.

  5. How does this hire help with Mariota’s development? This is supposedly one of the reasons they canned Mularkey. Bring in a defensive coach at this point is idiotic and confusing!

  6. Rut Roh!

    TEN will find out the only fruit bearing from the Belichick coaching tree is Belichick!

  7. Big Mike Vrabel fan, but I fear this is not the right fit for him, or the Titans. I know that it’s rare to pass up a HC opportunity, but I’mnt sure if he’s ready for this one. Zero experience with an offense. Hoping for the best for all, but I think they needed an offensive guy, who might even be real hands on with Mariotta. That guy is not Mike.

    Exceptional guy, who I am sure will be a success as a HC at some point. This could be a real stretch. He’s pretty aren inexperienced as a coach, and I bet they are putting a bit too much stock into his experience as player.

    Robinson hiring based on his relationship and knowing the person, and maybe not evaluating the specific skills needed. McDaniels is obviously headed to the Colts. I wonder if that one was too far done, and down the road by the time this one opened up for him to consider this? I’d rather see McDaniels here. Luck could have issues with the shoulder, and the owner in Indy is a loose cannon.

    Good luck to all.

  8. .
    Nobody really knows how things will work out when a coordinator is elevated to his first head coaching position. I’d never heard of Sean Mcvay until he got the Rams job.
    .

  9. Next McCray. A steal. Born to coach. You could even see it in his wildly underrated playing career.

    Typical Patriot troll hypocracy. You turds pound Tomlin for his one year as Dc yet Vrabel walks on water……please stop you frauds.

  10. Tough year for the haters. Brady Is MVP. Pats favored to win another SB. Two Patriots backup QBs starting for other teams with one undefeated. Two Patriots coaches and a former player getting head coaching jobs. NFL promoting Do Your Job Part II, a tribute to Belichick. It is morning in America.

  11. Another quick hire by the Titans… this seemed to be their guy from the beginning, just like Mularkey. I hope they’re right this time…

  12. I hope he hires Kevin Faulk as Running Backs Coach. Team player. Excellent at picking up the bliz. Equally good at running and catching the football. He’s a winner and the players will listen to him.

  13. Honestly surprised that Vrabel got this much interest. His first year as a DC was certainly underwhelming and now he’s a HC? Go figure….

  14. They absolutely need to hire a known and respected offensive coordinator.

    Mike has the tools to be a good coach, but he’s green. If they get an experienced, older offensive coordinator, one who has been a head coach before too, that would help out not just Mike, but the entire team.

    To me, hiring Vrabel isn’t a mistake by itself.

    It would be a mistake if they hire some young guy as offensive coordinator.

    Mike could use an older, steady hand by his side, preferably one who had been a head coach before.

    Norv Turner already has a gig and I’m not saying he would have been great, but someone like him is my point.

    Just like an organization must build a team, they must build their coaching staffs, shore up weaknesses etc.

    If they don’t help Mike succeed, it isn’t just Mike that will fail, but their team and their organization as well.

  15. I personally like this pick. He isn’t a failed HC, and he is a players coach. He is also very smart. Also want to note that succeed or fail, he isn’t part of the imaginary tree

  16. Nofoolnodrool says:
    January 20, 2018 at 6:49 pm
    Next McCray. A steal. Born to coach. You could even see it in his wildly underrated playing career.

    Typical Patriot troll hypocracy. You turds pound Tomlin for his one year as Dc yet Vrabel walks on water……please stop you frauds.

    Some turds need to learn to spell hypocrisy

  17. SO LETS CLEAR THIS UP Titans ONLY INTERVIEW Panthers DC Steve Wilks cause he was Black & they had to get passed the Rooney Rule

    but with all respect to Mike Vrabel his Def wasn’t great last yr this is a good thing for the Texans

  18. mrbigass says:
    January 20, 2018 at 7:27 pm
    Honestly surprised that Vrabel got this much interest. His first year as a DC was certainly underwhelming and now he’s a HC? Go figure….
    ————
    Broncos’ fans say the same thing about Vance Joseph.

  19. If steeler fans think that changing out a couple of coordinators is gonna change the toxic, dysfunctional, meathead culture in Pittsburgh is gonna solve the problem…well keep rooting. On the couch once again for the AFCC gm. You’ll lose next yr too. The fans, players and coaches just don’t get it. Vrabel is a rising star. Tomlin has proved his cluelessness with an underachieving roster.

  20. Just watch the way the Patriots approach the passing game and try to follow. The last coach thought he was living in the 1960’s and wanted to play smash mouth football. Three yards and a cloud of dust. Woody Hayes would have been proud, but you end up in the unemployment line. Throw the darn football. You have a blue chip young QB. Throw the darn football, or you’ll be looking for a job in two years.

  21. Gotta give Byard (#31) the boot. TT Secondary is still too weak. Find Luke Kuechly and Josh Norman-caliber players, then TTs can do some real damage.

  22. That precious Patriots pedigree. Now the Patriots will also lose Josh and Matty P. It will be weird for the Pats players going to work next season without those two. BB roots is spreading out. Can’t blame the teams for hoping to duplicate the Patriots ‘ sustained success.

  23. Why do the media and fans act like head coaches sit around one on one with QBs? It was the whole silly reason both the Titans and Bucs elevated their in over their head OCs, and that didn’t work out very well for either franchise. Not to mention that the 2 best QBs of the last 20 years ago just happened to both play for defensive coordinators turned HCs for most of their careers, and it’s kind of not an isolated incident either yet the myth is continually pushed anyway.

  24. Just going to be yet another bust that fails miserably after leaving NE. It’s the magic of BB, with Jimmy GQ being the exception. The Krafts and Brady really burned themselves by forcing BB to trade him. BB is the brains behind the entire system, and every other player and coach is just a minion that follows his instructions correctly. BB could turn Kizer and the Browns into perennial contenders.

  25. Patriots will also lose Josh and Matty P. It will be weird for the Pats players going to work next season without those two. BB roots is spreading out. Can’t blame the teams for hoping to duplicate the Patriots ‘ sustained success.

    You do know that people of been hiring pats coaches for years right? Maybe this time it will work out.

  26. The stuff he spewed is exactly what Mularkey created there. The first year was bad, then they went to 9-7 then the playoffs with a physical team. How is what Vrabel spouted any different than the makeup of the team?

  27. LyinRogerMustGo says:
    dolphins4 says:
    January 21, 2018 at 9:39 am
    I’m glad I’m not a Titans fan.
    ———————————

    I do not know why, things are looking up for the Titans as they actually won a playoff game in a pretty big upset this season, and have a good defense and promising young QB to continue to build around.

    Imagine how miserable you would be if you were a Dolphins fan; a team that has not won a playoff game in over 17 years.

  28. Congratulations Mike!!! You’ll have one to two seasons in order to win a Super Bowl no matter how badly the GM drafts. You’d have to be out of your mind to take this job given how quickly they knee capped Whisenhunt and Mularkey.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!