Vrabel didn’t change his mind; sending out FG team was part of the plan

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A moment of high drama arrived on Sunday afternoon in Nashville, when Titans coach Mike Vrabel sent his placekicking unit onto the field for what would have been a possible game-tying field goal late in overtime. The Titans then called time out, and Vrabel seemingly changed his mind.

Only he didn’t change his mind.

Vrabel explained to PFT on Sunday evening that he called for the kick team in order to prevent any sense of panic or confusion, knowing that he’d eventually call a time out — and in turn not tipping his hand about going for it.

And the decision to go for it wasn’t made in the moment. It was the product of the message that Vrabel had sent to his players all week: Be aggressive.

That’s what Vrabel was, and he knows that the players appreciate the confidence in them. But how much confidence did Vrabel have in the decision? Did he consider the criticism he would have absorbed if they’d failed to convert on fourth and short?

“Never even crossed my mind,” Vrabel said. “I get criticized a lot.”

If they keep doing things like they did today, Vrabel won’t get criticized at all.