Tue, 21 Sep 2021

Jim Wyatt

NASHVILLE - Titans head coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday, one day after the team's season opening 38-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Next up for the Titans is a trip to Seattle to face the Seahawks.

Here's a look at some hot topics from Vrabel's presser on Monday...

-Vrabel didn't make any excuses. When asked what happened on Sunday, he said the Titans got off to a slow start, "and it took us a while to play complementary football." Offensively, he said the team didn't keep its poise, and win one-on-ones. Defensively, Vrabel said the Titans gave up too many "X plays, and we didn't make them earn it," and the Titans also didn't get it done on third down, as the Cardinals converted 7-of-13. "They scored three touchdowns on third down," he said. "They were more physical, and they played harder than we did." Vrabel later said he wished he'd coached better, and said he thinks players probably wish they'd play better.

-Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan called himself out on social media for his performance following a game when Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones got by him multiple times en route to sacking quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Asked about Lewan's performance, Vrabel said: "You get beat, and sometimes that happens. We have to improve, and Taylor has to improve. We've said this before: In this league, your best players, they have to play good on Sunday for you to win. That's how this game is set up. And that didn't happen for us - it happened for Arizona yesterday."

-Vrabel said the team's issues on Sunday "can get fixed" and he said he's confident the team will get things turned around. "We got beat," Vrabel said. "We got beat at home, in a home opener. We have to be ready to go quickly. There's a fine line between sitting there and pouting. We have to own it, and it starts with me. And we have to get ready to work."

-Vrabel liked what he saw from cornerback Kristian Fulton, who was credited with three tackles and two passes defensed. "I thought Kristian Fulton was encouraging. Kristian challenged, and he did his job," Vrabel said. "I am excited to watch Kristian play football this year. I thought Kristian played well, and we all have to play well and continue to improve."

-Vrabel was asked if a "wake-up call" could be beneficial to the Titans. "I never know how to answer that," Vrabel said. "Nobody wants to lose. But hopefully we can learn from this quickly and move on. You have to go out there every week and prove it. Hopefully we'll come back out here and figure this out as a team."

-Vrabel didn't mince words when asked about a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on receiver Julio Jones on Sunday. The penalty turned a third-and-1 into a third-and-16 in the first quarter. "Critical mistake," Vrabel said. "That's absolutely nothing that we coach or teach. So that would fall under the category of doing dumb s-t that hurts the team. Right there in bold letters. It goes from 3rd and 1 to 3rd and 16."

-Vrabel said the Titans will sort out things at kicker in the coming days. Michael Badgley kicked for the Titans on Sunday after being promoted from the practice squad a day earlier. Randy Bullock was signed to the practice squad over the weekend. "We'll determine who we feel like is going to make (kicks)," Vrabel said a day after Badgley missed a field goal and an extra point. "We'll take a look at Michael, take a look at some guys, work them out. Randy is on the practice squad. Find somebody that we think is going to make them and protect for them, that is the plan."

-The challenge against the Seahawks is a big one, Vrabel said. Seattle beat the Colts on Sunday. "(Chris) Carson runs very hard," Vrabel said. "It looks like their defense played really well yesterday. (Tyler) Lockett continues to be one of the best deep ball receivers that I can remember for his stature. He's a small guy that plays the deep ball extremely well. Obviously (DK) Metcalf and (Gerald) Everett, Russell Wilson is composed. It will be a huge challenge to go out there and handle that road environment, and we're going to have to start here really quickly."

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