Titans Name Texans Defensive Coordinator Mike Vrabel as Head Coach

The Titans made a somewhat surprising move on Saturday, as the team named Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel as the teams’ new head coach.

Here’s the official release from the Titans on the move:

Vrabel was one of three candidates to interview for the job after the team parted ways with Mike Mularkey on Monday. The Titans interviewed Vrabel on Thursday in Nashville.

“I am excited to have Mike Vrabel joining our organization as our new head coach,” said Titans Controlling Owner Amy Adams Strunk said. “In the interaction between Mike and Jon (Robinson) during the interview, you could see their connection right away from the history they have with one another – seeing the game in a similar way and talking the same language. Mike has a commanding presence and a deep knowledge for how he will attack this head coaching opportunity. Throughout his football career, he has played for, been mentored by and coached with successful teams and organizations. He knows what it takes to reach that level of sustained success – he has seen it first-hand. We have a chance to build on the solid foundation that we established over the past couple of years and I believe Mike is the right person to continue that progress.”

“This is an incredible opportunity and one I have been preparing for my entire football life,” said Vrabel. “I want to thank Amy, Jon and the entire Titans organization for putting their faith in me. I am excited to get to work and that work starts now. 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.”

Rams OC Matt Lafleur Speaks to Titans About Head Coaching Position

Rams’ offensive coordinator Matt Lafleur spoke to the Titans on Friday about their head coaching job, Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported, an interesting hire if the Titans go in that direction.

LaFleur joined Rams coach Sean McVay’s staff last season after serving as the Falcons quarterbacks coach for two seasons.

Texans’ defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel and Panthers’ defensive coordinator Steve Wilks interviewed for job Thursday.

Titans Not Worried About Another New Coach for QB Marcus Mariota

It was a stunner on Monday when the Titans and Mike Mularkey parted ways, and now that the team is set to look yet again for a coach, there’s also thoughts about the fact that former first-round pick Marcus Mariota will have another coach to learn from.

Pro Football Talk reports that as of now, there’s no worries about the quarterback is going to have another different coach, and a coach that might change yet another system of offense.

“Marcus is a pretty resilient guy. He’s a very mentally tough guy,” Robinson said, via the team’s website. “He takes a lot from the standpoint of ownership in things. I have zero concern in Marcus being able to adapt and learn, and do what’s best to get the offense going.”

The lack of concern is likely tied to the team’s desire to see Mariota make more progress than he showed while playing for Mike Mularkey for the last two-plus seasons. They can’t very well want to see more growth and keep the status quo, which means they’ll be hoping the third time is a charm in Nashville.

Titans and Head Coach Mike Mularkey Part Ways Two Days After Playoff Loss

It was about 48 hours ago that the Titans season came to a tough close with a bad loss to the New England Patriots, and now Tennessee will be starting from square one in some fans eyes, as today the team and coach Mike Mularkey agreed to ‘part ways’ after the two sides could not come to a new deal.

The team made the playoffs for the first time since 2008, and won a road playoff game beating the Chiefs, but in the end there was a very different feel about the future of the franchise.

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk acknowledged in a statement that the organization had discussed a potential contract extension with Mularkey, who in 2017 coached Tennessee to its first postseason appearance since 2008.

But the talks revealed that Mularkey and the Titans “saw different paths to achieve greater success,” according to Adams Strunk.

Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur is now set to interview for the Tennessee head-coaching job, a source told ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson addressed the decision to part ways with Mularkey during a news conference Monday.

“I just felt like we needed to go in a different direction, and maximize the skill sets of the players on the field,” Robinson said. “I think in any organization, not to speak for other teams, but its ownership, the head coach and the general manager, they all have to be on the same page.”

Titans Toppled in AFC Divisional Playoff Game By Patriots 35-14 to End Season

It was a good ride while it lasted, but Saturday night the young Titans got a quick education from the best in the game on what it takes to when it counts the most, as they were blasted by the New England Patriots 35-14 in the AFC Divisional Playoff game in Foxboro.

The Titans actually led the game 7-0, but then once Tom Brady and the Patriots offense got in sync, the Titans could do little to stop them, as New England scored 35 straight points to win the game going away.

Brady threw for 337 yards and three scores, and James White ran in two straight scores as the Pats rolled to their seventh straight AFC Title Game, as they will play either the Steelers or Jaguars.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota was 22-for-37 for 254 yards and two scores, but after the Titans got up early 7-0 and led after one by that score, the Patriots picked up the pace of the game, and the Titans were no match.

Brady picked apart the Titans with short passes and White and the running game got chunks of yards as the Pats scored twice in less than four minutes to take control of the game.

The Titans punted five straight times and turned the ball over once, showing their inability to get anything going against a Pats defense that made changes on the fly and it seemed easily shut down the Titans.

New England put up close to 450 yards of offense against the Titans in the dominating effort, and also set a franchise record with eight sacks against the Titans offensive line.

Titans TE Delanie Walker Says They Will Shock the World Saturday Against the Patriots

Don’t tell Titans tight end Delanie Walker that the Titans don’t have a shot to beat the Patriots in New England this week, despite being heavy (14 point) underdogs in the AFC Divisional Playoff game.

The Titans TE said today on PFT Live that the Titans are going to play the role of Rocky and upset the world when they take out the Pats on their home field.

“Everyone expects us to lose, let’s go out there and shock the world,” Walker said. “Guys have nothing to lose so they’re giving it all they’ve got.”

Let’s hope that everyone on the team has the same fight and determination that the tight end has shown this season, playing through injury and making the most of his chances.

Titans RB DeMarco Murray Out for Critical Matchup with Jaguars Sunday

Titans running back DeMarco Murray has been ruled out of the team’s crucial Week 17 showdown with the Jacksonville Jaguars according to Jim Wyatt of jwyattsports.com.

It will be the first regular-season game Murray has missed in his two years with the Titans. The 29-year-old Murray suffered a third-degree MCL tear last weekend and, despite both coach Mike Mularkey and Murray himself claiming earlier in the week that he would try to play through the injury, it never seemed realistic to have the veteran suit up against the Jags. Second-year running back Derrick Henry will carry the load for the Titans in a game they must win to ensure a wild card berth in 2017. The good news is that Henry has been more effective than Murray all season despite seeing fewer carries.

Murray is not a lock to return for the playoffs even if the Titans make it there and his future in Tennessee is very much in doubt. Murray turns 30 in February and Henry cannot play second fiddle to him much longer.

Mularkey: DeMarco Murray Might Be Able to Go in a Limited Role Vs Jaguars

During a press conference on Tuesday, Titans head coach Mike Mularkey refused to rule veteran running back DeMarco Murray out for next Sunday’s crucial game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and said the team hopes to use him in a “limited role” according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.

Murray has been diagnosed with an LCL sprain and Mularkey claimed the injury is primarily a “pain tolerance deal”. The Titans are in a must-win situation against the Jags if they want to have any hope of earning a wildcard playoff berth but Mularkey’s obsession with the 29-year-old Murray is mystifying as the veteran has rarely been effective in 2017 whether injured or healthy.

Heading into Week 17, Murray’s 3.58 yards per carry is 38th amongst qualified runners. Second-year back Derrick Henry’s 4.68 is ninth by comparison. Murray (and Mularkey) has been holding the Titans’ offense back. If Murray is unable to suit up next weekend, Henry will likely assume the workhorse role he should have been given weeks ago.