Dean Pees has 'utmost confidence' Mike Vrabel will make right call, handle defensive play calling correctly

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Retired Titans defensive coordinator leaves a hole in the Titans coaching staff and some intrigue about how Mike Vrabel will work things in his absence considering no one now carries Pees’ old title.

Vrabel recently said Shane Bowen will be the lead voice for the defense when the head coach isn’t in the meeting room or with the defense on the field, but still did not say that he will call the defense, though that is what I have now long presumed.PeesSkype

In an hour interview with The Midday 180, Jonathan Hutton and I had a chance to ask Pees about how often Vrabel jumped in to make a call over the last two years and how he envisions things might go now. [Unlocked]

“I’d say it was just every so often, some games a couple of times, some games maybe never, especially if things were going well then he just kind of let you go,” Pees said. “I think a lot of times, he’s managing the game. I don’t know if a lot of people know, but the head coach has a headset that he can click from the offense to the defense to the special teams. He can click over to everybody.

“He may be telling Arthur (Smith), ‘Hey this is four-down territory, we may go for it for four downs,’ (he may be saying ‘Hey they are in four-down territory.’ A lot of times what Mike would do is remind you of things. ‘Hey remember now, their field-goal kicker has a good leg here,’ or ‘he doesn’t kick so well going this direction.’

Sometimes he will remind you of those things that will kind of help you a little bit.apple icon 144x144 precomposed

If (or when) Vrabel finally settles into calling plays while head coaching, well, Pees pointed to Mike Zimmer doing fine with it in Minnesota.

“I think it all depends on the person,” he said. “Look, Mike is a very, very smart guy. He’s going to do whatever needs to be done which is the best for the team and the best chance for success. And if he feels he can’t he won't, if he feels he can, he will. If I were a fan of Tennessee, I would have the utmost confidence that he was going to be able to handle it one way or the other going forward.”

Of Bowen, who's now got an enhanced role beyond coaching outside linebacker, Pees said: "A very, very sharp and upcoming coach. He is going to have a bright future in this profession. He is a very hard worker who is a very loyal guy, he is very, very football intelligent. He really relates to the players well, they love him. He has a very, very bright future.

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