I'm Betting On Mike Vrabel Elsewhere

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mike Vrabel can be too much of an alpha, and being so can come across poorly when you're guiding a losing team.

Mike Vrabel
Mike Vrabel before his last game as Titans' coach/ Angie Flatt

He had a hand in the Titans' roster, but it was Jon Robinson, fired in early Dec. of 2022, who dug the team's big hole. It takes a good while to come out so much early-round failure and to get level with the cap.

Now he's a victim of wavering ownership that extended him in Feb. 2022 and backed him over Robinson just 13 months ago.

Vrabel deserved a chance to continue to work back from the roster issues. Maybe he didn't even want that.

He will get another job quickly.

The Titans get another fresh start here and we've got to see who they hire and how things are set up. I hope they get it right and give their fans legitimate new hope under the umbrella buzzword of collaboration.

I'll bet on Vrabel, a proven winner coming off a down patch, vs. the Titans, whose M.O. is mediocrity.

Vrabel’s got his issues, sure. His ego turns him off to talent in some instances and leads him to believe he can coach a coach into something he can’t always be. He is overly loyal and too stubborn. He turns off a segment of the player pool with his demanding ways, and with today’s players, it may be too large a percentage. 

But he’s got coaching swagger. He’s been winning his whole life and what’s stopped him in Tennessee is a brutal roster with no depth that no one could have won with. 

Where he is next, given the degree of input he desires and the personnel partner he helps choose or approve, I expect him to be successful. Especially if he uses the change to self-reflect and consider and implement revisions to the way he operates in some of those less-than-great areas.

You think he's old school, overly determined to run. Overlooked was his mention early this season that when he got to Nashville he inherited a team with Derrick Henry as his best player and so he fell in line with that. Watch him help build a team with different personnel in New England and go in a different direction

Guys play for him. They rode out things when they got bad. The locker room didn’t crumble as it went 6-18 in their last 23 games. The culture he built and talks about is a real thing, and it’s a hard thing to create and maintain. 

Kuharsky megaphone"I think all year guys were resilient and guys showed up to work," Sean Murphy-Bunting said. "Win, lose, or draw, they made it fun. That's just the coaches, that's the players, that's everybody in the building. That's really a testament to how this program is."

That is huge. That is hard. Duplicating that will be a massive project for the team's sixth coach of the Tennessee era.

Vrabel has got ingredients an NFL coach needs. Ingredients the Titans should have valued more. Collaboration is important. When you've got a decent roster, is it what wins you a tough game in December?

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