If Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry, the Tennessee Titans’ respective selections in the first and second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, don’t turn into stars in Nashville, it won’t be because head coach Mike Vrabel failed them.
It’s apparent, after just one rookie minicamp session, that Vrabel is determined to turn Evans and Landry into stalwarts in the Titans’ defense.
Vrabel reportedly spent a lot of time with the two young defensive players on Saturday, in a session that Evans described as “intense”.
Rashaan Evans got plenty of attention from Mike Vrabel during rookie minicamp as they were putting in coverage for ILBs. Vrabel wants Evans, Harold Landry to “set a tone” for rookies & become leaders. @616evans4 described Vrabel as “intense” & “very specific” in what he wants. pic.twitter.com/yAJp8PqBFQ
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) May 12, 2018
Evans called it an “honor” to be coached by Vrabel.
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) May 12, 2018
It’s not a surprise that Vrabel, a former linebacker for the Steelers, Patriots and Chiefs, spent a lot of time with Evans and Landry.
As a head coach, Vrabel is expected to be the “CEO” of the Titans’ on-the-field product. But it’s not unusual for a head coach to spend extra time with the position group that he’s most comfortable with.
For Vrabel, that’s obviously the linebacker and defensive line groups.
The former All-Pro linebacker is only two years removed from being a linebackers coach with the Texans. He also spent two years coaching the defensive line at Ohio State.
It would be easy to suggest that Vrabel only spent extra time with Evans and Landry because of the rookie minicamp setting, but I think this a trend that will continue once OTA’s and training camp gets underway. I fully expect to see most of Vrabel’s time on the practice field spent with his young defensive players.
And that’s not a bad thing.
There’s not a lot Vrabel can do with the Titans’ offense (though that’s not needed, since Matt LaFleur is pretty dang good at what he does). So it’s not like Vrabel needs to be on that side of the ball, aside from generally knowing the progress the offense is making.
That means the majority of his time at practice can be spent, without worry, with the defense and special teams.
With Vrabel and defensive coordinator Dean Pees in charge of the defense, the sky is truly the limit for what that unit can do.
It’s certainly an exciting time for the Titans.
Featured image via AP