Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel held a day-after-game press conference with the Nashville media.
The Titans lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 31-20 on the road, dropping to 5-2 on the season.
Here are some of the topics Vrabel addressed following the loss.
The Tennessee Titans made a big time move on Monday. They traded away a 6th round pick for Los Angeles Chargers’ All-Pro Defensive Back Desmond King.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 2, 2020
The Titans needed the help. Its secondary is in shambles after losing rookie Kristian Fulton and missing Adoree Jackson. The issue was amplified on Sunday in their loss to Cincinnati.
Vrabel spoke on King and the decision to bring him in.
“He’s a player we felt like could help us,” Vrabel said, “He’s played (defensive back), has been disruptive, an effective blitzer.”
“We’ll see where he’s at when he gets here. He’ll be away from the building for a while going through protocol.”
The NFL set a new COVID protocol that mandated players picked up through free agency or via trade had to go through a series of tests before joining their new team. This could affect when King can practice and play for the Titans.
“I think that he would be able to clear and potentially be there for Sunday,” Vrabel said. “There’s a lot of things that go into play as far as the travel and testing that has to take place.”
“I think the earliest would probably potentially be Saturday.”
King is a versatile defensive back that can play a little bit of everything, but Vrabel addressed whether he will primarily play slot in Tennessee.
“That’s where he played the majority of his career,” Vrabel said, “I would say by all accounts that’s where he would start out.”
Adam Humphries is an outstanding player for the Tennessee Titans. He consistently takes big hits playing in the slot but still makes sure he is a reliable target for Ryan Tannehill.
On Sunday, the Titans relied on him on a deep pass to put them in field goal range before the half. Humphries made the catch, but a shot to the head forced the ball out and concussed him.
It was later determined that Humphries would miss the remainder of the game. Vrabel provided an update on him as of Monday.
“Humphries is up, moving around. He’s in concussion protocol,” Vrabel said, “he’s doing better than when he left the field.”
The concussion protocol is a five-step process, and it is designed to slowly work the player back into full football activities. Humphries’ status for this week is likely to be doubtful, but keep an eye on updates on him as the week progresses.
Now that the Tennessee Titans have acquired Desmond King, one has to wonder when Adoree Jackson is returning so we can see this secondary at full-strength.
The three-week window to activate him from the “Designated to Return” list closes this week. As always, Vrabel did not provide much of an answer on Monday.
“We’ll do the same thing that we’ve done with all those guys that are coming back,” Vrabel said, “We’ll practice them, we’ll see how they respond, and we’ll make a decision that is best for the player and best for the team.”
Jackson was placed on injured reserve in week one. It has been seven weeks, so it makes you wonder how severe the injury is. Needless to say, the Titans need him back as soon as possible.
As if Sunday’s loss wasn’t already bad enough, the Tennessee Titans lost their Pro Bowl Punter, Brett Kern, in the process.
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) November 2, 2020
Brett Kern’s ability to flip field position will be missed in his time away. The Titans will look elsewhere for a punter, but Vrabel did provide a little hope on Kern.
“We’ll know more about Brett (Kern) here later on today,” Vrabel said, “We’ll be close here at the end of the week to see how he’s doing.”
Mike Vrabel was once again asked about his offseason decision to not hire a defensive coordinator.
In Vrabel’s time in Houston as defensive coordinator, he had the worst ranked defense in the NFL. The current Tennessee Titans are mimicking that, allowing 30 points in all but three games so far this season.
Vrabel stressed that he doesn’t feel a lack of a defensive coordinator is contributing to the struggles of the defense so far.
“We all meet, it’s a collaborative effort,” Vrabel said, “Each coach has a phase of the game plan breakdown, and we come together and we make a plan that we feel like gives our players a chance.”
“This isn’t just a weekly thing that we just throw up some plays and see what ends up on the call sheet. We have to coach and play better.”
With that statement, Vrabel doubled-down on his Sunday statement that having no defensive coordinator is not the issue. Doesn’t sound like he will be hiring a defensive coordinator anytime soon.
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