Despite making the playoffs, the Titans fired head coach Mike Mularkey after their AFC divisional loss to the New England Patriots. The Tennessee Titans have hired Mike Vrabel as their next head coach to replace Mularkey and lead the organization to new heights. Vrabel served as the defensive coordinator last season with the Houston Texans. He is regarded around the league as a passionate former linebacker, being a leader of the Patriots defense during his playing career. After his play career ended in 2010, Vrabel coached at Ohio State for three years as a defensive assistant before moving to the Texans as a linebacker coach in 2014, then the defensive coordinator in 2017.
Tennessee Titans Hire Mike Vrabel as Head Coach
The Titans ended their search for a new head coach almost as soon as it started. The Titans finished the 2017 season at 9-7, yet fell into the playoffs. After a miraculous comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC wild card round, they dropped to the Patriots, and subsequently dropped head coach Mularkey.
The Titans main complaints were a slow progression of quarterback Marcus Mariota¸ leading many rumours to indicate they would seek an offensive mastermind. The two other coaching candidates interviewed were Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. However, the Titans hired Mike Vrabel, a defensive leader during his 13-year playing career, and a coach over the past eight years.
Vrabel was coached by some of the best during his career as a linebacker, including Patriots Bill Belichick, the Pittsburgh Steelers Bill Cowher, then coached under Ohio State Buckeyes coaching legend Urban Meyer. He carried that over to lead a successful Texans crew including Brian Cushing, Jadeveon Clowney, J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus. However, many of those key players were injured last season for the Texans, leading to a 4-12 record.
Titans general manager Jon Robinson stated that Vabrel was a, “Leader of men,” and that he has “always had a great deal of respect for Mike as a player and as a coach.” Vabrel will be introduced in a press conference on Monday morning.