Mike Vrabel won’t be out of a job for long


Mike Vrabel

Mike Vrabel
Photo: Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans wasted no time getting their offseason started and they’ve already begun to clean house by parting ways with head coach Mike Vrabel. We already knew the organization was leaning toward a rebuild with Derrick Henry’s future up in the air seemingly all season. But saying goodbye to Vrabel so abruptly pretty much seals Henry’s fate and signals the Titans going in a completely different direction.

You won’t find too many people who think Tennessee made the right move in firing Vrabel. For Vrabel’s part of the equation, he’ll likely have a new gig lined up before the Super Bowl. Whether Vrabel’s next destination is New England or elsewhere, he won’t be unemployed for long. Where the Titans are concerned this means they’re starting over. There’s no other way to view this especially when you account for the likely departure of Henry this offseason. No Vrabel, no Henry, and the team just drafted another rookie quarterback last spring.

From the outside looking in, it sounds like the organization wants a new identity. To get away from the defensive-minded, ground-and-pound philosophy although Tennessee was successful during Vrabel’s six years in charge. The Titans won at least nine games in each of Vrabel’s first four years on the job. They made it to the AFC title game in his second season as a nine-win wild card team.

During former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher’s reign — dating back to the Houston Oilers days — the team never put together more than two winning seasons in a row. Fisher was allowed to drift and languish in mediocrity for far too long. Sure, Tennessee hasn’t been good the past two years but when your QB situation is up and down it’s hard to get everything else on track. A little shuffling and Vrabel likely would’ve been able to get that ship headed back in the right direction.

Here’s a fun fact. Three of the Titans’ last four coaches (since 2011) were named Mike. Vrabel, Mike Mularkey, and Mike Munchak. Whoever Tennessee brings in this time, whether it’s another Mike or not, will probably be an offensive-minded coach. We know how this works when an organization wants to make big changes, they usually go from one end (or extreme) to the other. They’d be crazy if they didn’t at least reach out and talk with Jim Harbaugh, especially after Michigan’s National Championship victory. No matter the chances of him taking the job if you’re Tennessee you’ve got to make a pitch.

Tennessee’s general manager Ran Carthon can’t miss on this hire. While the notion of moving on from Vrabel now is somewhat puzzling, wanting to get a more offensive-focused mindset in the building to work with your young franchise QB is understandable. A coordinator like Ben Johnson in Detroit is going to be a hot commodity on the offensive side. Whoever Tennessee lands on they’ve got to hit out of the ballpark to justify Vrabel’s dismissal. 



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