Tagged in: Mike Vrabel

Tennessee Titans extend contracts for head coach Mike Vrabel, GM Jon Robinson

The Titans announced Tuesday that they have extended the contracts of general manager Jon Robinson and coach Mike Vrabel.

“I am proud to say that Jon and Mike will be leading our football team for years to come,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement.

“I have seen the team improve on a yearly basis under their direction, and I know their singular goal is to deliver a championship for our fans. Together they have developed a culture within our organization that has been essential to our success. Their values align with mine and what I want the Titans to be. They demand excellence from themselves and others, work well together, are always striving to improve and they care deeply for our players and staff.”

Vrabel joined the Titans in 2018 and matched Jack Pardee’s franchise record for wins (43) over the first four seasons with the team. Vrabel’s .614 career winning percentage (43-27, including playoffs) ranks the highest in franchise history.

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He led the team to the AFC Championship Game in 2019 and back-to-back AFC South titles over the past two campaigns. Vrabel earned Coach of the Year honors by the Pro Football Writers of America this past season after guiding the Titans to a 12-5 record and the top seed in the AFC.

Robinson joined the Titans in 2016 and helped lead them to a winning record in all six of his seasons in charge.

In that time, Robinson has become the second-winningest general manager in franchise history with 62 wins, trailing only Floyd Reese (111 wins).

During Robinson’s tenure with the Titans, the team has added nine Pro Bowl players to the roster through the draft (S Kevin Byard, RB Derrick Henry, WR A.J. Brown, DT Jeffery Simmons, OLB Harold Landry), free agency (G Rodger Saffold, ST Brynden Trawick) and trades (RB DeMarco Murray, QB Ryan Tannehill).

Additionally, the team added two coaches to its staff on Tuesday: Tim Kelly as passing game coordinator and Bobby King as inside linebackers coach.

Kelly joins the Titans after spending the past eight seasons with the Houston Texans, the last three of which were as the offensive coordinator. Before becoming the offensive coordinator, Kelly spent two seasons (2017-18) coaching the tight ends for the Texans.

King brings 12 years of NFL coaching experience to the Titans, counting eight seasons (2017-21, 2011-13) with the Texans. King coached the Texans’ defensive line this season after coaching the inside linebackers the previous four seasons.

The team also revealed that Jim Haslett (inside linebackers), Matt Edwards (assistant special teams), Kenechi Udeze (defensive line assistant) and Mondray Gee (strength and conditioning assistant) will not be returning to the coaching staff.

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Titans rally from 10 down at half, edge 49ers 20-17

Coach Mike Vrabel heard that his banged-up Tennessee Titans were being written off after the left side of their offensive line was ruled out a day before hosting the streaking San Francisco 49ers.

Then they lost their backup left tackle to a positive COVID-19 test Thursday morning, forcing them to use their 52nd different starter and 88th player this campaign.

“We’re not dead yet,” Vrabel said. Alive and kicking.

Randy Bullock booted a 44-yard field goal with 4 seconds left and the Titans rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat the 49ers 20-17 Thursday night. The Titans (10-5) are a win or a Colts’ loss away from clinching their second consecutive AFC South title despite losing three of their past four games to drop from the AFC’s top seed to third. Indianapolis plays Arizona on Saturday. Tennesse moved to second in the AFC.

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Ryan Tannehill threw for just 40 yards in the first half but finished with 209 yards and a TD for Tennessee. A.J. Brown caught 11 passes for 145 yards hours after being activated off injured reserve, and his 18-yard TD catch gave Tennessee a 17-10 lead early in the fourth.

“It was all on us and we just had to make a play,” Brown said. “Then we had to make another play. That was the mindset. Just come out here and make plays, so that’s what we did.”

The Titans also picked off two passes, sacked Jimmy Garoppolo twice and forced the Niners to turn it over on downs once.

San Francisco had one final chance. Garoppolo completed a 16-yard pass to Pro Bowl receiver Deebo Samuel, who fumbled, starting three laterals before Jayon Brown finally tackled Brandon Aiyuk to end the game.

The 49ers (8-7) lost for the second time in seven games as they try to hold onto a wild-card berth in the NFC. Their loss ensured a playoff berth for Dallas, which can clinch the NFC East with a victory over Washington on Sunday night.

Garoppolo tied it with a 2-yard TD pass to Brandon Aiyuk with 2:20 left, a score set up by a 56-yard catch-and-run by Samuel down to the Tennessee 6.

This was the Niners’ first loss after leading by 10 or more at halftime under coach Kyle Shanahan — they had been 18-0 in the regular season and playoffs with those leads. They hadn’t blown such a lead since Week 14 of 2016 to the Jets under Chip Kelly.

Garoppolo knows the Niners had their chances.

“It’s tough when you let one like this slip away,” Garoppolo said. The Niners led 10-0 at halftime, their first time shutting out an opponent in the first half since the 2019 NFC title game against Green Bay. That also marked four straight scoreless quarters for the Titans.

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Tennessee Titans place Adam Humphries back on NFL injured reserve list

Either Adam Humphries came back too soon or should not have come back at all.

Regardless, the Tennessee Titans placed the wide receiver on injured reserve, the team informed Tuesday. That means that – at best – Humphries won’t be available again until the final week of the regular season.

Humphries now will be unavailable for the stretch run for the second time in as many years. He missed the final four games of 2019 with an ankle injury. Tennessee went 2-2 without him and claimed the final AFC wild card spot. Humphries did not return to the lineup until the AFC Championship match at Kansas City.

“Never wanted to get injured when there’s not many games, but it happened and you can learn from every situation,” Humphries said during training camp. “I feel like I learned a lot by watching my team dominate the playoffs last year. I was happy to be able to help them out in the last game.”

This season, Humphries sustained a concussion Nov. 1 at Cincinnati, which caused him to miss the next four contests. He also sat out one game in October because he was on the COVID-19 reserve list.

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He returned to action Sunday versus Cleveland but caught just one pass for nine yards.

He was targeted four times. His failure to catch a pass thrown his way in the final minute of the third quarter resulted in an interception that effectively ended any realistic chance the Titans had to overcome a 31-point halftime deficit. They ultimately lost 41-35.

“We got stops on defense and we were able to move the ball and score,” coach Mike Vrabel said following the game. “Unfortunately, that one there, the interception kind of put a halt to the momentum that we had building there in the second half and really just cost us just the time and the not being able to score.”

In seven matches, Humphries caught 23 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. All but two of those receptions came in his first four appearances.

The Titans signed Humphries to a four-year, $36 million free agent contract in 2019 with the idea that he would be their primary slot receiver. Since, he has caught 60 passes for 602 yards and four touchdowns in 19 games.

Without him, Tennessee will look to Cameron Batson, who caught five passes for 35 yards in the four games Humphries missed the concussion. Versus the Browns, Batson set a career-high with three receptions and scored his first NFL touchdown, an 8-yard reception with 28 seconds to play.

The practice squad includes Cody Hollister, who has appeared in seven games since the beginning  of last season, and Chester Rogers, who played 53 games (22 starts) for Indianapolis over the past four seasons.

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