On Monday, the Tennessee Titans, who made the playoffs, parted ways with their head coach Mike Mularkey. In a quick turnaround, the team announced yesterday that they were naming 42-year-old Mike Vrabel, the Houston Texans defensive coordinator, as his replacement. Vrabel will be getting a five-year contract. He is a 14-year NFL veteran with three Super Bowls.
Titans general manager Jon Robinson had said the team was looking for a coach who would be a "leader of men, team-first, detailed, tough and dependable." He was already familiar with Vrabel, as the two men were with the New England Patriots for seven years together — Vrabel as a player and Robinson as a scout. Robinson said of the new hire:
"I have always had a great deal of respect for Mike as a player and as a coach. I saw him up close as a player for the Patriots and saw how he prepared himself to be successful on a daily basis. He was the ultimate team-first player, and he embodies that same mindset as a coach. He is intelligent, energetic, detailed and a leader whose deep passion for this game will resonate with our players. As a coach, I have seen him develop talent at both the college and NFL level, and put players in position for them to be successful. I am excited to get him in front of our team and watch us grow together as a team."
Vrabel talked about his plans for the Titans:
"We want to build a culture around winning, competitiveness and toughness. Everything we do is going to be geared towards winning and being physical. We want to prepare our players so they know what to do, which will allow them to play fast and aggressive."
It's unclear who will be the new offensive coordinator, but it will need to be someone capable of continuing the development of young franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The Texans have announced that Romeo Crennel will replace Vrabel as the Texans defensive coordinator; he was already an assistant coach for the team. Vrabel played for Crennel while with the Patriots.