Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel – Media Availability – November 7, 2021

Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel – Media Availability – November 7, 2021


(On being proud of controlling the game defensively)

“Those guys played fantastic. It was fun to watch them play. I thought (Defensive Coordinator) Shane (Bowen) called a great game. I thought all the assistants were ready to go to make adjustments, but all the credit goes to the players. Obviously, the impact that the front had and the pressure, you want to force him into some bad decisions.”


(On if the two early turnovers were a result of them focusing on that as a team)

“I hope that it is. I think we’ve got to still continue to try to hammer the football out. When you can force quarterbacks in this league, just like they did sometimes to (QB) Ryan (Tannehill) – if you can, it can force them into bad decisions. I think that the group is playing with a lot of confidence right now to be able to come in here and play the way they did and holding field goals and play great in the red zone, all those situations that we had where it was third down a red zone, and we really came up big and that’s been an improvement for us this year.”


(On how he anticipated the game going)

“I don’t really try to anticipate how the game’s going to go. You go out there and you get a sense for how it’s going. You could tell early on yards were going to be hard to come by. So, all the little things that we talk about with details, and penalties, and not doing stuff to hurt the team, and turnovers – all those things make a huge difference.”


(On the team’s reaction to losing RB Derrick Henry and then coming out with a win against the Rams)

“We’ve moved on since (RB) Derrick (Henry). We knew that he wasn’t going to be with us early in the week. I felt like the guys responded, had a great week. Coaches got players ready that weren’t here, and they played in the game and they made plays to help us win.”


(On his perspective of Rams TE Tyler Higbee’s touchdown getting turned over)

“Same one it was for you. I don’t get an extra replay. I just get the same ones you guys get. Looked like his foot was out of bounds.”


(On why it took so long to make the call)

“Guys, they have a Twitter site. That’s @NFLOfficiating. Just tweet at them. I don’t know. You know what I mean? I don’t get any special answers. So, just tweet them and see if they respond to you.”


(On update on DE Amani Bledsoe)

“It was absolutely critical, and I think that (DE Amani) Mani (Bledsoe) worked his way through the trash. They probably tried to pick them off and made a fantastic tackle. And then for (OLB) Bud (Dupree) to factor on that play – it was a huge play. We were trying to hang on by any means. It was just tough sledding there. I thought we came up with a huge drive. They helped us out, but we went down there and we were able to finish off, and Ryan threw a great ball. (WR) A.J. (Brown) came up big when it mattered, and then we were able to punch it in there in the end zone.”


(On his front four getting pressure and being able to drop seven)

“I think that now that we’re starting to see some of that. Hopefully, we can start to marry some of that and not take some chances but understand that the ball is coming out here pretty quick. I think he was able to progress through a few times, but they’re going to block us. But hopefully that we can continue to have some success with rushing four and mixing in some pressure.”


(On if one of his coaching points was to have guys match hands with the quarterbacks)

“That’s something that we’ve always done. That’s part of ball disruption. That’s part of our practice routine, matching the quarterbacks’ throwing hand, stabbing through the pocket, hammer and raking, all those things that we coach. And I think that the more that they see themselves do it on film, then they’re holding each other accountable to get turnovers. The offense is obviously taking care of the football, you can start to do some really good things.”


(On the type of contribution Titans RB Adrian Peterson made)

“I thought he played physical. I thought he brought an energy and a professionalism. As a run behind this line and we didn’t have a practice that was a full-speed padded practice because where we were in the season, so I’m sure there’s a lot of things that he would like to have had back or cuts. We were battling and I give our guys a lot of credit for competing.”


(On when did he know they would be without Titans OL Taylor Lewan and how does he think the guys up front did)

“I think that this is a very good, excellent defense, but I enjoy watching those guys play and compete. Quess (Titans OL David Quessenberry) was a captain for us today. Obviously, (Titans OL) Roger (Saffold III) coming back home, (Titans OL) Ben Jones is the glue and then Brew (Titans OL Aaron Brewer) being able to step up in there. I’m sure he’ll be finishing all over the place and sure there’ll be some plays that he’d like to have back. (Titans OL) Bobby (Hart) stepped in. Bobby’s played in this league and he was ready to go.”


(On if Titans OL Taylor Lewan’s participation was based off what he could do in warmups)

“(Titans OL) Taylor (Lewan) just was unavailable today. Maybe it was going to be emergency role.”


(On how much growth he’s seen from Titans DT Jeffery Simmons)

“He’s been a fantastic person, leader, a contributor for us since the day that we drafted him. He’s really playing with a lot of confidence. I think that his technique is what’s improved. He was always just a big, powerful play hard, be-disruptive player. I think we’re all starting to see some of the technique that those guys up front or are coaching him and he’s feeling some confidence in it. It’s showing that it works.”


(On how important it is to have a defense that makes game changing plays)

“I hope it doesn’t run out. I know you can’t rely on it, but again, you put enough pressure and I’m feeling it over on the sidelines. I’m feeling that type of pressure and they’re doing the same thing to our guy. They’re doing the same thing to our quarterback, but I think they’re all just continuing to build some confidence and guys are catching them when a quarterback makes bad decisions.”


(On if his players did a good job not letting Rams CB Jalen Ramsey get under their skin)

“He’s a good player. We had however many, three penalties or four penalties. They had 10 or 11. Again, there’s your answer to how we responded.”


(On if he thought Ramsey was going to be ejected from the game after his second penalty)

“From my knowledge, when it was reported, they called a taunt and then the next one is the penalty that would get you out of the game. They just said, ‘No. We changed it.’ ‘Okay. Then just let me know when you change it.’”


(On how the success his team has had over the past few weeks helps build confidence)

“Success leads to confidence. Going out there and being able to view it, continue to improve. That’s the message. We’re better now than what we were to start the season. And that’s the most important thing in the National Football League, is that you find ways to continue to improve. Obviously, you have to find ways to win, but along the way, you got to find ways to get better because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself on the outside looking in because there’s a lot of teams that are going to continue to improve and we have to be one of those.”