Sep 24, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski shakes hands with Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel before the game between the Browns and the Titans at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Ex-Titans coach Mike Vrabel joins Browns as consultant

Former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is returning to his home state of Ohio as a consultant for the Cleveland Browns, multiple outlets reported Friday.

He will work with both head coach Kevin Stefanski’s staff and the team personnel department, per ESPN.

Vrabel played high school football in suburban Cleveland before enrolling at Ohio State. After a 14-year NFL career with three teams, most notably the New England Patriots, he began his coaching career with the Buckeyes from 2011-13, then spent four seasons as a Houston Texans assistant coach before being hired as the Titans coach before the 2018 season.

The Titans fired Vrabel in January after a 6-11 season. He was 54-45 over six seasons with the Titans.

Vrabel, 48, wasn’t hired for one of the seven other head coach openings this offseason. He worked as a consultant with the Browns at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month, NFL Network reported.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel runs his team through warmups before their game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas., Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. Vrabel was fired by owner Amy Adams Strunk Monday after having two losing seasons back-to-back.

Falcons interview Mike Vrabel for HC vacancy

The Atlanta Falcons announced Wednesday that they conducted an in-person interview with Mike Vrabel as they continue to search for a new head coach.

Vrabel, 48, was head coach of the Titans from 2018 to 2023 and was fired earlier this month after Tennessee completed a 6-11 campaign.

He went 54-45 in his six seasons with the Titans, leading them to the playoffs three times. Tennessee made it to one AFC Championship Game during Vrabel’s tenure.

Before joining the Titans’ staff, Vrabel was the Houston Texans’ linebackers coach from 2014-16 before being promoted to defensive coordinator for the 2017 season. He also spent three seasons at Ohio State (2011-13).

Vrabel had a 14-year NFL career as a linebacker, playing four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1997-2000), eight with the New England Patriots (2001-08) and two with the Kansas City Chiefs (2009-10).

Atlanta has now interviewed 14 candidates for its head-coaching vacancy, a list that includes former Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Joe Brady.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan also spoke with the Falcons, but Harbaugh accepted the Los Angeles Chargers’ head-coaching job Wednesday, while Callahan will be on his way to Tennessee as Vrabel’s successor.

The Falcons fired Arthur Smith on Jan. 8. He went 21-30 in three seasons at the helm, and Atlanta never reached the playoffs during his tenure.

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel looks on during the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Mike Vrabel meets with Chargers about coaching job

The Los Angeles Chargers are meeting with Mike Vrabel on Thursday as they look to fill their open head-coaching job, NFL Network reported.

It is believed to be the first interview for Vrabel, who was fired by Tennessee after the Titans finished 6-11 in the 2023 season and out of the playoffs for the second straight year.

The Titans were 54-45 in six seasons under Vrabel.

ESPN reported Thursday that the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks also are interested in meeting with Vrabel.

The Chargers are seeking replacements for head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco, both of whom were fired on Dec. 15.

So far, the Chargers have announced interviews with the following coaching candidates: Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh; Todd Monken and Mike Macdonald, the offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively, of the Baltimore Ravens; San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks; Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan; and Leslie Frazier, who didn’t coach in the NFL this season but most recently was the defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills.

In addition to Vrabel, Harbaugh, Wilks and Frazier all have NFL head-coaching experience.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel heads off the field after beating the Jacksonville Jaguars     and knocking them out of the playoffs     after their game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.

Titans part ways with coach Mike Vrabel

The Tennessee Titans parted ways with Mike Vrabel on Tuesday, two years after he was named the NFL Coach of the Year.

The Titans finished with a 6-11 record and in last place in the AFC South this season, missing the playoffs for the second straight year.

“Earlier today, I spoke with Mike Vrabel and told him about my decision to make a change at head coach,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. “I appreciate Mike’s contributions to the Tennessee Titans both on and off the field.”

Vrabel, 48, leaves Nashville with a 54-45 record over six seasons. The Titans reached the postseason for three straight seasons from 2019-21, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game after the 2019 campaign.

Vrabel was the Coach of the Year during the 2021 season after guiding Tennessee to a 12-5 record and its second straight division title.

“As the NFL continues to innovate and evolve, I believe the teams best positioned for sustained success will be those who empower an aligned and collaborative team across all football functions,” Adams Strunk said in her statement. “Last year, we began a shift in our approach to football leadership and made several changes to our personnel to advance that plan. As I continued to assess the state of our team, I arrived at the conclusion that the team would also benefit from the fresh approach and perspective of a new coaching staff.”

The Titans fired general manager Jon Robinson in December 2022, replacing him with Ran Carthon last January.

The firing of Vrabel admittedly caught Titans star running back Derrick Henry by surprise.

“Wow. Wow. I’m shocked,” Henry told The Athletic. “Coach Vrabel is a leader of men. He is a great coach and teacher. I know he will get another opportunity right away. I look forward to it.”

After a 14-year career as an NFL linebacker that included three Super Bowl wins with the New England Patriots, Vrabel was an assistant coach at his alma mater Ohio State (2011-13) and with the Houston Texans (2014-17). He was the Texans’ defensive coordinator in his final season there before taking over the Titans in 2018.

In his final appearance, Vrabel guided the Titans to a 28-20 home win on Sunday against Jacksonville that knocked the rival Jaguars out of the playoffs.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee Titans defensive line coach Terrell Williams walks with Shakel Brown, center, and Jayden Peevy, right, before starting the next drill during an NFL football training camp practice Tuesday, August 8, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. Williams will be the Titans head coach for the preseason opener against the Chicago Bears.

Titans assistant Terrell Williams begins HC role on Thursday

The Tennessee Titans’ NFL exhibition opener on Saturday at the Chicago Bears will have extra meaning for Terrell Williams.

That’s because the Titans’ defensive line coach will be acting head coach in place of Mike Vrabel, who earlier this week told Williams of his new duties for the weekend.

“I think Mike Vrabel deserves a lot of credit,” Williams said Thursday. “He deserves a lot of credit, not just for doing this for me, but around the league, hopefully, more coaches will give assistant coaches opportunities to do this.

“There’s nothing better than getting the experience.”

Williams, 49, has been with the Titans since 2018 as defensive line coach, and this season was promoted to assistant head coach.

Vrabel stepped aside Thursday in having Williams answer questions from the media after practice, and the responsibilities will continue from the team meeting Thursday night, through Friday’s activities and Saturday’s game and postgame press conference.

Defensive assistant Clinton McMillan will coach the defensive line while Williams handles operational duties and Vrabel will be available to help the team prepare and advise Williams as needed.

“I definitely don’t have butterflies, trust me,” Williams said. “I am excited for the football team. … If I have any butterflies, it is not for me, it is because I want to see how some of these guys who haven’t played in a pro football game, I’ll be more concerned about them. I’ll be fine.”

Williams has been a coach for 26 seasons at the college and NFL levels, with stops including Texas A&M and Purdue, and as an intern through the NFL’s minority coaching program in 1999 with the Jacksonville Jaguars and later with the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks.

He was a defensive line coach for the then-Oakland Raiders (2012-14) and Miami Dolphins (2015-17) before coming to Tennessee.

Williams said Thursday that he would like to be a head coach in the future.

“I have been through a lot in my life — it takes a lot to overwhelm me,” Williams said. “You just roll with the punches. Vrabes has kind of gone over what game day is going to be like — he’s gone over everything that I need to be prepared for. I’m sure some things are going to come up … but as these things come up, you figure it out. And that is why you have good coaches around you, because you can’t do everything. We’ll figure it out.

“I am just excited about the opportunity.”

–Field Level Media

Tennessee Titans defensive end Jurrell Casey (99) pushes past defensive line coach Terrell Williams during practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 in Nashville, Tenn.

Nas Titans 8 10 Observations 006

Mike Vrabel to cede coaching reins in first preseason game

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said Monday that he plans to cede coaching duties to assistant head coach Terrell Williams for the team’s first preseason game.

Williams, also the defensive line coach, will begin his head coaching role on Friday as the Titans prepare to play the Bears. The game is Saturday afternoon in Chicago.

“I think this is a great opportunity for him and for us, everybody involved,” Vrabel said Monday.

Defensive assistant Clinton McMillan will handle defensive line duties for Williams in the game.

“We’ll have a lot of conversations between now and Friday, but just handling things with the roster and discussing those things with the assistant coaches and how we want to play the game and let him make those decisions in the game,” Vrabel said. “Well deserved.”

Vrabel will act as assistant coach to Williams.

Williams is in his sixth season with the Titans but first as assistant head coach. He’s entering his 12th season as a coach in the NFL, none as a head coach.

–Field Level Media

DeAndre Hopkins had 1,407 yards receiving in his first season with the Cardinals (2020), but combined for 1,289 yards in the previous two seasons.

Titans’ Mike Vrabel on DeAndre Hopkins: ‘Confident’ he’ll help

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel on Tuesday defended his team’s reported signing of DeAndre Hopkins after the club failed in its previous attempt to bring in a veteran high-profile wide receiver.

The Titans’ previously attempted to bolster their wide receiver room in 2021 with the signing of star Julio Jones. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection, however, finished with just 31 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown in 10 games during his lone season with Tennessee.

On Sunday, multiple media outlets reported Hopkins will sign with the Titans on a two-year, $26 million contract worth up to $32 million with incentives. He reportedly will receive a base salary of $12 million in the first season with a chance to increase to $15 million.

“I don’t think whatever happened in the past with another player is going to apply to this particular player,” Vrabel said on Bussin’ With The Boys podcast. “If things come up, we’ll have to work through them. We wouldn’t have signed him or wanted to sign him if we weren’t confident he’d help us.”

Hopkins, 31, and Vrabel were together with the Houston Texans when the latter was their linebackers coach (2014-16) and defensive coordinator (2017). Hopkins met with the team in Nashville last month.

The Arizona Cardinals released Hopkins on May 26 after they reportedly failed to find a trade partner.

A three-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Hopkins has 853 catches for 11,298 yards and 71 touchdowns in 145 games (all starts) with the Texans (2013-19) and Cardinals.

Hopkins had 64 catches for 717 yards with three touchdowns during a 2022 season in which he missed the first six games while serving a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He sat out the final two games with a knee injury.

Since trading A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles ahead of the 2022 season, the Titans have been looking for a new WR1. Treylon Burks, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and Kyle Philips are the current projected starters.

This is the first major splash for new Titans general manager Ran Carthon, who was hired in January to replace Jon Robinson.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel calls out to his team in the first quarter game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Vrabel: No changes to Titans coaching staff

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was plenty incensed after Monday night’s 41-7 thrashing at the hands of the Buffalo Bills, but not enough to start firing assistant coaches.

The Titans are 0-2 after the beatdown in Buffalo, during which they mustered just 187 yards of offense. The target of ire for Titans’ fans is offensive coordinator Todd Downing.

“If I felt like there was anybody that wasn’t doing their job … we’re just not going to do that (fire coaches), that’s not something that’s going to happen right now,” Vrabel said when asked specifically about Downing.

“I have confidence in our staff, I have confidence in the guys that we put out there. We have to continue to coach and execute better,” Vrabel added. “I appreciate everybody’s opinion. I have to make sure that everybody here, the players, the coaches, are all aligned and I know that they are and that’s how you get things fixed and win a game.”

He also said now’s not the time for “self-preservation.”

“None of it’s been good enough. When you lose, we all can do more,” Vrabel said. “Now’s not the time for self-preservation. This is the time for rallying around each other, getting with the people you believe in, people that you trust.”

The Titans suffered four turnovers against the Bills, including two interceptions thrown by starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who threw for just 117 yards. Derrick Henry rushed 13 times for 25 yards and the team’s only touchdown on its opening drive..

“We got our a—- kicked. Plain and simple,” Vrabel said Monday night postgame. “They outcoached us, they outplayed us, and that’s the definition of it. So, we’re gonna get back to work, and we’re going to figure out a way to win a football game.”

The Titans host the 0-2 Las Vegas Raiders in Week 3. Tennessee is 0-2 for the first time since 2012.

–Field Level Media

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel and General Manager Jon Robinson chat before the game at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.

Nas Titans 9 16

Titans extend coach Mike Vrabel, GM Jon Robinson

The Tennessee Titans reached contract extensions with coach Mike Vrabel and general manager Jon Robinson on Tuesday.

Terms of their deals were not disclosed, but owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement that the pair will continue to guide the Titans “for years to come.”

The Titans finished the 2021 season 12-5 and earned the AFC’s No. 1 seed for their third consecutive trip to the playoffs. They lost in the divisional round to the Cincinnati Bengals, who will represent the AFC in Super Bowl LVI.

Vrabel was named the Pro Football Writers Association’s NFL Coach of the Year in 2021 and is the betting favorite for the Associated Press’ Coach of the Year award.

Vrabel, a longtime linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs before entering coaching, is 41-24 in the regular season. He has not had a losing season in four years with Tennessee.

Robinson has been the Titans’ general manager since 2016 after three years as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ director of player personnel. He helped build the Titans into contenders by drafting All-Pro running back Derrick Henry, wide receiver A.J. Brown and safety Kevin Byard, and engineering trades for quarterback Ryan Tannehill and wide receiver Julio Jones.

Tennessee also announced two additions to its coaching staff. Former Houston Texans offensive coordinator Tim Kelly will serve as the Titans’ passing game coordinator, and former Houston D-line coach Bobby King will replace Jim Haslett as inside linebackers coach.

–Field Level Media

Sep 3, 2020; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans inside linebackers coach Jim Haslett talks with head coach    Mike Vrabel during practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park Mandatory Credit: George Walker IV/The Tennessean via USA TODAY NETWORK

Reports: Titans parting ways with four assistant coaches

The Tennessee Titans are parting ways with four assistant coaches following their playoff exit, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

Out are inside linebackers coach Jim Haslett, assistant defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze, assistant special teams coach Matt Edwards, and assistant strength and conditioning coach Mondray Gee, per the reports.

Coach Mike Vrabel has yet to confirm the staff changes.

Haslett, the former head coach of the New Orleans Saints (2000-05), joined the Titans before the 2020 season. Udeze worked just one season on the Titans’ staff.

Edwards spent four seasons in Tennessee, while Gee was there three seasons.

Vrabel said Monday that his coaching staff would be evaluated this week, but he did voice support for offensive coordinator Todd Downing, who has drawn criticism.

The Titans finished the regular season with a 12-5 record and the No. 1 AFC seed in the playoffs. After a bye in the wild-card round, the Titans lost 19-16 on Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals in their AFC divisional playoff game at home.

–Field Level Media