Why it makes sense for J.J. Watt
J.J. Watt is a big fan of Mike Vrabel and he has been for a while, even going back to when Watt advocated for Vrabel to get the DC job in Houston.
Who knows how much you can look into these kinds of things, but at this point, we have seen Watt on the record talking about how much he likes working with Vrabel and visual evidence that they seemed to be close in Houston (see below).
So on a personal level, it seems like these two would fit together.
But what about on the field? Well, I would imagine that a 32-year old J.J. Watt who just saw a dysfunctional franchise win four games, wants to make sure his new team has a few non-negotiable things.
First, I think he wants to win football games and I think he wants to be a leader on a defense that wins those games. Well, big check there because the Titans haven’t had a losing season since 2015 and they have obviously had a lot of success recently. In the past two years alone they won the AFC South after going 11-5 in 2020 and they went to the AFC Championship Game in 2019.
As for a leadership role, I think that position is still up for grabs after nearly every defender on the roster had a down year in 2020.
Another thing he probably wants is organizational stability, although he will probably settle for being away from Jack Easterby.
The Titans are about to have their 6th draft under GM Jon Robinson and it is going to be Mike Vrabel’s 4th season as HC. In the NFL, that is about as stable as it gets.
Also, I don’t know if he “needs” this, but whichever EDGEs play for the Tennessee Titans this year, are going to have a pretty easy schedule.
Six of their games are going to be against the Houston Texans (3rd worst pass protection in the NFL), Jacksonville Jaguars (7th worst pass protection in the NFL and losing their left tackle), and the Indianapolis Colts (3rd best pass protection but lost their QB1, QB2, LT1, LT2, RT2 this offseason).
Sprinkle in games against other bottom-10 offensive lines like the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks, and the schedule looks very favorable.