Come on. You had to know, following Mike Vrabel‘s statements on Julio Jones‘ Week 1 personal foul penalty, that someone was going to ask him the question the very next time that we saw him. It isn’t often that the Tennessee Titans are the subject of some national news, but, they were for the better part of about a near-48-hour period.
Why? When a prized acquisition like the future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee commits an egregious act that turns a third-and-one attempt into one of the third-and-16 variety (an attempt that Tennessee wouldn’t convert) and the head coach describes that moment by using an expletive and some language that could be viewed as offensive, people are going to talk.
The Tennessee Titans head coach explains his comments about his star receiver.
By now, you’ve no doubt heard the news. Vrabel’s statement about Julio’s judgment call got some people talking, “That would fall into the category of doing dumb (expletive) that hurts the team, right there, in bold letters”.
You know ESPN took notice as everyone from Stephen A Smith to Keyshawn Johnson offered their opinion. Smith even went so far as to lament that Vrabel had some personal vendetta. Now, in fairness, Vrabel doesn’t have a reputation of publicly bashing players whether they be teammates or coaches, but just in case you’re interested, here’s a look at the conversation that went down on First Take this past Tuesday.
Thank ESPN’s YouTube channel for the clip.
What do you think? Do you agree? One day later, Vrabel offered his side of the story during a Wednesday afternoon chat with members of the Tennessee media.
"Guys, I don’t think I’ve ever said anything in front of you guys or these cameras or this microphone that I haven’t said to the players. I mean, I hope not. That’s never my intent. They’ve heard it from me well before I’ve come out here, so… And, that just happened to be that specific play. It could be somebody else the next time. We’re just trying to coach, you know, the actions and not the result. Sometimes, that doesn’t get flagged, but the next time, it will… Maybe there’s a holding (call or) a block in the back that doesn’t get called. We’re still going to coach it… We’re trying to focus on the cations and not the results."
There you have it. The moral of the story is this. If Julio doesn’t seem to be offended by any of this, maybe no one else should be either.
Both of these guys. Julio, whether right or wrong, drew a personal foul penalty because of that competitive fire. Mike Vrabel made a comment because of his own. It’s over. The focus now shifts to the Seattle Seahawks, as it should. The Tennessee Titans are looking to right the ship in Week 2 on the road.