While the press conference signaled the start of the offseason and looking toward the future, fans got to enjoy the relief that 2022 was over and optimism about the future.
Hopefulness seemingly overflowed from owner Amy Adams Strunk and Mike Vrabel who were all smiles during the program.
A jovial Mike Vrabel glided over a question critiquing his special team’s staff, ending a well-sourced and informed rebuttal jokingly: “Ran go find us some returners that don’t drop the ball!” offering a wry smile after eliciting laughs from the room.
The humor and overall upbeat attitude were a welcome change from how the Tennessee Titans’ season dragged to an end with seven straight losses.
But many truths are said in jest.
The Tennessee Titans are in desperate need of a roster overhaul. However, owner Amy Adams Strunk also still believes they are in a position to win a championship, putting the first-time GM in a tricky situation that urgently requires his attention.
One of the reasons Carthon was chosen was his belief that the team did not need to rebuild to win a Super Bowl. While that may be true, he still has his work cut out for him and big decisions to make with a top-15 draft pick and delicate contract situations on the horizon.
How will Carthon stack up next to former Tennessee Titans GM Jon Robinson?
NFL reporter Ian Rappaport gave this report on Carthon describing him as, “someone who is seen as a bridge builder… a really skilled personnel executive.” Additionally, saying it was “noteworthy that Amy Adams Strunk… was impressed with his natural leadership abilities.”
There is a historical side to this story as well. Ran Carthon becomes the Tennessee Titans’ first black General Manager. In the press conference, Carthon addressed this saying that he knew he was standing on the shoulders of giants.
In that press conference, GM Carthon talked about working to make sweeping changes to a roster that needs help, especially on the offensive side of the ball. When asked about his “to-do list”, Carthon explained, “Mike Vrabel is at the top of my list and us working together and forging a relationship.”
While not offering anything specifically about his plans for the roster, he did say that “The team has been made in the image of our head coach” and “our core philosophy… comes from a similar place.” The last two points suggest that Carthon is making a point to cater to what Mike Vrabel wants and that Carthon is committed to building the team that Vrabel wants.
The move highlights the effort on behalf of the organization to unite the Head Coach and the front office. A move that was expected after the tensions that resulted in the firing of Jon Robinson halfway through the season.
Focusing specifically on Ran Carthon, there are many voices applauding the move around the league. That includes positives from former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher who coached under Strunk’s father the late Bud Adams.
Fisher predicts that his record as the winningest coach in franchise history, “is gonna fall with this relationship between the two of them.” Confidently endorsing the deal, “that’s how strongly I feel about Mike, the organization and where it’s headed, and this hire.”
Strong words and high praise for Carthon, but at the end of the day results will be the bottom line for the organization. However, as far as opening press conferences go, Carnthon knocked this one out of the park and has created a lot of forward momentum for an organization that has stalled out.