Since taking over as Head Coach of the Tennessee Titans, Mike Vrabel boasts a 49-36 record and has since established himself as one of the league’s elite coaches who actually has the ability to elevate a team’s strength over the collection of its individual players.
Vrabel’s Titans teams have embodied his own personality, with a physical, bruising style that punishes its opponents and wears them down throughout games.
However, despite Vrabel’s high stature as a head coach, it has been very clear to fans that these Titans teams over the last 9 games have been far from well coached. The team Tennessee has put on the field for the last half-season has been characterized by inefficiency, turnovers, poor play calling, penalties, and most of all, injuries.
Amy Adams Strunk has made it very clear that losing will not be tolerated in Nashville, after firing General Manager Jon Robinson mid-season and parting ways with Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing in the offseason following 2022.
After a seemingly successful offseason, Amy Adams Strunk brought in GM Ran Carthon from the San Francisco 49ers and promoted Tim Kelly from passing game coordinator to OC. Both of these changes were considered very savvy moves from Titans fans and created cause for optimism leading into the 2023 season.
After a strong draft and a free agency where the Tennessee Titans acquired star receiver Deandre Hopkins, Tennessee seemed destined for a bounce back from 2022. However, the offensive woes have continued, and ultimately Tennessee has fallen to 1-2.
This poses the question: How long can the Tennessee Titans continue to lose before Vrabel loses his job?
Mike Vrabel's future hangs in the balance for the Tennessee Titans
If the Tennessee Titans never find their footing in 2023, it seems that Vrabel’s job status will be hanging in the balance. Due to his past success, it's possible the organization would give him a chance with the young quarterback prospects assuming Tannehill doesn’t resign with the team.
It’s hard to say that Vrabel would be given much more leeway than that, though. In 2018, Titans’ Head Coach Mike Mularkey was fired after a 9-7 season that resulted in a Wildcard-round win over the Kansas City Chiefs, and a successful tenure that effectively turned Tennessee from a bottom feeder to a legit competitor. This may be some foreshadowing of Vrabel’s fate.
With a wave of new offensive minds in the league, it is only a matter of time before Vrabel must diversify his own thinking or succumb to the consequences of his stubbornness. There is still plenty of time for the Titans to regroup and become successful in 2023, but Mike Vrabel will need to be at the forefront of some serious changes for that to be the case.
Nevertheless, the Tennessee Titans' head coach must be held accountable if things don't get better.