Tennessee Titans fans need to see through the myth of Mike Vrabel

Tennessee Titans v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tennessee Titans v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
2 of 5

The start of Mike Vrabel in Tennessee (2018-2019)

Mike Vrabel walked into a team that had established a winning culture, and a team with players like Taylor Lewan, Delanie Walker, Derrick Henry, Jack Conklin, Ben Jones, Jonnu Smith, Corey Davis, Jurrell Casey, Harold Landry, Brian Orakpo, Kevin Byard, DaQuan Jones, Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler, and Kenny Vaccaro.

That team went 9-7 just like the last two teams, but that record wasn't quite good enough for them to make the playoffs.

Then in 2019, the Tennessee Titans added Ryan Tannehill, A.J. Brown, Jeffery Simmons, Roger Saffold, and Nate Davis. That team also went 9-7, but they went on a run in the playoffs where they won two games.

This first section of Mike Vrabel's career was him doing an average job with a roster that had several Pro Bowlers and All-Pros on it. If that is how you remember it, then you are one of the few because most people have gone back and convinced themselves that he almost single-handedly pulled that team to the AFC Championship game.

Some of that is because not many people in the national media kept up with the Tennessee Titans, so they saw a roster full of names they didn't know and couldn't stop tripping over themselves to give Mike Vrabel compliments for what he had done with guys like A.J. Brown, Jeffery Simmons, and Derrick Henry, even though time would tell that those were just blue-chip players that hadn't gotten their spotlight yet.

After 2019, the Tennessee Titans started to get more respect and more notoriety, but not quite enough for the national media to keep up with a run-first offense. Besides, who knew if this was a fluke since they were doing it with a first-year OC who had been with the organization for nearly a decade dating back to before the Whisenhunt days.