The Tennessee Titans will face the Chicago Bears in their preseason opener, but the Titans aren't exactly treating this as your typical warm-up for the regular season.
During the first "game week" press conference on Monday, Mike Vrabel told reporters that he would be stepping aside on Saturday to let Terrell Williams act as the team's head coach against the Chicago Bears.
The transition will start on Friday when Williams will start the process of going through walkthroughs and doing everything leading up to the game on Saturday.
More and more opportunities like this are being made available to position coaches and coordinators across the league during the preseason.
The opportunities might look different, but giving OCs, DCs, STC, and assistant coaches chances to show that they can step up and handle new responsibilities helps pitch themselves to other teams across the NFL when they are trying to put themselves in a position to get a bigger job.
Out of all of the coaches on the roster, no one deserves this opportunity more than Williams. Just last week I wrote how Williams was the Tennessee Titans' best coach and how he has continued to elevate everyone he has coached.
Huge kudos to Mike Vrabel for giving Williams this chance. Not only is this a good message to aspiring head coaches around the NFL that might start to view the Tennessee Titans as a hub for elite coaching talent, but it is good for team morale to see that there are rewards for working hard and doing your job well.
What will change for the Tennessee Titans?
I wouldn't expect the product on the field to look too much different than anyone was expecting. While Williams will have control, he isn't going to be allowed to put the starters on the field so it will still be the same players that would normally be available.
Additionally, I don't imagine that Williams is going to overstep and try to push different play calls on offense and defense.
However, there are two things that will definitely be different than they would have been without this switch.
First, expect a challenge at some point in this game. With refs knocking the rust off themselves, there will probably be some questionable calls and Williams has to have some pent-up aggravation for non-challenged calls in the past after decades of coaching. If this is his chance to throw a red challenge flag, I expect him to let it rip.
Secondly, we will get a chance to see just how aggressive Williams wants to be on fourth down. Mike Vrabel has done a good job knowing when to go for it, but how will Williams handle those decisions? Will he play it conservatively? Will he strictly follow the analytics? Will he go with his gut or be abnormally aggressive just because it is the preseason?
That will be the fun part of this change and it is just another reason why Tennessee Titans fans should be excited about football coming back.