NASHVILLE — Mike Vrabel has had considerable success as coach of the Tennessee Titans since taking over in 2018. When it comes to a philosophy, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year knows the approach he and his staff want to take with managing Tennessee’s roster.
Leaning on talent is not always the best approach.
That might read as counterintuitive at face value. Vrabel’s explanation, however, makes the most sense for how the Titans have operated since he assumed his current role. Every football team has flaws and deficiencies. Plenty of talented football players have suffered from poor coaching. More still have been individual standouts on teams that show promise, but lack consistency.
That’s not who Vrabel wants the Titans to be.
Titans value a steady approach
Tennessee is not the most talented roster in the AFC.
That statement also does not mean that the Titans are a bad football team. The two things do not have to be mutually exclusive. Star power, play-making or whatever other sports cliché you’d use to describe a top player’s skill set can be the thing that makes the difference in a singular, critical moment.
The game of football rarely boils down to anything individual. There are far too many involved pieces and parts.
Positioning yourself to capitalize on those singular moments first requires discipline and strategy.
“I don’t want to be a coach that relies on talent,” Vrabel said Tuesday. “I want to coach fundamentals and technique. I want to teach and I want to make sure that (the players) play with great effort and I know that we’re talented. So, my job is to not try to rely on talent.
“There’s a certain way that we want to play the game. When we do, we’re a good football team. When we turn it over and we don’t protect the guy with the football, whether that’s the quarterback, running back or receiver, we’re not very good. We can’t operate like that.”
Success in football is not overly complicated, it’s just incredibly detailed.
Game-specific planning is still quite a ways away. For now, Tennessee and the 31 other NFL clubs will use training camp to do just that, train at the basic level. Growth during the regular season requires teams to have core principles to default to.
The Titans under Vrabel have achieved sustainably that way.
Featured Image: USA TODAY Sports.