NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Back in 2010, Kendrick Lewis shared a locker room with Mike Vrabel.
They were teammates with the Kansas City Chiefs for one season. Lewis, a defensive back, was in his first NFL season. Vrabel, a linebacker, was in his 14th year in the league.
“I learned a lot from him when I played with him,” Lewis said of Vrabel. “My locker was next to his.”
Fast-forward to today. Vrabel, who retired after the 2010 season, is in his first year as head coach of the Titans, and Lewis is one of his players. Lewis signed with the Titans earlier this offseason and he’s competing for a roster spot in the secondary.
“It is different, obviously,” Lewis said with a smile. “It shows you how great of a job he did during his career, as a player and as a coach.
“But it is great, man. He was a great player, and he’s an even greater coach. I look forward to continuing my career, learning from him and him teaching me new things.”
A safety, Lewis (6-0, 205) is a seven-year NFL vet who has played in 89 career games, with 81 starts. He’s recorded nine career interceptions, and totaled 323 tackles while playing for the Chiefs, Texans and Ravens.
Lewis last played for the Ravens in 2016. He joined the Titans after making the team following a tryout. He played under Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees in Baltimore.
“It is unique,” said Vrabel, who played from 1997-2010 with the Steelers, Patriots and Chiefs. “I never thought when I played I’d be coaching guys that I played with. But (Kendrick) was a young player who was a rookie who came in and earned a spot, was conscientious, smart, cared about football, loved football, was a good pro. And we worked him out here and he visited with us the first go-around. So we ended up signing him. He’s been a good addition to our football team and hopefully he can help add some competition and depth on the back end.”
TitansOnline.com looks back at some of the best images from offseason practices, courtesy of the Associated Press.
Lewis played from 2010-13 in Kansas City, where he started 50 games. He started 16 games for the Texans in 2014 and 15 games for the Ravens in 2015. Lewis established career highs in tackles (84) in 2014 with the Texans.
He was a fifth round pick by the Chiefs out of Mississippi in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Lewis didn’t play in 2017. He spent the year working out in Houston, hoping for another chance.
He’s looking to stick with the Titans. Lewis took part in the team’s veteran minicamp in April on a tryout basis, and did enough to earn a spot on the roster.
“You have to keep the faith during a process like that,” he said. “That’s what kept me focused and determined. Coming here, I already knew the scheme, playing with coach Pees and playing with coach Vrabel. So it fit me.
“I am just thankful for the opportunity. We have a lot of talent here. A lot of guys who can play good ball and compete. The sky is the limit for this team.”