NASHVILLE – Titans General Manager Jon Robinson and coach Mike Vrabel begin each day with a meeting at Saint Thomas Sports Park, and they huddle again before leaving at night.
During the course of the day, they carry out their own jobs, each with different responsibilities.
This time of year, most of their time is spent preparing for what’s on the horizon.
The NFL Draft in Nashville is now less than a week away, and the Titans are scheduled to make six draft picks, beginning with pick No.19 in the first round.
Heading into Year Two together, they’re on the same page more than ever. Their mission this offseason: Go from good to great.
“Mike came in last year, and he was obviously new to that chair,” Robinson said. “I remember when I first got to Tennessee and I made a list, and I was like: ‘Where do I start to try and attack this stuff?' And you figure it out, and you try and surround yourself with good people and I thought Mike did a great job last year trying to immerse himself in the roster building process. He and his coaches, they are an integral part of what we do. We rely heavily on their information.
“Now we’re ready to attack this thing again together.”
The Titans have gone 9-7 the past three seasons. A year ago, the Titans came one win short of making the playoffs.
NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes the lessons Vrabel and Robinson learned in New England has created a solid working relationship Tennessee.
Robinson was in scouting with the Patriots when Vrabel played under Bill Belichick. The type of players they seem to be looking for in Tennessee match up with the characteristics of players who regularly play for the Patriots.
Jeremiah believes the Titans have an identity of their own, but they need to draft well while taking more steps to take it to the next level. As a franchise, the Titans have won just two playoff games since the 2003 season, the most recent a playoff win in Kansas City during the 2017 season.
“If you ask around the league: Who are the most physical teams around the league? I think the Titans would be one of the first four or five teams that come to mind,” Jeremiah said.
“To me, to take the next step, they need some more difference makers. They have some blue-collar players, and now they need to add some blue-chip players to go with them. They are tough, and they are physical. But they need to be a little more dynamic.”
After adding receiver Adam Humphries, guard Rodger Saffold, defensive end Cameron Wake and back-up quarterback Ryan Tannehill in free agency, the Titans still have areas of need heading into the draft.
Most agree the Titans need additional help at edge rusher, on the interior offensive and defensive lines, and more playmakers on offense, along with depth at other positions.
Vrabel said he’s working through the process with Robinson, as the team eyes players who could become Titans next week.
There’s a coach’s vision and a scout’s vision for each player, and together, they’re looking for matches.
“The idea is that we’re just trying to see it through the same set of eyes, and have the same vision for the player and where we see them,” Vrabel said. “I think that at the end it's crucial that we do what's best for the Titans, and I don't think it's always important that we see eye-to-eye, when we see a player, or a play or a situation.
“That's why we have conversations or we have discussions. That's the most important thing, that we have honest dialogue. We do agree on a lot of things, but there are things we don't agree on. So we look at the tape and try to figure out what's best for the Titans and come to an agreement that makes us better.”