NASHVILLE – Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team’s 14-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Next up for the Titans is a game against the Broncos on Sunday in Denver.
Here’s a look at some of the hot topics:
On Second Thought?
Vrabel’s first question centered on whether he might be second-guessing himself for sending kicker Cairo Santos out for the 53-yard kick late in the fourth quarter rather than going for it on fourth down instead.
Santos missed the kick, of course. It was his fourth missed field goal of the day.
Vrabel said he expected Santos to make the kick.
“We don’t have the luxury of having hindsight,” Vrabel said. “We just have to try and do the best job that we can to make the right decisions. … In the NFL, we all expect field goal kickers to make 53-yard field goals.”
What About Santos?
Santos missed kicks of 33, 36, 50 and 53 yards on Sunday.
On the season he’s now 4-of-9 on his field goal attempts.
Vrabel was asked if the team might be considering a kicking change.
“I think (GM) Jon Robinson and I are going to meet here at 12 o’clock and go through the roster like we (always) do, go through injuries, and we’ll talk about that and decide there,” Vrabel said.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was sacked five times on Sunday, and he’s now been sacked 22 times in five games this season.
Vrabel said the offensive line needs to do a better job moving forward, and when asked specifically about guard Rodger Saffold, he included him.
On Monday, Saffold blamed himself for multiple sacks.
“There’s been a lot of good football,” Vrabel said when speaking of Saffold, “and then sometimes there’s been plays he’d like to have back. And we have to find out if there's lapses in focus, concentration, not getting the snap count, not getting off on the ball. … We have to find out where the lapses are coming from and what is causing it because we have to fix it. We have to help our quarterback and we have to improve in a lot of phases. … We feel like he is one of our best five linemen, so we have to find a way to fix it.”
Vrabel said the Titans might consider whether Dennis Kelly, who started the first four games at left tackle but was used as a back-up Sunday, could help the team in a greater capacity moving forward.
Vrabel said he has great confidence in offensive line coach Keith Carter.
“I am very confident (in Keith),” Vrabel said. “We know who to block.”
Potential Frustration on Defense
The Titans are ranked ninth in the NFL on defense, and fifth in points allowed.
Meanwhile on offense, the Titans are ranked 27th on offense, and 24th in scoring.
Vrabel said the defenders need to keep doing their part, and he’s not worried about them dealing with frustration.
“That’s what defensive players do – you line up and play defense wherever the ball is at, and that’s how you coach them,” Vrabel said. “It wasn’t like it was all perfect over there – it wasn’t the ’85 Bears for 60 minutes.”
Next up: Broncos
After five games, the Titans are 2-3.
Vrabel was asked about the continued inconsistencies of the club in his second season.
He said he’s committed to turning things around as the team begins preparations for Sunday’s game in Denver.
“We are working tirelessly to improve this football team each and every day,” Vrabel said. “When I come to work, to the detriment of my family, I think about this team when I am here, when I am not here. Our goal is to improve every day, to put guys in a position to let them be in a position to help this team and to play with great effort and fundamentals, but most importantly win.”
The Tennessee Titans take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 5 of the 2019 season at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donald Page)