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Titans make a huge risk in moving on from Mike Vrabel

In Sports
January 09, 2024

Yes, dysfunctional teams do dysfunctional things.

And the Titans are showing that they’re hip deep in dysfunction by firing coach Mike Vrabel.

Vrabel, who held the job for six years, has become one of the best coaches in the entire league. He willed the Titans to the No. 1 seed two years ago, despite having 91 different players on the roster throughout the season. He capped his second year by knocking off the top-seeded Ravens in the divisional round.

During the 2022 season, it seemed as if Vrabel won a power struggle with former G.M. Jon Robinson, who traded receiver A.J. Brown against Vrabel’s obvious wishes (as shown by his neck-twitching body language). Robinson also used a third-round pick that year on quarterback Malik Willis, a guy that Vrabel didn’t seem to want.

Now, they don’t want Vrabel anymore. That’s the prerogative of ownership. Some owners make good decisions. Some don’t.

Amy Adams Strunk, who emerged as controlling owner after the death of her father in 2013, has no specific qualifications to be an owner beyond being the heir who finagled the throne among three branches of the Bud Adams tree. And Strunk has gone through multiple coaches in 10 years — from firing Mike Munchak to hiring and firing Ken Whisenhunt to hiring and firing Mike Mularkey to hiring (and now firing) Vrabel.

What will the Titans do next? That will prove whether Strunk made the right move. Will the Titans hire a better coach? Will they ping-pong from one coach to another to another?

Then there’s the possibility that Vrabel wanted out, and that perhaps the Patriots would have hired him. With a little patience and strategic maneuverings, Strunk might have finagled a trade of Vrabel to the Patriots. They might have explored it, but they clearly didn’t even try.

Regardless, Vrabel is out and the Titans are starting over. Again. They threw back a keeper. Now, let’s see if the Titans can find another one.

I’ll take the under.

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