Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson got his NFL start as a scout with the New England Patriots Authentic Weston Richburg Jersey , the same team his new head coach Mike Vrabel won three Super Bowl rings as a linebacker.
Yes, it seems like the Titans are trying to implement the Patriot Way in Music City.
Vrabel said that’s what it looks like – until the Titans win big themselves.
”You have to be able to win championships before people start giving you ways to do things,” Vrabel said Monday. ”So that’ll be our ultimate goal. … Until we can win a championship doing that, there’s not going to be this Titan Way. It will be talked about in the building. But people from outside the building, they won’t believe in us, they won’t have faith in us until you win.”
The Titans introduced Vrabel as their new coach Monday. They agreed to terms with Vrabel on Saturday , just five days after firing Mike Mularkey coming off the franchise’s first playoff win in 14 years.
This is the first head coaching job for Vrabel, 42.
Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk noted Robinson and Vrabel have known each other for years. She also likes Vrabel’s experience and vision for building on back-to-back 9-7 seasons.
”I believe he will do everything he can to bring this town a championship,” Strunk said.
Vrabel is coming off his first season as defensive coordinator for the Texans. Vrabel started his NFL career in Pittsburgh under coach Bill Cowher before signing with New England under coach Bill Belichick, and he finished in Kansas City. In 2011, he joined the staff at his alma mater Joseph Noteboom Color Rush Jersey , Ohio State, coaching linebackers and then defensive linemen.
He said nobody’s ever really ready to be a head coach for the first time in the NFL, though Vrabel feels as ready as he can be thanks to his doctorate degree in coaching he picked up working with some of the best in the game.
”There will be things that I take from New England, from Pittsburgh, from Ohio State, from Houston,” Vrabel said. ”I mean there will be things that I take from everywhere. You draw on these experiences just like everybody else would in life … The nice thing is now there’s things that I didn’t like that Billy did, I get to change them. So there’s things I like that he did, I get to use them.”
Vrabel went to Houston in 2014 and coached linebackers with the Texans for three seasons before becoming coordinator. The Texans won the AFC South in 2015 and 2016 thanks in part to strong defenses. The unit slipped this season amid injuries to players including J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.
Building on the Titans’ playoff win in Kansas City means putting Marcus Mariota in position to blossom. Whoever Vrabel hires as his offensive coordinator will be Mariota’s third going into his fourth NFL season, and Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day reportedly is the early favorite for the job in Tennessee.
”I think Amy’s going to trust me to hire the right guy for Marcus,” Vrabel said. ”Jon’s going to trust me to hire the right guy for Marcus or I wouldn’t have been hired.”
And Vrabel made it very clear he knows the potential for Mariota Jose Ramirez Jersey , the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 pick overall in 2015. He recalled Mariota pulling a hamstring Oct. 1 against the Texans.
”A special talent, a special kid, and I can’t wait to work with him and help him through taking that next step in his career,” Vrabel said.
This was Robinson’s first head coaching search since being hired in January 2016, two days before the Titans took the interim tag off Mularkey. The Titans went 21-22 with Mularkey taking a team that had the NFL’s worst record at 5-27 combined over 2014 and 2015 to a team that lost in the AFC divisional round to New England.
Mularkey was fired less than 48 hours after that loss. The Titans interviewed only three people with Vrabel first to meet with them Thursday. The Titans also interviewed Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur .
Jonathan Marchessault scored twice and said the expansion Vegas Golden Knights sent a message, bouncing back with a 3-1 series-evening win over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference final.
”Every time we need a big game as a group, we show up,” Marchessault said. ”We showed the hockey world we earned the right to be here.”
Tomas Tatar scored 6:37 into the game for the Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 30 saves.
Kyle Connor scored midway through the third period to pull Winnipeg within a goal. Marchessault restored the two-goal lead 1:28 later.
Connor Hellebuyck had 25 saves for the Jets.
After losing the series opener, Marchessault told reporters the team faced a must-win game.
”If you’re going to talk out there in the media that you have to be better, I think you need to lead by example,” he said. ”I tried to do that.”
Game 3 is Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
”I don’t think anybody is panicking Cheap Derrius Guice Jersey ,” Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba said. ”We like our road game. We like where it was in the Nashville series.”
Winnipeg won three times on the top-seeded Predators’ home ice, including Game 7 last week.
The expansion Golden Knights appeared to be rusty in the series opener and the Jets scored three goals early in a 4-2 win about 48 hours after advancing out of the second round.
It looked like they were going to pick up where they left off.
”They came out flying again with a lot of speed,” Fleury said.
Fleury, who helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win three Stanley Cups, made key stops early and got help from teammate and a post in the opening minutes to keep the puck out of his net.
”Fleury had to make three or four really good saves in the first seven minutes,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. ”We rebounded after that. We got that 2-0 lead and it was a different game for us. When teams are chasing the lead, it’s tough for teams to battle back.”
Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele, who has postseason-high 12 goals , got the puck past Fleury in the opening moments of the game and Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt cleared it from the crease .
Vegas generated offense by making plays without the puck, forcing turnovers to set up goals.
”We were on them,” Golden Knights forward Erik Haula said. ”That’s our game. We’re a fast team. I think we showed that.”
After the Jets failed to control the puck out of a corner in their end Mike McGlinchey Youth Jersey , Tatar ended up stuffing the puck in the net after hitting the side of the net with a shot.
Connor was pressured into turning over the puck near center ice late in the opening period and Reilly Smith set up Marchessault, his former Florida Panthers teammate, at the blue line and he scored on a breakaway backhander.
”There was about 57 minutes of that game that was pretty good for us,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. ”Three minutes of it got away from us.
The Jets closed the scoreless second period and started the third on the power play and still couldn’t get the puck past Fleury.
Winnipeg kept up the pressure on by relentlessly forechecking and drew another penalty early in the third. Connor took advantage, squeezing a shot between Fleury and the post from the bottom of the left circle 7:17 into the third.
That whipped the white-clad fans into a frenzy – triggering jeers of ”Fleu-ry! Fleu-ry!” – and were quickly quieted by another Marchessault backhander that beat Hellebuyck.
The Jets pulled their goaltender to add another skater over the last couple minutes of the game, but Fleury didn’t let the puck get past him again.
NOTES: Vegas put Tatar and Tomas Nosek in place of David Perron and Oscar Lindberg. Gallant said Perron was not a healthy scratch. ”He wasn’t feeling well,” Gallant said. ”I think he’ll be fine.” … The Jets have not lost consecutive games this postseason. … Vegas acquired Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings at the trade deadline for a first-round pick and he played in just his fifth game of this postseason and scored his first goal. ”What a luxury to be able to put Tomas Tatar into a game in the playoffs,” Schmidt said. ”The guy has been an incredible player in this league and proved it for many years.”