The Tennessee Titans hired Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel as their new coach in a fast search that wrapped up after three interviews and just five days after firing Mike Mularkey.
The Titans announced Saturday they have agreed to terms with Vrabel. A news conference was scheduled for Monday.
Vrabel was the first person Tennessee interviewed after firing Mularkey on Monday. Mularkey Anders Lee Jersey , who also coached Buffalo and Jacksonville, went 21-22 and led the franchise to its first playoff victory in 14 years . This will be Vrabel’s first head coaching job after 18 years in the NFL – 14 as a player and four as a coach.
Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement it was easy to see Vrabel’s commanding presence and relationship with general manager Jon Robinson. The GM got his start in the NFL as a scout with the New England Patriots, where Vrabel won three Super Bowls as a linebacker.
”Mike has a commanding presence and a deep understanding for how he will attack this head coaching opportunity,” Strunk said.
”Throughout his football career, he has played for, been mentored by and coached with successful teams and organizations. He knows what it takes to reach that level of sustained success – he has seen it firsthand. We have a chance to build on the solid foundation that we established over the past couple of years and I believe Mike is the right person to continue that progress.”
The Titans became the seventh NFL team to change coaches since the start of the season, and now they are the third to hire their replacement, joining Oakland and Chicago. The Indianapolis Colts are closing in on Josh McDaniels but can’t hire him until the Patriots’ season ends. Arizona , Detroit and New York Giants have yet to hire new coaches.
Tennessee also interviewed Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks – who satisfied the Rooney rule requiring teams to interview at least one minority candidate – and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur.
In a statement, Vrabel thanked Strunk, Robinson and the Titans for putting their faith in him.
”We want to build a culture around winning, competitiveness and toughness Andrew Ladd Jersey ,” Vrabel said. ”Everything we do is going to be geared toward winning and being physical. We want to prepare our players so they know what to do, which will allow them to play fast and aggressive.”
The 42-year-old Vrabel is coming off his first season as defensive coordinator for the Texans. Vrabel’s 14-year career as a player included stints with Pittsburgh under coach Bill Cowher and New England under coach Bill Belichick, along with Kansas City. In 2011, he joined the staff at his alma mater, Ohio State, coaching linebackers and defensive linemen.
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 .
This was the first head coaching search since Robinson was hired in January 2016, two days before the Titans took the interim tag off Mularkey. Robinson said in a statement he always has had a great deal of respect for Vrabel as a player and as a coach.
”He was the ultimate team-first player, and he embodies that same mindset as a coach,” Robinson said. ”He is intelligent, energetic, detailed and a leader whose deep passion for this game will resonate with our players. As a coach, I have seen him develop talent at both the college and NFL level Anthony Beauvillier Jersey , and put players in position for them to be successful.”
Follow Teresa M. Walker at Houston Astros catcher Brian McCann finally got to a point that something had to be done to try to fix his troublesome right knee.
McCann had arthroscopic surgery Tuesday after going on the disabled list for the second time this season, and the third time in less than a year, because of knee discomfort.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told MLB.com and the Houston Chronicle during a 5-3 win at Texas that the team was optimistic that the surgery would resolve the issue that kept recurring. While not specific about the procedure or a timetable, the GM said he’d expect McCann back in September to get ready for October.
Manager A.J. Hinch said before the Astros’ 5-3 win at Texas that he and McCann had a long conversation about the knee problems when the team played in Tampa last weekend.
”It’s just continually the same issue over and over with his right knee,” Hinch said. ”One of the options is surgery, and he went back to Houston to take care of it.”
Catcher Tim Federowicz, who made two starts earlier this season when McCann was on the DL, was promoted from Triple-A Fresno.
Max Stassi was the Astros’ starting catcher Tuesday night against the Rangers. Hinch said Stassi would get the bulk of the catching during McCann’s absence.
But Stassi never got behind the plate against the Rangers. He was hit by a pitch on his right (throwing) wrist while batting in the first inning. He stayed in the game to run, but Federowicz went to catch when the Astros took the field.
X-rays were negative, but Stassi has a bruised wrist and was considered day to day.
Shortstop Carlos Correa, who has been out since June 26 because of lower back soreness, also was back in Houston. He is eligible to come off the DL as early as Friday Authentic Patrick Mahomes Jersey , though Hinch wasn’t sure if Correa would be ready to play then.
”He’s been reporting to Minute Maid (Park) every day and working with our people there,” Hinch said. ”The good news is that everything has been a step forward. The uncertainty is still we haven’t done any baseball activities yet, so we don’t know how that’s going to impact his timeline until we get home.”
McCann missed nine games during his first DL stint this season before being activated June 8, the last time Houston played at the Rangers.
He was also on the DL for 11 days last August because of right knee soreness before the Astros went on to win their first World Series title. McCann played in all seven World Series games.
His latest DL move was retroactive to Monday, a day off for Houston.
McCann has hit .206 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 50 games this season. He was in a 1-for-26 slump before going on the DL for the first time this season on May 29. He hit .171 (7-of-41) with one homer and three RBIs in his 13 games in June after returning from the DL.
Stassi has hit .255 with seven homers and 22 RBIs in 49 games for the Astros. Federowicz hit .328 with six homers and 22 RBIs in 38 games at Fresno.
”I have a lot of confidence in Stassi and Fed, both with major league time,” Hinch said. ”They’re comfortable, they know our pitchers, they know our program, our preparation, all things that make me feel really good about going into each particular game.”