NFL teams have made an effort in recent years to improve the relationship between local police departments and their communities, and the Tennessee Titans took a step toward accomplishing that goal on Thursday.
The Metro Nashville Police Department shared some photos that showed Titans players and coaches attending an class to learn how officers are trained in firearms safety.
Maybe a first for an @NFL club. The entire @Titans team & coaches are at the MNPD Training Academy learning how police officers are trained and receiving firearms safety instruction. Thanks to Titans GM Robinson & Coach Vrabel for approaching us about this. pic.twitter.com/cSMQbgfbD3
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) June 14, 2018
Great to have the entire @Titans team and coaching staff at the MNPD Academy today. The interaction between players, coaches and officers was outstanding. Our guests learned a bit about how officers are trained and received information on gun safety at the firing range. pic.twitter.com/V8k9QXhFDQ
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) June 14, 2018
While many have lost sight of the cause, Colin Kaepernick’s initial decision to kneel during the national anthem was to send a political message about police brutality. The issue is still an important one to many people, and we recently saw one player conduct a media session while holding signs about social injustice.
- Tennessee Titans
The NFL offseason has provided no shortage of excitement. Teams have released old players and agreed to contracts with new ones. Several players have been traded. Players have switched teams, and many franchises have already improved greatly this offseason, and that’s before they have another shot to beef up in the draft.
Here is a look at the NFL teams that have improved the most so far this offseason. Keep in mind that merely being active this offseason doesn’t get you on this list if you we don’t like what you did (ahem, Cardinals, Jets, Redskins). Also, whoever lands Jordy Nelson and Ndamukong Suh would have an argument for being on here too.
1) Cleveland Browns
It’s one thing to have a lot of draft currency stocked up, but it’s a complete other to make good use of it. Former Browns exec Sashi Brown loaded up on future draft picks before losing his job with Cleveland. New GM John Dorsey has come in and gotten some impressive hauls with the excess picks while still keeping many for the upcoming draft.
The Browns acquired Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry and Demarious Randall via trades. That gives them their best quarterback in years, a play-making wide receiver, and a good defensive back. They also signed running back Carlos Hyde, which should serve as a strong replacement for Isaiah Crowell, whom they lost to the Jets. Further, Cleveland has said that signing Hyde would not prevent them from drafting Saquon Barkley.
On top of adding Randle, the Browns signed T.J. Carrie to a four-year, $31 million deal, giving them a nice cornerback duo. And while Cleveland lost franchise stalwart Joe Thomas to retirement, they signed right tackle Chris Hubbard to a five-year, $37.5 million deal, taking him away from division opponent Pittsburgh. They also added tight end Daniel Fells, whose specialty is blocking.
If the Browns nail their draft, they could turn things around in a hurry.
The Tennessee Titans have named Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel as their new head coach.
The Titans confirmed the news Saturday seemingly out of the blue with an official announcement.
The new head coach of the Tennessee Titans is Mike Vrabel. #TitanUp
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) January 20, 2018
We had heard earlier on Saturday that Vrabel was the early favorite for the job, but the Titans apparently had their minds made up. GM Jon Robinson was a Patriots scout when Vrabel played there, so there was a connection, and Tennessee clearly saw the man they wanted and didn’t feel the need to wait around to make the hire official.
Vrabel replaces Mike Mularkey, who was fired despite leading the Titans to a playoff win.
The Tennessee Titans do not sound close to a decision on their next head coach quite yet, but there is reportedly an early favorite.
Jason Wolf of the Tennessean reported Friday that Mike Vrabel seems to have the “inside track” on the Titans’ job. The Houston Texans’ defensive coordinator was the first candidate interviewed, and has a history with general manager Jon Robinson.
The Titans are said to be prioritizing a first-time coach, and they want one who can help maximize the skill sets of players. Wolf’s belief is that Vrabel’s playing career, which saw him play as both a linebacker and a tight end, will work in his favor in that regard.
Vrabel was a candidate for the Indianapolis Colts’ job, but that appears to be going to Josh McDaniels. Tennessee may be Vrabel’s ticket to a head coaching job.
The Tennessee Titans announced on Monday that they have mutually agreed to part ways with head coach Mike Mularkey, and that could complicate things for Josh McDaniels more than anyone.
As McDaniels is preparing to call plays for the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, two AFC South teams will be trying to come up with a plan to convince him to become their next head coach.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 15, 2018
Have been hearing McDaniels name connected to Titans for quite some time. See how this unfolds. He’s a coveted man. https://t.co/6sb22CqBwc
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) January 15, 2018
McDaniels, of course, is best known for working with Tom Brady for a number of years. He now has an opportunity to coach either Andrew Luck or Marcus Mariota, and the sky is seemingly the limit for both quarterbacks. Luck’s health could play a factor in McDaniels’ decision, though the latest we have heard makes it seem like that won’t be an issue.
McDaniels was the head coach of the Denver Broncos for two seasons in 2009 and 2010, and things did not go well. That probably had a lot to do with Tim Tebow being his QB, but the 41-year-old may not get another shot if he fails again.
The Tennessee Titans said before their playoff game against the New England Patriots that head coach Mike Mularkey would be returning in 2018, but somebody must have had a sudden change of heart over the weekend.
The Titans announced on Monday that they have mutually agreed to part ways with Mularkey. Team owner Amy Adams Strunk said a contract extension was discussed, but the two sides failed to find “common ground.”
“In fact, we did discuss extending his future with our team over the past week, but in those discussions about the direction of the team, it became evident that we saw different paths to achieve greater success,” Adams said in a statement. “It is certainly unfortunate that we couldn’t find enough common ground. I generally believe that continuity is the best path for success, but I also view this as an important moment for our football team as we try to make that next step to sustained success on the field. Jon will begin the search immediately to identify that person.”
The Titans have a ton of talent on offense with playmakers like Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry and Delanie Walker, and the belief has been that Mularkey is not the right person to get the most out of that talent. Tennessee ranked 23rd in total offense, 23rd in passing yards, 15th in rushing yards and 19th in points scored this season. After getting off to a strong start, they limped their way into the postseason before pulling off a huge upset over the Chiefs at Kansas City.
Tennessee went 9-7 the last two seasons, and they will likely look for a head coach who can help develop Mariota. Josh McDaniels will be one name to watch with the new job opening, though the New England Patriots offensive coordinator appears to be the favorite to land another head coaching job.
The NFL’s divisional round was wild, unpredictable, and featured three incredible finishes — including one that will go down in NFL history. With that much drama, there was no doubt that there were going to be some glaring, high-profile errors and mistakes from players and coaches alike during crunch time.
That is exactly what happened. From curious coaching decisions to bad plays that will haunt certain players for a long time to come, the weekend really had everything.
Here are the 10 biggest disappointments from the divisional round.
1) Marcus Williams, safety, Saints
Williams will probably have nightmares about the final play of this game for the rest of his life. He had the opportunity to wrap up Stefon Diggs — or, at the bare minimum, shove him out of bounds and force a field goal attempt. Instead, he completely whiffed on his tackle attempt. Had Williams been able to wrap up Diggs in bounds, the Vikings wouldn’t have had a chance to set and spike the ball, which would have ended the game and won it for New Orleans. For whatever reason, he ducked the tackle, and there was no one behind him to stop Diggs in what instantly became one of the greatest plays in NFL history. Perhaps he was scared of committing a penalty, but at least that wouldn’t have been an instant loss. For every hero, there’s a goat — and on Sunday, that goat was Williams.
2) Pittsburgh Steelers’ mentality