Just spoke to Derrick Henry over the phone, “Wow. Wow. I’m shocked. Coach Vrabel is a leader of men. He is a great coach and teacher. I know he will get another opportunity right away. I look forward to it.”
— Dianna Russini (@DMRussini) January 9, 2024
Henry may be done with his time in Tennessee as well. He gave an impassioned speech to the crowd in Nashville following their week 18 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Titan up baby”
Derrick Henry gives a heartfelt speech in what could be his last game as a Titan pic.twitter.com/nwaU42It3G
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) January 7, 2024
Henry was drafted by the Titans in 2016, and has been with them ever since. Vrabel was with the team since 2018. Henry is just 498 yards away from having 10,000 career rushing yards, and his hard-nosed style of running has exemplified Vrabel’s coaching philosophy throughout the years.
The decision to fire Vrabel was not easy as he had the Titans competing in a way that they had not seen since the early 2000s. In an article from The Tennessean, controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk explained why the decision was made.
“This decision was as difficult as any I’ve made as Controlling Owner,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement, later adding, “I will never shy away from acknowledging that I have unapologetically high expectations for the football team and every aspect of the Titans organization. Our vision is not simply to produce more wins than losses, it is to regularly compete for championships.”
The departure of Mike Vrabel and Derrick Henry from the Tennessee Titans marks the end of an era in Nashville
As head coach of the Tennessee Titans, Mike Vrabel made the playoffs on three separate occasions. He made it to the conference championship once. His teams were always defined by solid defense and a run-first offense, which is exemplified by the list of quarterbacks he had at his disposal during his time with the Titans.
Mike Vrabel went 54-45 (.545) for the 12th best record in the NFL…
and 3 playoff trips in his 6 years…
with the following QBs:
Marcus Mariota (21 games)
Ryan Tannehill (67 games)
Blaine Gabbert (8 games)
Malik Willis (11 games)
Josh Dobbs (2 games)
Will Levis (9 games)
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 9, 2024
Vrabel’s run-first offense was always on the back of Derrick Henry. Henry had a 2,000-yard year on the ground in 2020, and has eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in five out of the last six seasons. The one season in which he didn’t reach that mark, he had 937 yards on the ground in just eight games played.
Henry was responsible for some of the most iconic plays in Titans history. His fierce running style was the epitome of Vrabel’s nature as a coach.
Derrick Henry, a 99-yard GROWN MAN run
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 7, 2018
Derrick Henry stiff arm strikes again. Goodness. pic.twitter.com/Z7BTiVTHSi
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 20, 2020
🚨 DERRICK HENRY STIFF ARM ALERT 🚨
— ESPN (@espn) January 8, 2023
This Derrick Henry stiff arm will live forever…👀pic.twitter.com/cPPrJPayWr
— PFF (@PFF) April 2, 2021
Tennessee Titans former head coach Mike Vrabel has already been linked to the New England Patriots job
Vrabel won three Super Bowls with the Patriots as a player, and his hard-nosed defensive style of coaching exemplifies what New England wants in a head coach.
Tapped in with a source just now following Mike Vrabel’s firing in Tennessee.
The expectation is that he will be the lead candidate for the New England job, operating under the assumption that the job is open. Bill Belichick will not be returning to coach the Patriots.
— Cam Marino (@MarinoNFL) January 9, 2024
Vrabel referred to the Patriots as “we” when accepting his induction into the Patriots Ring of Honor. His connection to the Patriots has seemingly not faded in his time away from the organization.
I still think about that time Vrabel went back to New England this season to be inducted into the Ring of Honor, and during his half time speech he referred to the Patriots as “we”. https://t.co/0I4sfjFI4i
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) January 8, 2024
If Vrabel does end up as the head coach of the New England Patriots, he will have the No. 3 overall pick to work with after the Patriots went 4-13 this season. This could give Vrabel a chance to work with a quarterback that is better than the ones he had in the past.