Four years ago today, the Titans tapped Mike Vrabel as their next head coach. The former Texans defensive coordinator wasn’t thought to be a frontrunner for the job, but he proved to be the “leader of men” that GM Jon Robinson was looking for.
Early on, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was said to be at the top of the Titans’ list. A few weeks later, it was clear that they made the right choice. McDaniels, of course, was announced as the next HC of the Colts, only to leave them at the altar that same day.
Robinson, a one-time Patriots scout, immediately clicked with the longtime Pats linebacker, according to Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk.
“You could see their connection right away from the history they have with one another – seeing the game in a similar way and talking the same language,” Strunk said. “Mike has a commanding presence and a deep knowledge for how he will attack this head coaching opportunity.”
With that, Vrabel became the 19th head coach in franchise history and the fourth since 2011. They also managed to snag runner-up Matt LaFleur, luring the Rams OC to Nashville for the same role. LaFleur would leave one year later to become the Packers’ HC, but Vrabel continued to deliver results.
Vrabel’s first Titans team went 9-7, even without Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker on the field. Since then, he’s taken the Titans to the playoffs in each of the last three seasons with AFC South titles in each of the last two years. With a win over the Bengals tomorrow, Vrabel can bring his club back to the AFC title game and one step closer to winning its first Super Bowl in over 20 years.