Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team’s 26-22 comeback win over the Jets.
This Thursday, the Titans face the Jaguars at Nissan Stadium.
Here’s a look at some of the hot topics:
The Titans did some shuffling on the offensive line in Sunday’s game, as second-year player Corey Levin stepped in and played center, moving Ben Jones to left guard.
The shuffling moved regular starter Quinton Spain to the sideline.
Vrabel said the Titans will keep evaluating before deciding what the starting lineup will look like against the Jaguars.
“We’ll continue to look at that lineup as well as other places,’” Vrabel said. “It’s something I felt like needed to be done at that time. That may change each week, but at that point and time I wanted to try and get Corey in there at center and see what Ben looked like at left guard.”
Vrabel said he felt Levin and Jones both did “OK” after the switch.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota connected with receiver Corey Davis for an 11-yard touchdown with just 36 seconds left to lift the Titans to the comeback win.
It was the 12th game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime in Mariota’s career, and the eighth in the past two seasons. The Titans took over with just 1:46 left, trailing 22-19. Mariota guided a six-play, 86-yard drive that included the third down completion to Davis.
Vrabel said he’s been impressed with Mariota’s poise in those situations.
“I’d rather him not have to do it, but if we have to, that has really been fun to watch,” Vrabel said. “It is exciting to have him be able to do that and keep his composure, find the guys, make plays.”
Titans running back Derrick Henry ran for 40 yards in the win, including a one-yard touchdown.
Vrabel likes his aggressive approach, and his use of the stiff-arm.
“I (told him): That’s what we need,” Vrabel said of Henry. “… I thought that he tried to run hard. I think that Taywan (Taylor) got an outstanding block for Derrick on the 2nd and 10. … There’s a lot that goes into running the football.”
Vrabel said linebacker Rashaan Evans continues to make progress, and said he looked physical on Sunday.
Evans was credited with a team-high eight tackles.
“He keeps getting better,” Vrabel said. “I noticed him. … I thought he did a good job in the run game. … I feel him out there. He just needs to keep improving.”
Vrabel complimented cornerback Malcolm Butler for his play throughout the game.
Vrabel called tight end Anthony Firkser, who caught a 12-yard touchdown and finished the game with three catches for 42 yards, a good route runner. Firkser made a big catch late to set up the touchdown catch by Davis.
“He did a great job,” Vrabel said.
The head coach said left tackle Taylor Lewan’s performance in the second half should be the standard for him moving forward.
Titans return man Adoree’ Jackson was visibly upset with himself after making a fair catch late at the 14-yard line, with defenders roughly 10 yards away.
Jackson used a fair catch on both returns on Sunday.
“I say a lot of guys left some yards out there,” Vrabel said. “We have to make sure that he has confidence in the guys that are blocking for him. I think he does. I think he was frustrated by not getting the ball, and getting upfield. So we’ll try and coach it up the best that we can and move on.”
Short Week vs Jaguars
The Titans face the Jaguars in just three days.
The team began work on Monday with a stretch, and meetings.
“We don’t have any time to sit here, and waste,” Vrabel said. “There is no day off.”
Vrabel said the Titans will coach through some of the corrections this week while looking ahead to the Jaguars.
Vrabel said Jacksonville’s defense, which pitched a shutout in a 6-0 win over the Colts on Sunday, is tough.
“(They’re) really good – fast, and in the top of the league in just about every category,” Vrabel said. “It will be a difficult challenge to be able to move the football on them.”