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Volume 24 No. 216
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Titans GM Jon Robinson Gets "CEO Head Coach" With Hiring Of Texans' Mike Vrabel

The Titans yesterday formally introduced Mike Vrabel as their new coach, and it is "clear that Vrabel was always" Titans GM Jon Robinson's top choice, as his plan "appeared to be to hire a CEO head coach and strong leader to help lead the Titans down the Patriots' path," according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com. Robinson after firing Mike Mularkey talked about "how important it was for the head coach, general manager and ownership to be aligned in vision, philosophy, everything." Wolfe wrote there is "plenty of reason to trust Robinson's judgment in making this move," but the "pressure is on Robinson now to bring the Titans a championship" (ESPN.com, 1/20). In Nashville, Joe Rexrode writes Vrabel in his introductory press conference was "good, which is no surprise." Vrabel can "command a room, as he clearly did when he interviewed" for the job with Robinson and Titans Controlling Owner Amy Adams Strunk. Robinson "is the personnel guy," but he and Vrabel have "known each other going back a long way, to their days with the Patriots." Vrabel said theirs will be “the most critical relationship in the building.” He said that Robinson "will have the final say on that 53rd guy but 'If you don’t agree on 1 through 52, they’ve probably hired the wrong guy'" (Nashville TENNESEAN, 1/23). NBCSN's Chris Simms said Vrabel has a "head coach personality, the ability to command the room, stand there in front of the podium and you're going to listen" ("PFT," NBCSN, 1/23).

THE PATRIOT WAY: THE MMQB's Peter King noted last season as a first-year defensive coordinator with the Texans, Vrabel "oversaw a defense that finished dead last in points allowed and was 20th in yards allowed." But it was his "commanding presence, and his pedigree as a player, that helped him get hot this month" and eventually land the Titans job. Vrabel's hiring also "continues a trend of hires and moves and interviews with Bill Belichick’s fingerprints all over them." It has been an "amazing January, actually, if you consider what a tribute it’s been to Belichick and the Patriots." Other than Jon Gruden to the Raiders, seven teams that have "shuffled or are shuffling coaching staffs or front offices have Patriot tributaries" (SI.com, 1/22).