NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Frank Piraino, strength and conditioning coach at Boston College, is expected to accept the same post with the Titans.

Mike Vrabel parted with Tom Kanavy right after the season ended. Kanavy held the job for one season after the late retirement of long-timer Steve Watterson.

Vrabel likely built a connection with Piraino as Tyler Vrabel was recruited by BC and just played his freshman season there as an offensive lineman. [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans suffered a serious blow with the Packers' reported decision to hire Matt LaFleur as their next head coach, putting them in position to have a fifth offensive coordinator in five years.

That simply kills the continuity for Marcus Mariota and the offense and puts Mike Vrabel under pressure to make a big hire for his quarterback heading into his staff's second season.LaFleurRobisonIndy

There will be six remaining head coaches vacancies and seven staffs that need to fill out, so it will benefit Vrabel if some of the best offensive minds do not wind up with jobs and he can interview coaches like Adam Gase, Todd Monken and maybe Kliff Kingsbury as well as, on the older end of the spectrum, Jim Caldwell though he figures to be more married to his ways. [Unlocked]

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Scout's take: Must-read Titans' roster review

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The all-encompassing, one-stop, player-by-player, post-season scouting report you need on the Titans... 

QB Marcus Mariota – A franchise QB, when healthy, but the health is an issue. It is hard for a scout to discuss injuries but we discuss the availability of the player. When he plays he gives the team a chance each and every week to win, when he doesn’t, there is very little hope for a W. Mariota is tough, team player, a leader, very athletic, with good arm strength, accurate, has excellent speed as a runner, good avoid in the pocket and very good escapability. He still struggles with


holding the ball too long, when the pass protection breaks down. This is an issue he needs to correct this season to help keep him healthy and also to avoid negative plays. He still is high on throws to his right side outside the numbers. He throws a very accurate corner route to either side, but deep outs are an issue. Mariota is a winner and can be a championship QB, but he needs consistency from the coaching staff and players around him. He also needs playmakers. There are NO true playmakers on this team. Derrick Henry flashed, Taywan Taylor was there on a few deep passes, but no one else makes plays to help out the QB.

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Pickers mailbag: My ideal new backup for Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As you provided such a great batch of questions this week, we will jump right in.

Mark Hankins How does a coach determine if the strength coach is good or not? Watterson was a lifer, but the next guy and his asst were fired after a year

PK: The Titans had very good injury fortune in Steve Watterson last few years. But there were plenty of years where they had bad injury luck when he was in the post. There are things the strength and conditioning coach program can help with, but it’s a violent physical sport and guys are going to get hurt in ways no conditioning program can prevent.


I don’t think moving on from Tom Kanavy and Taylor Porter is necessarily an indictment of their work. I think Mike Vrabel wants to install a specific program that is to his liking and I think he has had someone in mind from when he was hired, someone who was under contract through this year It could be Mickey Marotti from Ohio State or Troy Sutton who was at Ohio State and is now with the Minnesota Timberwolves. I’ve also heard some informed speculation that it could be Dave Kennedy, who was on Dirk Koetter’s staff in Tampa Bay.

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Three veterans Titans think 2018 was best defense they've played on

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans were proud of a team defense that didn’t produce a lot of individual numbers but did better work as a collective in 2018.

Yardage-wise, the team ranked eighth in the NFL, 18th against the run and sixth against the pass.


The Titans were 10th on third down, third in points, and second in red-zone D, all numbers they can be satisfied with and still grow on. The one area they had just 17 takeaways, a middling number.

Three veterans Titans said they felt like it may have been the best defense they’ve played on.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans' coaching staff in 2019 is in line to look very much like it did in 2018.Coombs

Matt LaFleur is interviewing for the Packers head coaching job Sunday and Dean Pees is taking some time to decide if his health allows him to continue. So change at coordinator remains possible, though special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman remains in place.

Strength and conditioning coach Tom Kanavy has been let go as has one of his assistants, Taylor Porter.

But each of the team's position coaches will be back for a second year, with Mike Vrabel clearly expecting continued player growth and additional talent to help them all. [Unlocked]

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Matt LaFleur's interview in Green Bay is Sunday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Matt LaFleur’s interview for the head-coaching job of the Green Bay Packers is scheduled for Sunday, which gives him a lot of time to prepare to wow team president Mark Murphy.

He’s one of seven known candidates for the job. Jim Caldwell and Chuck Pagano have already interviewed. Josh McDaniels, Brian Flores, Mike Munchak and Dan Campbell will.LaFleurGabbertPlayoffs

LaFleur has the least experience of that group, one year less than Flores in the NFL, but one year more than him with a coordinator title.

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mariotaProfile123118NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Now Marcus Mariota rests and heals.

It’s a familiar process for a quarterback who Monday showed he’s just as frustrated with his most recent injury, and the ones before it, as the fans of the Titans are.

Robert Watkins, rated by many as the top-rated spine specialist in the world, examined Mariota after he suffered his first stinger, Nov. 18 in Indianapolis. The quarterback went to Southern California for that visit. [Unlocked]

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