As Titans move toward minicamp, Mike Vrabel pledges to monitor the pace

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the first phases of OTAs underway, Mike Vrabel and his staff finally have players in the building.

The temptation for a new, first-time head coach to push the pace must be strong.

But just like he said he wasn’t going to try to accelerate relationship building with Marcus Mariota and his teammates, he’s not going to hurry his guys in leaning the playbook.VrabelPads

(Photo courtesy Houston Texans.)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans have put more of an effort and more resources into building cosmetics and messaging since Amy Adams Strunk has controlled the purse strings.

I walked down a familiar hallway, that was unchanged, for Mike Vrabel's Monday press conference, and into a team auditorium that was slightly changed.

These two phrases that were on the wall during Mularkey's tenure are now gone:

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In their place are these two messages, which are also each on a second spot in the room:

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mike Vrabel said multiple time after he was hired that he and his staff wouldn’t really be coaches until they had players.

So Monday was a big transition day as he got to stand in front of a room of them as phase one of OTAs, which focuses on conditioning, got underway.IMG 8024

It’s voluntary and he said he didn’t take attendance, locking in on who was there. He a few players made their position coaches aware they wouldn’t make the first day and offered a bit about why.

The early message beyond introductions:

“[We] kind of talked about what we thought the expectations were, or what were our objectives for the first two weeks,” he said. “We talked about learning, conditioning, and communicating, and really that's what

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Tajae Sharpe on Titans' receivers: 'Whoever we come against, they are going to have to prove themselves'

SharpeNASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans gathered Monday morning, technically informally since OTAs are involuntary.

Mike Vrabel has talked about how a coach isn’t a coach until he has played, so in that regard, it’s opening day for him and his staff.

Among the many key components about what’s to unfold as the 2018 Titans are built is the young wide receiver group, which Matt LaFleur recently told some season ticket holders is undervalued.

The biggest change in the top four of Rishard Matthews, Corey Davis. Tajae Sharpe and Taywan Taylor is the re-emergence of Sharpe, who missed last season after a stress fracture in his foot was surgically repaired.

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pickers vodka 847x63NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We've arrived at the weekend and after a week with no mailbag, it's clear you were craving one.

So post uniform-reveal and pre-start of OTAs, let's dive into your best questions.

ProShopPK: Home teams get to choose what they wear, so in early season home games at Nissan Stadium, if they want to be in white they can so choose. You’re going to wind up in dark in warm conditions sometimes. I don’t know if it factored into their helmet color

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Steve Watterson, the Titans strength and conditioning coach for 32 seasons, is retiring.

TitansWeightRoomHe was the longest-tenured coach in the NFL with one team.

The 61-year old Watterson became an assistant head coach in 2006 and has been a real part of the franchise’s fabric since it was the Oilers in Houston

A prankster who liked to show off his own strength while mapping plans for players was regarded as a guy who evolved with the times. Multiple times he had repair surgery – I recall one on his neck and one on his back, but there were more -- and returned to work in short order against doctors orders.

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YAZOO PODCAST: Scouting three Titans' free-agent visitors

YAZOO podcast stripeNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jordan Matthews could be heading to New England, but he did visit the Titans. In my newest podcast, I share info from two scouts on Matthews, defensive tackle Boonie Logan and receiver Michael Campanaro, all free agents who recently visited Nashville.

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Part 1, like podcast versions of my public Periscope and Facebook Lives, is available through iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here. Feel free to hook us up with a rating and review on iTunes.

We always welcome your feedback.

If you're a member of the site, Part 1 and Part 2 are together, and all you have to do is head below the line.

Other topics: What the uniform creation process told us about how the Titans are being run, how Frank Wycheck is doing and why I love what David Poile told The Midday 180 about Eeli Tolvanen.

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After sleeping on it, I like the Titans' uniforms less

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – So I went to the radio station last night because it’s close to downtown and I knew I could get on the Internet.

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I wrote my initial review of the new Titans uniform look, did a Periscope/Facebook Live, posted a bunch of pictures on Twitter and Instagram, and put together a post on Frank Wycheck.

And I had a chance to see the more formal pictures the Titans sent out.

Then I got some sleep.

And after considering the Titans tradition evolved, I like it less.

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