Mike Vrabel lands a mentor to help coach Titans' defense

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In Dean Pees, Mike Vrabel brings in one of his mentors to mentor his new roster.

Recently retired as defensive coordinator in Baltimore, Pees has done an about-face and will take on the same role with the Tennessee Titans for his one-time pupil.

The two worked together with the Patriots.

The news came to light via the high school where Pees’ son, Matt Pees, was coaching. Matt Pees is also joining the Titans staff.

Pees, 68, replaces Dick LeBeau, 80, as the Titans defensive coordinator.

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Yes, it's lame by the league not to sell Titans Pro Bowl jerseys

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – So Delanie Walker won offensive MVP at the NFL’s annual glorified seven-on-seven game and people can’t buy his IMG 6111jersey.

Fans were pissed heading into the game that there were no Titans jerseys on sale. Walker, Kevin Byard and Brynden Trawick were alternates added later, so I think they may be understandable.

But Jurrell Casey, Taylor Lewan and Brett Kern were on the initial roster.

Most years I’d say they did you a favor and saved you some money. But these jerseys are actually easy on the eye compared to a lot of Pro Bowl versions.

And whether I think you should buy them or not, they should be available.

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Pickers mailbag: Position coaches before coordinators?

pickers vodka 847x63NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We're in a bit of an odd hold with the Titans: Expecting a lot of news but seeing only a trickle as Mike Vrabel begins to assemble his staff.

He spoke to The Midday 180 on Friday, as did John Robinson. You can find both those interviews here, where you can also subscribe to our show's podcasted interviews. Additionally, you can find and subscribe to the weekly podcast of this site, co-hosted by Madison Blevins, here.

PickersFour 1The show heads to Minnesota Monday evening, and we will have some top-flight guests, headlined by some Pro Football Hall Of Fame finalists.

Thanks to Pickers Vodka for sponsoring the mailbag post. Buy a bottle for your liquor cabinet, give one as a gift and give them a shoutout on Twitter. While you're at it, grab a special Predators six-pack of Music City Light. Please drink responsibly.

Onto your questions... 

Craig Murray More of a university paper than a question but here goes ...

When I look at teams with a history of excellence, I see teams that have ownership committed to building a culture of excellence that permeates the entire organization and is reflected in management, coaches, and the players. When these

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Maybe we are already seeing how Mike Vrabel works Plan B

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In Mike Mularkey’s successor, we all want a coach far more capable of having and using a Plan B, or even a Plan C.

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If we want to see that put in practice by Mike Vrabel, perhaps we don’t have to wait until he’s game-planning.

I wrote earlier this week that people should calm down about what we believe to be swings and misses at coordinators Ryan Day on offense and James Bettcher on defense.

It seems reasonable to think, based on Adam Schefter’s reporting, that Day was Vrabel’s Plan A. After mulling an offer he decided to pass, according to Schefter. But we are not sure.

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Twenty-six Titans' position coaches since 2011, ranked

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mike Vrabel’s first known coaching hire is Kerry Coombs, Ohio State’s defensive back’s coach.

That’s according to Yahoo’s Pete Thamel.

easonWe aren’t sure Coombs’ role yet.

As Vrabel starts to put together his staff, I thought it was a good time to look at just what the Titans have had under Mike Munchak, Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Mularkey.

I set aside coordinators as well as assistants who did not have the lead working with a position. A few friends with insight took a look and influenced some things.

After a long night of remembering stuff and shuffling them around, here are 26 position coaches from 2011-2017, ranked:

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Relax about Mike Vrabel 'misses' on Ryan Day, James Bettcher

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There is a plan and a method to how Mike Vrabel is piecing his staff together, I have no doubt.

“Just like we do with players, we're not going to rush into decisions,” he said. “We're going to sleep on things. We're going to get the right guys in here for our team.

Later he told Jim Wyatt at the Senior Bowl: “You only get so many cracks at this thing. I am not going to hire a bunch of my buddies – I don’t have that many of them. I don’t think that is the way to go. I am looking for the right guys, the best guys to coach our team.”

I love that his staff won’t be filled with his buddies. Staff filled with friends can look like Mike Mularkey's did when he had Terry Robiskie and Bob Bratkowski as big parts of his offense.

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PODCAST: The start of the Titans under Mike Vrabel

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Episode 2 of our podcast-only podcast is ready for you.

Part 1, like podcast versions of my public Periscope and Facebook Lives, is available through iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here.

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.

With my co-host Madison Blevins, we hit on early impressions of Mike Vrabel, what early indications say about his staff assembly, what's coming with revised uniforms, crediting outlets that break stories and much more.

Dig in and please let us know what you think.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The 2017 Tennessee Titans won over some fans, but plenty of others weren’t buying.

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We talked about it a great deal in this space, the disconnect between the Titans and Music City.

There were a lot of factors. But Mike Mularkey, Terry Robiskie and an uninventive offense ranked as biggies.

I do believe there were fans who were put off by the hiring process in 2016, when CEO Steve Underwood wondered why anyone would have had an issue with the search that produced a promotion for Mularkey from interim coach to coach. (Note accompanying tweet from Jan. 18, 2016.)

That scorn rose when they saw a stubborn Mularkey fail to advance, or sometimes even maintain, the Titans’ offense in his second year.

The exact thing many fans feared with the hire came to fruition in Year 2, even as the team managed a second consecutive 9-7 record, this one with a playoff berth and a playoff victory.

So, with Mularkey gone and replaced with Mike Vrabel, I’d like to know, is the new coach a box office draw?

There is a lot still to learn, starting with who is on his staff.

There is free agency and there is the draft.

Renewal notices are due to land around the start of February for season ticket holders. Were you thinking you might not renew? Have things changed for you?

If you're not a season-ticket person and you had to decide right now on investing in some tickets for next year, are you more likely to do so now than you were 365 days ago?

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