NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans have never had separate coaches for insider and outside linebackers before.

But among the coaches introduced to the local media Wednesday were outside linebacker coach Shane Bowen and inside linebacker coach Tyrone McKenzie.BowenMcKenzie

Former NFL linebacker Mike Vrabel, who played both inside and out, will officially look at the two jobs in a base 3-4 as different ones.

For the first time, the Titans will split their linebackers, with Bowen coaching outside linebackers (he’s on the left in the picture) and McKenzie coaching inside linebacker.

Both spoke of how the two spots might share a name but qualify as different positions.

It seems a smart move considering just how dissimilar Jayon Brown’s job is from Brian Orakpo’s.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Marcus Mariota is at a career crossroads as he heads into his fourth year.

He’s got new, better coaching resources who are going to rebuild his mechanics and build an offense around him.

Offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur said he doesn’t want Mariota to hold back in speaking up about what works for him and what doesn’t.MariotaThrowKC

That is something all the top quarterbacks do, as they graduate to being a stakeholder in their offense.

The mild-mannered quarterback has to accept that invitation.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans coach Mike Vrabel stayed true to a promise not to fill his staff with buddies.

TyroneMcKenzieOf the dozen coaches the Titans introduced to the media Wednesday, eight didn’t previously know Vrabel personally before they connected with him for their new jobs.

Those seven: Offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, special teams coach Craig Aukerman, offensive line coach Keith Carter, running back coach Tony Dews, inside linebacker coach Tyrone McKenzie (pictured), wide receiver coach Rob Moore, tight end coach Arthur Smith and defensive line coach Terrell Williams.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Steve Watterson, who’s been with the Tennessee Titans since their days in Houston as the Oilers, is officialy part of Mike Vrabel’s first staff.TitansWeightRoom

Watterson joined the Oilers in 1986 and will head into his 32nd season working for his seventh head coach.

The Titans had great luck on the healthy front over the last two seasons.

I had one source who told me he thought Mke Mularkey worked the team too hard.

Whether he did or didn’t, some fans took a string of a couple foot injuries in 2016 and a few hamstring issues in 2017 as a big deal.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No one cares about the set up for hundreds of radio stations participating in car wash interviews of people connected to the NFL.

The Mall of America experience could have been anywhere. There was no local flavor, and banners that announced we were in the “Bold North” didn’t get the job done.

The NFL doesn’t care about it and maybe it shouldn’t.

But here’s something it should care about: The Wounded Warriors who were regulars on Radio Row struggled to navigate the tight quarters amid some very poor logistics.

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Hall of Fame class of 2018 is complete after an eight-hour selection committee meeting:

  • HallLogoBobby Bethard, contributor
  • Robert Brazile, LB
  • Brian Dawkins, S
  • Jerry Kramer, G
  • Ray Lewis, LB
  • Randy Moss, WR
  • Terrell Owens, WR
  • Brian Urlacher, LB

Forty-seven of us heard presentations on behalf of the 18 candidates – one contributor candidate, two senior candidates and 15 modern candidates.

Here are my thoughts about the day and the results:

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The Titans have made big changes that they expect will produce a better product on the field.

And their fans are certainly going to expect it considering the team is raising ticket prices across the board. The increases range from $2-$12 per seat.Titans3logos

Even with the hikes, the Titans will continue to rank as one of the cheapest tickets in the NFL. But given that fans in a lot of markets are finding more reasons to stay home, I’m sure many of you will cringe at the news.

Amy Adams Strunk wrote a letter to go in a season-ticket package that was emailed out this morning.

“In the enclosed paperwork, you will see an increase in pricing for your tickets this year,” she wrote. “I trust you can see the progress we are making as a football team and can see the direct results of your investment.

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