NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mike Vrabel is all about no excuses. Find out the rules, coach guys up according to them and play.

But as Sunday’s Steelers-Titans gane hangs in the air as the team and the league sort out eight new positive COVID-19 tests following up Shane Bowen’s Saturday entry into the coronavirus protocol, the team’s tone may almost be asking the NFL to keep things on schedule.

Is keeping things on schedule what’s best for the team, words we hear Vrabel utter constantly?


(Photo by Mark Humphrey, AP via pool.)

The Titans are out of their headquarters until Saturday, Dianna Russini reported and I confirmed. [Unlocked]

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Scout's take: Jeffery Simmons' big game, Malcolm Butler's coverage and Arthur Smith's plan

BY BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vikings had their own game plan going into the Week 3 matchup against the Titans. 

The Titans' first two opponents gave a clear blueprint on how to stop the Titans’ run game and how to block Titans’ defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons to limit his effectiveness. The Vikings ignored both strategies and struggled to adjust throughout the game. VikingsShip

Simmons was a handful one-on-one against the interior offensive line of the Vikings. Minnesota had no answer and foolishly never adjusted. 

DaQuan Jones was also outstanding controlling his one-on-one blocks easily against the interior offensive lineman and the inside run game.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans play-caller and outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen was put into COVID-19 protocol Saturday morning and didn’t travel with the team to Minnesota.


Tennessee’s defense struggled but the Titans managed a 31-30 win and moved to 3-0.

Bowen’s absence from the game was first reported jointly by and AtoZ Sports. [Unlocked]

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Titans write a list of things to correct, find a way to win late again

MINNEAPOLIS – On a small, secondary ribbon board at U.S. Bank Stadium, the message spoke to the Titans.

“Progress is our purpose,” Land O’Lakes announced, in a slogan now 3-0 Tennessee could have commandeered as it overcame a third-quarter 12-point deficit to beat the host Vikings, 31-30.TitansVikings

In one on the NFL’s prized new venues, empty for all but a handful of player families I never noticed, a struggling defense was bailed out by a shoot-it-out offense, setting up a Sunday matchup of undefeated teams at Nissan Stadium when the Steelers visit and roughly 7,000 fans will get to watch.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – High-level college football starts today, and with it high-level NFL scouting.

I spoke to Jon Robinson about how COVID-19 restrictions are affecting how his scouting staff now do their jobs as games are played and practices are held.RobinsonGW

(Jon Robinson photo: George Walker, The Tennessean via pool.)

Here’s an outline of how things will work during this unusual season.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans concluded weeks of hiding Vic Beasley and made him available in a Zoom call with the media Friday, during which he mysteriously spoke of “disagreements” that prompted his 10-day unexcused absence at the start of camp and offered assurance that he does in fact love football.BeasleyZoom

“Any time you come to a new environment you want to have a great first impression,” he said. “You want to just show the people that you’re really, really into working with the team and want to be here. I’m excited. I feel like this is an opportunity to put myself back in that category of one of the elite pass rushers. This is a new start for me.”

This is an incredible statement.

It completely contradicts what he actually did.

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Scout's take: Titans should push around Vikings' defensive front like Colts did

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vikings will be minus their two best defensive players on Sunday versus the Titans.

Defensive end Danielle Hunter (on IR) and linebacker Anthony Barr (out for the season with a torn pectoral) will miss the game due to injuries; the Titans stand to get three weeks in a row of opposing teams that have lost their best players before they matchup.DavisHumphriesMH

(Photo by Mark Humphries, AP via pool)

Another big loss on the Vikings’ defense is run-stuffing defensive tackle Michael Pierce, who opted out before the season started.

These unfortunate circumstances for the opponent must be taken advantage of by the Titans.

Vikings Offense

Quarterback Kirk Cousins has had an up-and-down career. This season he has developed some bad habits. He is relying on wide receiver Adam Thielen too often. Thielen had twice as many targets in each of the first two games as any other receiver. He is also focusing on him on critical downs and not spreading the ball around.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The director of Nashville's health department drafted an approval letter to give the Titans and Nissan Stadium on Aug. 1 for a plan to have fans at the venue at the start of the season and was ready to greenlight it.

But Mayor John Cooper’s office squashed it, public records obtained by Nashville for a Rational COVID Policy and shared with show.NashvilleStadiumSkyline

Michael Caldwell, the director of the health department, wrote this email on July 30 to Bill Phillips, the mayor’s chief of staff, and Dr. Alex Jahangir, the Metro coronavirus task force chair:

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