NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Natural-born leader is a cliché, but it fits Mike Vrabel like a well-tailored tailored suit.

His leadership style may be a turnoff to some. It’s clear he can be heavy-handed. Wesley Woodyard has said the coach doesn’t deal well with people who have differing opinions.


Pool photo, Mark Humphrey, AP

I think it’s fair to say it’s imperfect leadership. But it can unquestionably be effective leadership. People will follow him. Plenty of players and the Titans’ organization certain have during his three years. Jon Robinson said when he hired Vrabel he wanted a “leader of men." He certainly hit on that.

Vrabel's own qualities as a leader certainly shape how he thinks about leaders in his locker room.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We don’t have a full picture of how the Titans’ salary cap expenditures for 2021 will look, but we have a pretty good sense at this point.

Maybe something happens to a big-dollar guy between now and opening day, but it’s not real likely. Maybe they still add someone costly.

Right now, only the most expensive 51 players count against the cap.


I found this graphic from former Jets GM and Dolphins president Mike Tannenbaum interesting. Tannenbaum is now part of The 33rd Team, a collective of former coaches and GMs who analyze the NFL.

This gives us a sense of how recent Super-Bowl participants have allocated cap resources by position as opposed to the league average.

The chart was part of a bigger story that looked into salary cap allocations.

I plugged the Titans’ current numbers into the same groupings to see how they measured against this.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans had just 31 players to work with at Saturday’s rookie minicamp practice session.

Rules limited teams to five tryout players, they brought in only four and one, former Vanderbilt wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb fell out after a tough start with a lot of drops.


Pool photo/ Mark Humphrey, AP

First-round draft pick Caleb Farley wasn’t a part of things as he continues to rehab from back surgery and third-rounder Elijah Molden (injury unknown) did only a little work at the end, moving very gingerly.

Some thoughts on what they ran through in 90 minutes:

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Once a premier defensive lineman who could leapfrog blockers to make a crucial stop for the Titans at what’s now Nissan Stadium, Albert Haynesworth was a different man in recent years, battling kidney disease and, ultimately, waiting in line for a transplant.

“I felt horrible,” he said. “You don’t understand how many things your kidneys affect when they don’t work. I mean, my skin, my strength, holding water, my overall feeling. I had to really, really limit myself on fluids. It was awful. It became the new norm for me.”


Courtesy Albert Haynesworth

Three times a week he endured nearly five hours of dialysis.

Then a hero emerged, a physical therapist assistant from Crossett, Ark. who had twice before offered to donate his kidney but saw those opportunities for his great generosity dissipate.

On April 15th, Dr. David Shaffer of Vanderbilt Hospital stacked Zach Penny’s healthy, left kidney on top of Haynesworth’s right kidney, giving him a bulge and much more.

“Now I feel better, I see changes in my body,” Haynesworth said. “Now I am kind of discovering another new norm.”

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Notes and thoughts on the Titans’ 2021 schedule.


Travel: The two big road trips are well spaced. The Seattle trip is Week 2, sandwiched between home games. The Sunday Night Football trip to the Rams comes on the heels of a trip to Indianapolis, and the long, late trip back is followed by two home games. Overall, not too bad.

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