As expected, Tennessee Titans fire head coach Mike Vrabel

By Lydia Jane Allison

Mike Vrabel with the Titans in 2022. By All Pro Reels – https photos joeglo, CC BY-SA 2.0, https


Michael George Vrabel (/ˈvrbəl/; born August 14, 1975) is an American football coach and former linebacker. He most recently served as the head coach of the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL) from 2018 to 2023.

Vrabel was dismissed from the Titans on January 9, 2024, following a 6–11 record in the 2023–24 season.

On January 20, 2018, Vrabel was hired as the head coach of the Tennessee Titans on a five-year deal. On September 16, 2018, Vrabel beat the Houston Texans 20–17 in Week 2 for his first career win as a head coach. On September 30, 2018, he led the Titans to a 26–23 overtime victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in a Week 4 upset. On November 11, 2018, Vrabel beat his former longtime coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in a 34–10 Week 10 victory. Under Vrabel, the Titans’ defense improved from the 13th-ranked defense in 2017 to the eighth-ranked defense in 2018. Vrabel and the Titans narrowly missed the playoffs by one game and finished the 2018 season with a 9–7 record.

The 2019 season saw the Titans once again finish 9–7; however, this would be enough to make the playoffs as a sixth seed. During a 16–0 shutout loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 6, Vrabel elected to bench quarterback Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill, a move that led to the Titans winning seven of their final ten games despite starting 2–4.

In the wild-card round, Tennessee upset the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 20–13, led by running back Derrick Henry‘s 204 yards from scrimmage, to advance to the divisional round. The Titans pulled off another upset against the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens, winning 28–12 behind another breakout performance from Henry with 202 scrimmage yards along with a passing touchdown on a trick play. With the victory, the Titans advanced to their first AFC Championship in seventeen seasons, where they were eliminated by the eventual Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs 35–24. For his work in the 2021–22 NFL season, he was named the AP Coach of the Year.

Amy Adams Strunk in 2020. By Tennessee Titans – https, CC BY 3.0, https

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk released the following statement on Tuesday, January 9:

“Earlier today, I spoke with Mike Vrabel and told him about my decision to make a change at head coach. As I told Coach Vrabel, this decision was as difficult as any I’ve made as Controlling Owner. I appreciate Mike’s contributions to the Tennessee Titans both on and off the field. Anyone who has ever met him knows how passionate and genuine he is, and he’s been a strong supporter of the Nashville community. We wish Mike, Jen, and the Vrabel family nothing but the best in the future.

As the NFL continues to innovate and evolve, I believe the teams best positioned for sustained success will be those who empower an aligned and collaborative team across all football functions. Last year, we began a shift in our approach to football leadership and made several changes to our personnel to advance that plan. As I continued to assess the state of our team, I arrived at the conclusion that the team would also benefit from the fresh approach and perspective of a new coaching staff.

I believe the Tennessee Titans can and will be a premier National Football League franchise. It’s what our fans deserve, and there will be hard decisions along the way. My decision today is not only a reflection of my disappointment in our past two seasons, but also my recognition that further changes are necessary to fully achieve our vision.

I will never shy away from acknowledging that I have unapologetically high expectations for the football team and every aspect of the Titans organization. Our vision is not simply to produce more wins than losses, it is to regularly compete for championships. While this season was disappointing, I see early signs of progress taking shape. Last year we added a promising young quarterback and several other talented players to our roster. With a coaching search, enviable cap space, and top-10 draft position, this offseason is as important as any in our history. I’m excited for the weeks and months ahead. We will meet the moment.”


*1-5 against division opponents

*finished 28th in the NFL in total offense

*finished 18th in total defense, Vrabel’s forte





Posted in NFL