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Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson got his NFL start as a scout with the New England Patriots Josh Bellamy Jersey , the same team his new head coach Mike Vrabel won three Super Bowl rings as a linebacker.
Yes, it seems like the Titans are trying to implement the Patriot Way in Music City.
Vrabel said that’s what it looks like – until the Titans win big themselves.
”You have to be able to win championships before people start giving you ways to do things,” Vrabel said Monday. ”So that’ll be our ultimate goal. … Until we can win a championship doing that, there’s not going to be this Titan Way. It will be talked about in the building. But people from outside the building, they won’t believe in us, they won’t have faith in us until you win.”
The Titans introduced Vrabel as their new coach Monday. They agreed to terms with Vrabel on Saturday , just five days after firing Mike Mularkey coming off the franchise’s first playoff win in 14 years.
This is the first head coaching job for Vrabel, 42.
Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk noted Robinson and Vrabel have known each other for years. She also likes Vrabel’s experience and vision for building on back-to-back 9-7 seasons.
”I believe he will do everything he can to bring this town a championship,” Strunk said.
Vrabel is coming off his first season as defensive coordinator for the Texans. Vrabel started his NFL career in Pittsburgh under coach Bill Cowher before signing with New England under coach Bill Belichick, and he finished in Kansas City. In 2011 Jeff Heath Jersey , he joined the staff at his alma mater, Ohio State, coaching linebackers and then defensive linemen.
He said nobody’s ever really ready to be a head coach for the first time in the NFL, though Vrabel feels as ready as he can be thanks to his doctorate degree in coaching he picked up working with some of the best in the game.
”There will be things that I take from New England, from Pittsburgh, from Ohio State, from Houston,” Vrabel said. ”I mean there will be things that I take from everywhere. You draw on these experiences just like everybody else would in life … The nice thing is now there’s things that I didn’t like that Billy did, I get to change them. So there’s things I like that he did, I get to use them.”
Vrabel went to Houston in 2014 and coached linebackers with the Texans for three seasons before becoming coordinator. The Texans won the AFC South in 2015 and 2016 thanks in part to strong defenses. The unit slipped this season amid injuries to players including J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.
Building on the Titans’ playoff win in Kansas City means putting Marcus Mariota in position to blossom. Whoever Vrabel hires as his offensive coordinator will be Mariota’s third going into his fourth NFL season Jeremiah George Jersey , and Ohio State co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day reportedly is the early favorite for the job in Tennessee.
”I think Amy’s going to trust me to hire the right guy for Marcus,” Vrabel said. ”Jon’s going to trust me to hire the right guy for Marcus or I wouldn’t have been hired.”
And Vrabel made it very clear he knows the potential for Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 pick overall in 2015. He recalled Mariota pulling a hamstring Oct. 1 against the Texans.
”A special talent, a special kid, and I can’t wait to work with him and help him through taking that next step in his career,” Vrabel said.
This was Robinson’s first head coaching search since being hired in January 2016, two days before the Titans took the interim tag off Mularkey. The Titans went 21-22 with Mularkey taking a team that had the NFL’s worst record at 5-27 combined over 2014 and 2015 to a team that lost in the AFC divisional round to New England.
Mularkey was fired less than 48 hours after that loss. The Titans interviewed only three people with Vrabel first to meet with them Thursday. The Titans also interviewed Carolina defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur .
Former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck is leaving his high-ranking position at the NCAA to become commissioner of the XFL, the second edition of professional wrestling mogul Vince McMahon’s football league.
McMahon announced the hire Tuesday, four months after unveiling plans to relaunch the XFL, which folded in 2001 after its only season. The new XFL is scheduled to begin in 2020. Luck will start his new job July 1.
He said the XFL presents an opportunity to reimagine football Jason Spezza Jersey , from how it is played to how it is delivered and consumed by fans.
“Opportunities like this come along very infrequently,” Luck told AP in a phone interview. “You’ve got Vince, who is a visionary. A well-capitalized effort. A guy who has passion for the game, but realizes that there are others who have lived and breathed the game for decades who he was able to bring on board.
“An incredibly fascinating time in terms of technology that exists to engage fans. All of those combined led me to believe the key ingredients to a successful launch are there to deliver great football, which I think was one of the failings of the original league.”
Luck said McMahon assured him the XFL will be a more serious endeavor than the first time around, when the league tried to use some of the WWE’s sexed-up, tough-talking antics to spice up second-rate football.
“Vince and others have really looked clear-eyed at the original XFL and acknowledged there wasn’t enough focus put on the game itself,” Luck said.
Luck, the father of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, played four seasons for the Houston Oilers after being drafted in the second round out of West Virginia in 1982. He graduated from University of Texas law school in 1987.
Luck went on to a successful career in sports management in the professional and college ranks. He joined the NCAA in 2014 as executive vice president of regulatory affairs and strategic partnerships.
Luck has served as president of the now defunct NFL Europe and was general manager for two of the league’s teams in Germany. He was later president and general manager of the Houston Dynamo Dave Robinson Jersey , leading the franchise to two MLS Cup titles. Before joining the NCAA, he spent four years as athletic director of West Virginia, orchestrating the school’s move to the Big 12.
“Oliver and I share the same vision and passion for reimagining the game of football,” McMahon said in a statement. “His experience as both an athlete and executive will ensure the long-term success of the XFL.”
At the NCAA, Luck oversaw all NCAA enforcement, academic and membership affairs and athlete eligibility.
“Oliver Luck has been a key member of my leadership team and he has done a superb job at the NCAA over the last three years,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement. “His vision and insight have been invaluable to our schools and the national office. Oliver’s values and leadership skills helped keep the Association focused on supporting student-athletes.”
The XFL plans to have eight league-owned teams, 40-man rosters and a 10-week regular season during the NFL’s offseason. Host cities and stadiums are now being sought by the league through requests for proposals.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at Twitter/ralphDrussoAP
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