It does not happen often so we have to give credit where credit is due, Mike Vrabel admitted he is a human being.
The Titans head coach mystified virtually everyone with his choice to forego an easy field goal on 4th and 1 Sunday and Monday he admitted that choice was a mistake.
“I think that if given the opportunity, I think probably the proper decision not knowing if you’re going to get it is to go up three scores.” Vrabel admitted, “That’s how it goes, you make a decision that’s decisive. Again, I always think we’re going to get it when we go for it. If I get the chance to do it again like everybody else, just be better and go up three scores. I just wanted to try to put the game away.”
A field goal would have put the game away. The Titans led 24-10 in the fourth quarter and three more points would have made it a three possession game making a Falcon comeback almost impossible. Instead Derrick Henry got dropped for a two yard loss keeping the Falcons still in the game with former MVP Matt Ryan and superstar Julio Jones on offense.
So was it simply the head coach getting caught up in the moment? If it was he was not admitting that.
Vrabel says they decisions are all discussed in advance, “we talk about it. Once Arthur (Smith) makes the play call, the conversation is where do we want to go with the next one, and what do we want to do. In that particular instance, it’s if we get down there close enough, I know what plays we have in short yardage and do we feel good about it. But I don’t think that there was any panic, I don’t think that it was late to get it. So, those are the decisions that we make through the course of the game.”
It was an aggressive call from a man not far removed from his playing career and “risky” moves are often popular with players who love a “go for it” mentality.
Vrabel has shown a willingness to be aggressive consistently. The week before in a loss at Jacksonville he rolled the dice on a big fourth down play down 17-0 against the Jaguars. He came up empty on that one as well, but it did not slow him down in Atlanta.
Where does the risk taker in him come from? He says he is not sure and, “You try to look and see how things are going, what the flow of the game is, what might give you the best chance to win. Just trying to study it each and every week and try to play out the game in your mind and what you would do in certain situations.”
If that situation comes up again and he goes for it again he would be wrong again… And he knows it.