Team reacts to first practice without Mike Vrabel

Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Titans took to the practice field today and did so without their head coach.

Mike Vrabel said yesterday over Zoom he had tested positive for COVID-19. So now, the show must go on without him.

“Everybody has to do a little bit more,” said defensive coordinator Shane Bowen. “Just like we tell the players, ‘When somebody goes down it is the next man up.’ Everybody just has to take on a little bit more. You lose a little bit, obviously with his presence like you mentioned, but we have to be able to pick up the slack and get these guys going and be able to get things accomplished.”

The “next man up” to lead the practice was special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman. He spoke to the team before practice and lead throughout the afternoon session.

“I think Auck (Craig Aukerman) took good care of the team and made sure we were on point with everything. I think he did a good job filling in for coach,” said linebacker David Long Jr.

But, Aukerman wasn’t alone.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson also got his hands dirty. It’s not unusual to see Robinson helping with drills and standing on the sideline watching practice in-person, but today he called a timeout and made a point of being even more hands on than he usually is.

Rookie first rounder Caleb Farley said having a personal relationship with the general manager is helpful to him and it’s great to see him out there.

Additionally, Bowen was caught up in the Titans outbreak from last season and offered some words of advice to the head coach:

“Get your rest and take your meds. Hopefully we get him back sooner than I got back last year.”

Vrabel has to produce two negative tests in a 48 hour window before he is allowed to return to the team.

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