Tennessee Titans extend Mike Vrabel and Jon Robinson, simple as it sounds
Before the end of the lengthy interview, seated in the dining room of a hotel in Mobile, Alabama, Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson was asked if he had any final message for the fans as the team enters the 2022 offseason crowd.
He referenced a conversation with coach Mike Vrabel and dominant owner Amy Adams Strunk after the disappointing playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
“One thing I talked to Mike and Amy about after the game is that we don’t have to fix the culture,” Robinson told the Tennessean on Feb. 3. “It’s not broken. It’s set in stone.
“It was broken when I got here,” Robinson said. “It’s not broken now.”
That’s why top Titans decision makers are keeping the unit together for the foreseeable future.
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The Titans announced contract extensions for Robinson and Vrabel on Tuesday as general manager and coach. Terms of the deals were not disclosed, but the decision for Strunk was as easy as it sounds. Robinson and Vrabel not only have a winning plan in place since their arrival, but they are also maintaining it. Investing in both for the long term only made sense. .
The Titans had five combined wins from 2014-15, but won nine in 2016, Robinson’s first season as general manager. Within a year, he received a promotion, adding executive vice president to his role. After Vrabel was hired as a coach in 2018, Robinson’s contract was extended until 2022, to match Vrabel’s deal. And together, the two continued to take the team to unknown heights.
The Titans are one of two franchises — the other being the Kansas City Chiefs — that have posted a winning record in each of the past six seasons. And Tennessee has made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, including the first consecutive division titles for the franchise since winning three straight with the Houston Oilers from 1960 to 1962.
The Titans reached the AFC Championship Game in 2019 and this season earned the franchise’s first No. 1 seed since 2008. And it all came through despite using 91 players, a record the NFL for a strike-free season. It’s a credit to Vrabel’s ability to prepare the team, regardless of personnel, and Robinson’s ability to identify talent.
Vrabel and Robinson made the Titans a contending team. Their next challenge is to make them a champion team. In 2021, offensive struggles sank the title hopes of a roster built to win now.
It’s a good problem to have and surely better than the eight straight seasons the Titans missed the playoffs from 2009 to 2016.
The change of success is why Robinson and Vrabel aren’t going anywhere.
“I told the fans we were going to win and we did,” Robinson told the Tennessean. “We didn’t hit the jackpot, but just know that’s the goal.
“One week at a time, let’s put ourselves in a position to get closer to that.