— Buck Reising (@BuckReising) May 12, 2018
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — If we know anything about Mike Vrabel, it is that he intends to be hands-on.
May 11 marked the starting point of the Tennessee Titans three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp. Vrabel spent a good deal of time working with the young linebackers, a position that he played for 14 years in the NFL, during the individual period open to the media. Inside linebacker coach Tyrone McKenzie worked through the drills with the rookies as Vrabel barked out instructions and assignments.
It was clear it made an impression.
“It’s intense. I will say that,” responded the team’s 2018 first round pick Rashaan Evans when asked what it was like to have Vrabel involved. “I think that’s the good part about playing linebacker for Vrabel. He’s very specific about things that he wants and I feel like that’s what makes great linebackers.”
Tennessee sports the smallest draft class in the league this offseason with only four players.
Evans in the first round out of Alabama, followed by Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry (Round 2), defensive back Dane Cruikshank from Arizona and Washington State quarterback Luke Falk make up the team’s draft selectiona. In addition, 22 undrafted rookies, 21 tryout players and sophomore quarterback Tyler Ferguson (brought in, likely as an extra camp arm) are all listed on the team’s rookie minicamp roster.
Nervousness from the rookies is common and is to be expected at this time of year. Vrabel made it clear, though, that leadership is expected of the Top 2 picks to ensure that everyone is up to speed when the veterans return on Monday.
The rookie head coach plans to involve himself in every aspect of his team, as well.
“I think that’s just kind of how it went today,” said Vrabel of his work with the linebackers. “There was something going on and a coverage that was being put in that I wanted to go over there and kind of show them and work with Rashaan and Tyrone and the rest of the backers. I try to get around to all the (position) groups. I try to see what everybody’s doing, just like I try to get into the meeting rooms and see what’s going on and help coach this team and help our assistant coaches try to reach their guys.”