Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans coach Mike Vrabel held a press conference on Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park, one day after the team’s 13-12 loss to the Bills.
This Sunday, the Titans face the Ravens at Nissan Stadium.
Here’s a look at some of the hot topics:
The Bills racked up 144 yards rushing, including 85 yards from running back LeSean McCoy.
Vrabel said film study revealed the Titans missed 14 tackles in the game, including four on one play.
“When you play against good players in this league in space, everybody has to take good angles, everybody has to understand leverage, and everybody has to count on the next guy to know if they are running hard to the football and they do make a mistake and miss a tackle, that the next guy there is going to make it,” Vrabel said.
“And so, that’s what happened I think with McCoy. He is a good player in space, and he does a great job. We have to do a better job.”
Taylor Lewan Update
Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan didn’t finish Sunday’s game because of a foot injury. He played 17 of the game’s 54 snaps.
Tyler Marz stepped in for Lewan, and played the final 37 snaps.
“He is still meeting with some doctors, and getting some tests done,” Vrabel said of Lewan.
As for Marz, Vrabel said “it wasn’t perfect” but said the team is happy to have him.
Vrabel said Dennis Kelly worked out before the game in Buffalo, “so we are hopeful the doctors feel comfortable with where he’s at, and that he feels comfortable with where he’s at.”
Kelly returned to practice last week after missing time with an illness.
“I think that is the most important thing when you are coming back from any illness — that there’s a comfort level that you have and a confidence that you are able to go out and play pro football,” Vrabel said.
Help Needed at Receiver?
Vrabel was asked if the Titans are good enough at the wide receiver position, especially on the back end.
Darius Jennings had a critical drop against the Eagles, and Nick Williams wasn’t able to catch a pass that went through his hands as he headed into the end zone against the Bills.
“I think Jon (Robinson) and I continue to evaluate the roster going forward, at all positions, including wide receiver,” Vrabel said. “We have to see where we are health-wise, and then always I think we are going to do what’s best for the team.
“But there’s mistakes that happen in a game. We just have to make sure why they are happening. Is it focus? Is it coaching? Is it execution? Or is it just a mistake — or did you just get beat? … We’ll continue to look at the roster and look at who is going to give us a chance to hopefully beat the Ravens.”
Derrick Henry Review
Titans running back Derrick Henry carried the ball 11 times for 54 yards against the Bills, an average of 5.1 yards per carry.
Henry has been critical of his own play this year.
Vrabel said he’s seen improvement from Henry.
“There were some good runs,” Vrabel said. “We just weren’t able to sustain. When we got the running game going, when we got drives going, we turned it over unfortunately.
“There were some good runs – we had three 15-yard runs, and that’s positive. And those have to continue to happen.”
Tight End Production
The Titans are missing tight end Delanie Walker’s production.
Jonnu Smith has just two catches for 21 yards this season, and he’s been held without a catch in three of five games. Luke Stocker has five catches for 63 yards on the year.
When asked specially about Smith and the team’s tight ends, Vrabel expanded the question.
“We need more out of everybody,” Vrabel said. “We need more out of me. We need more out of the quarterback, we need more out of the receivers, the o-line, the d-line, the OLBs. … The only two guys we didn’t need more from yesterday were the kicker and the punter – they did their job and we love them. Ryan (Succop) kicked great, Brett (Kern) kicked great.
“But in all honestly, we need more from everybody.”
Vrabel complimented Smith’s work in pass protection.
Vrabel said the Titans have to make corrections, and “be critical of everybody, and coach” to get better.
The Titans turned the ball over three times against the Bills, and among the missed opportunities was the dropped pass by Williams.
“If you don’t play well in this league, that’s exactly what is supposed to happen,” Vrabel said. “It is not a surprise, it is not a shock. You play like that, especially on the road, you are going to get beat. We are just lucky it wasn’t 28-3.”
Vrabel said the Titans won’t point fingers.
“When things go bad, and you lose, can you stick together or does one side of the ball start looking at the other side, or do people start pointing fingers?,” Vrabel said about the team’s culture. “That can’t happen – I won’t let it.”