Tannehill, Dolphins look to spoil Vrabel’s Titans debut

Sunday’s season opener in Miami features the return of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the debut of Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel.The Titans are coming off a 9-7 season. They made the playoffs for the first time in nine years and defeated the host Kansas City Chiefs for their first postseason win in 14 years.After losing to the New England Patriots in the divisional round, however, Tennessee parted ways with head coach Mike Mularkey and offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie. The Titans replaced them with Vrabel, who has never been a head coach before this season, and Matt LaFleur, who has never been a play-caller before.Vrabel, a former Pro Bowl linebacker, played for two of the best coaches in NFL history: Bill Cowher with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Bill Belichick with the Patriots, winning three Super Bowls with New England.Vrabel, 43, is three years older than Adam Gase, the Dolphins’ third-year coach.In 2016, Gase guided the Dolphins to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The Dolphins regressed last season, finishing 6-10 as Tannehill missed the entire season after knee surgery.The Dolphins hope Tannehill can regain his 2016 form and perhaps take it up a notch or two.”I feel more ready for this year than I’ve ever felt before,” Tannehill said. “I feel more confident in the guys we have and the path we’re on.”That’s an interesting comment considering Miami lost some top talent from last year’s team, including three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry, five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and three-time Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey. Landry was traded, while Suh and Pouncey were released. Cody Parkey, who tied the Dolphins’ single-season record for field-goal accuracy last year, is also gone.In addition, wide receiver and former first-round pick DeVante Parker is expected to miss Sunday’s game with a broken finger.Tannehill has confidence in his lineup. He listed Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, running back Kenyan Drake and rookie tight end Mike Gesicki as “five guys who can create matchup problems for defenses.” Veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola is also in the mix.

Blogs

Final Day of Training Camp: By Alex Abernathy

The final practice of Titans training camp today happened alongside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Amidst off and on rain, the teams remained on the outdoor fields and never moved inside.   The Titans offense got off to a slow start today in red zone one on ones. The teams went straight from one on ones…

Joint Practice #1 Recap: By Alex Abernathy and Eli Hiskey

To headline the day, there were no team brawls, so it was a positive day one from joint practices between the Titans and the Bucs. The day was spent with the Titans offense and Bucs defense on one field, and then the Titans defense and Bucs offense on another, until the final portion of practice…

Bubble Practice Recap: By Alex Abernathy and Eli Hiskey

Coach Vrabel took the team inside the bubble today for practice to help get them out of the sun a little before Tampa Bay comes to town for two joint practices on Wednesday and Thursday and then the preseason game vs. the Buccaneers on Saturday. The offense got off to a rocky start today with…

Titans Weekend Wrap-up: By Alex Abernathy and Eli Hiskey

Friday: Following the game at Green Bay on Thursday night, Mike Vrabel had a press conference to talk about his first preseason fame as a head coach. Vrabel was impressed by the play of Harold Landry including his strip sack. Cameron Batson’s aggressiveness while returning kicks also stuck out to the head coach. What Vrabel…