Titans introduce Mike Vrabel as head coach

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Titans introduced its new head coach to fans Monday.

Titans officials held a press conference at the team facility at Saint Thomas Sport Park at noon.

Mike Vrabel arrived in Nashville Saturday with his son. He was then greeted by Titans General Manager Jon Robinson.

Vrabel was the first person Tennessee interviewed after firing Mularkey on Monday. Mularkey, who also coached Buffalo and Jacksonville, went 21-22 and led the franchise to its first playoff victory in 14 years . This will be Vrabel’s first head coaching job after 18 years in the NFL — 14 as a player and four as a coach.

POLL: Will Mike Vrabel make the Titans better?

Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk released a statement about the hire.

I am excited to have Mike Vrabel joining our organization as our new head coach. In the interaction between Mike and Jon during the interview, you could see their connection right away from the history they have with one another – seeing the game in a similar way and talking the same language. Mike has a commanding presence and a deep understanding for how he will attack this head coaching opportunity. Throughout his football career, he has played for, been mentored by and coached with successful teams and organizations. He knows what it takes to reach that level of sustained success – he has seen it first-hand. We have a chance to build on the solid foundation that we established over the past couple of years and I believe Mike is the right person to continue that progress.

In a statement, Vrabel thanked Strunk, Robinson and the Titans for putting their faith in him.

“We want to build a culture around winning, competitiveness and toughness,” Vrabel said. “Everything we do is going to be geared toward winning and being physical. We want to prepare our players so they know what to do, which will allow them to play fast and aggressive.”

The 42-year-old Vrabel is coming off his first season as defensive coordinator for the Texans. Vrabel’s 14-year career as a player included stints with Pittsburgh under coach Bill Cowher and New England under coach Bill Belichick, along with Kansas City. In 2011, he joined the staff at his alma mater, Ohio State, coaching linebackers and defensive linemen.

Mike Vrabel (AP Photo)

Vrabel went to Houston in 2014 and coached linebackers with the Texans for three seasons before becoming coordinator. The Texans won the AFC South in 2015 and 2016 thanks in part to strong defenses. The unit slipped this season amid injuries to players including J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus .

This was the first head coaching search since Robinson was hired in January 2016, two days before the Titans took the interim tag off Mularkey. Robinson said in a statement he always has had a great deal of respect for Vrabel as a player and as a coach.

“He was the ultimate team-first player, and he embodies that same mindset as a coach,” Robinson said. “He is intelligent, energetic, detailed and a leader whose deep passion for this game will resonate with our players. As a coach, I have seen him develop talent at both the college and NFL level, and put players in position for them to be successful.”

*The Associated Press contributed to this report.