JOE BIDDLE: Is Vrabel the answer?

(Photo: WKRN)

We know whom the Titans new coach is. At least we know his name – Mike Vrabel.

What we don’t know, and will not know for some time, will be how Mike Vrabel will fare in the future. It is the first time Vrabel has ever been an NFL head coach.

He has been a top-flight NFL linebacker. He has been a NFL assistant coach, but there is a huge difference between an assistant coach and the head coach.

Vrabel is going from making suggestions to making decisions – decisions that will determine the future of the Tennessee Titans.

I can tell you one thing for sure. Mike Vrabel is a football coach. One who is confident he will be a successful head coach. He looks like a head coach. He gets rave reviews from those like Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. Nashvillian and ESPN college football sportscaster Kirk Herbstreit has given Vrabel high marks. Herbie first met Vrabel at Ohio State football field where both played for the Buckeyes. Herbstreit was quoted as saying it could turn into a “grand slam’’ for the Titans and General Manager Jon Robinson, who hired Vrabel.

But until Vrabel’s head coaching record is in the books of wins and losses, can we say how he will fare down the road?

He has hit the ground running. His odometer never stops.

Titans fans are eager for any morsels of information on Vrabel.

They were stunned when the Titans fired head coach Mike Mularkey, who guided the Titans to their first post-season berth since 2004 and won a wild card game over Kansas City before being eliminated by the New England Patriots.

Vrabel believes he is ready for the challenge, but even he can’t guarantee it.

“I don’t think anybody’s ever ‘ready.’ Vrabel said. “I’m going to make mistakes. I’m not going to make too many of them, and I’m not going to make the same mistake twice.’’

So we can’t do anything but wait and see. It will seem like we will never know because Titans fans have to wait to play games that count.

Every little thing is new to Vrabel, thus it is new for the media and fans.

He says he is going to call the plays during games. He is looking for an offensive coordinator and that person will go through Vrabel. The same thing goes for the defensive coordinator, and special teams coaches.

Who knows? Vrabel may drive the team bus to and from the airports when the season starts. He may cook their meals at Saint Thomas Sports Park. I urge him to make meals for the media at home games, that is if he will allow the media to eat before kickoff and at halftime.

Vrabel is all business. He will challenge the players that are on the 53-man roster and I imagine he will coach up those players on the taxi squad.

If I were a player or assistant coach, I wouldn’t dare try to slip something past Vrapel. Heaven help them if a player gets arrested.

I can’t wait to see this first season under Vrabel. We know who to aim our second guesses to.

He is the new Sheriff in Music City. He looks like he could still play the game. Vrabel is a man’s man.

His hire is on General Manager Jon Robinson. Robinson was with Vrabel in New England and it is apparent the two men know each other and believe in each other.

There’s no pressure. Only the fate of the Titans’ future is on the table.

Joe Biddle is a sports columnist. He is also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Contact him at