Falcons Training Camp Capsule
ATLANTA FALCONS (7-9)
OPEN CAMP: July 22, Flowery Branch, Georgia
LAST YEAR: Atlanta closed season with three straight wins that came far too late to save lost season. Coach Dan Quinn...
Quinn wants new Falcons’ assistants to revamp running game
ATLANTA (AP) — Dan Quinn is looking for a renewed commitment to the Atlanta Falcons running game and offensive balance with new coordinator Dirk Koetter.
The Falcons' outside zone scheme won't change, though Quinn on Thursday said Koetter and the revamped offensive staff will bring new tweaks to the playbook.
Falcons hire Kotwica from Redskins to lead special teams
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn has continued to reshape his staff by hiring special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica.
The 44-year-old Kotwica directed the Washington Redskins' special teams the last five years.
Wednesday's hiring of Kotwica came one day after Quinn brought Dirk Koetter and Mike Mularkey back to the Falcons as offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, respectively.
Quinn said he expects Kotwica to bring "an attacking attitude" to Atlanta's special teams.
Falcons bring back Koetter, Mularkey as offensive assistants
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons brought back two familiar names on Tuesday by hiring Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator and Mike Mularkey to coach tight ends.
Koetter and Mularkey are joining coach Dan Quinn's staff following stints as NFL head coaches.
Koetter returns to Atlanta following four seasons as Tampa Bay's coach. Mularkey most recently spent two seasons as the Tennessee Titans' coach, and also has been the head coach at Buffalo and Jacksonville.
New coach, higher expectations for Titans after playoff run
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans won their first playoff game in 14 years in a thrilling rally from 18 points down on the road.
Then they fired coach Mike Mularkey once the postseason run ended in an ugly rout.
Yes, expectations are very high in Tennessee where consecutive 9-7 seasons with Marcus Mariota just didn't cut it, not with an offense that didn't get the most out of the young quarterback.
Titans Preview Capsule
TENNESSEE TITANS (10-8)
New faces: Coach Mike Vrabel, defensive coordinator Dean Pees, offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, CB Malcolm Butler, RB Dion Lewis, G Kevin Pamphile, QB Blaine Gabbert, G Xavier Su'a-Filo, LB Will Compton, DL Bennie Logan, LB Rashaan Evans, LB Harold Landry, S Kendrick Lewis, S Kenny Vaccaro.
Titans focus on finishing games, limiting 4th-quarter points
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Vrabel knows any improvement this year on defense for the Tennessee Titans starts with how they finish games.
Not giving up an average of 8 ½ points in the fourth quarter would be a big step forward.
Titans Training Camp Capsule
TENNESSEE TITANS (10-8)
OPEN CAMP: July 25, Nashville, Tennessee
LAST YEAR: Titans swept Jacksonville but missed AFC South title after losing three straight in December. Winning first postseason game in 14 years with amazing comeback in Kansas City didn't save coach Mike Mularkey, not when he stuck with OC Terry Robiskie following ugly rout in New England.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Another offseason, another new head coach for quarterback Marcus Mariota to get to know along with a different offense.
Yes, a little experience with such changes can help make transitions a bit easier.
It's not something Mariota wants to become a way of life in the NFL.
"But I think being able to have gone through that situation before, it's helped all of us to be ready and prepared for this new stuff," Mariota said Wednesday.
Titans hire Matt LaFleur, Dean Pees as coordinators
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel has his coordinators, and he's trusting a man who interviewed for the Titans' head coaching job to further develop Marcus Mariota and the offense.
Matt LaFleur was hired as offensive coordinator and Dean Pees as defensive coordinator.
The moves Tuesday are the first big hires by the first-time head coach who himself was hired to better develop a team that just won its first playoff game in 14 years but fired coach Mike Mularkey two weeks ago.
Tennessee Titans to hire Houston Texans DC Mike Vrabel as head coach
The Tennessee Titans have agreed to hire Mike Vrabel as their next head coach.
Vrabel, 42, comes from the Houston Texans, where he was the defensive coordinator last season and the team's linebacker coach the three previous years. The Texans struggled defensively this past season, especially following the injuries to J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, but Vrabel has been a rising head-coaching candidate for a few years.
Titans hire Mike Vrabel as new coach after quick search
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans hired Houston defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel as their new coach in a fast search that wrapped up after three interviews and just five days after firing Mike Mularkey.
The Titans announced Saturday they have agreed to terms with Vrabel. A news conference was scheduled for Monday.
The Tennessee Titans kicked off their search for a new head coach Thursday with a pair of interviews -- both defensive coordinators who've never been NFL head coaches.
The Titans confirmed they interviewed Houston's Mike Vrabel and Carolina's Steve Wilks. Tennessee is looking to replace Mike Mularkey, fired Monday after he went 21- 22 and won the franchise's first playoff game in 14 years.
Titans kick off coaching search interviewing Vrabel, Wilks
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans kicked off their search for a new head coach Thursday with a pair of interviews — both defensive coordinators who've never been NFL head coaches.
Rivera, Mularkey, Roberts finalists for military salute
NEW YORK (AP) — Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera, former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Mularkey, and Atlanta Falcons receiver Andre Roberts are the finalists for the NFL's Salute to Service Award.
The recipient of the award, presented by USAA, will be revealed at the NFL Honors show on Feb. 3, when The Associated Press announces its individual NFL awards.
Titans fire coach Mike Mularkey after playoff win
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans believe the potential reward from quarterback Marcus Mariota working with his third head coach in his fourth NFL season outweighs the risk of change.
Or sticking with the same coach.
So now the Titans are looking for a new coach to replace Mike Mularkey and build off the franchise's first playoff win in 14 years to make them a true NFL contender.
Mularkey: Titans taking “next step” means lot of work ahead
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans won more games inside the AFC South, won the franchise's first playoff game in 14 years and reached the divisional round for the first time since 2008.
Being embarrassed by the Patriots 35-14 has only reminded the Titans of how big a gap remains.
"We have a lot of work to do if we want to take the next step," coach Mike Mularkey said Sunday.
Titans right tackle Jack Conklin tore left ACL in loss
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey says right tackle Jack Conklin tore his left anterior cruciate ligament and likely will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
Mularkey said Sunday that Conklin will have surgery to repair the ACL within the next two weeks.
Mariota limps away from first playoff loss, ‘embarrassed’
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Marcus Mariota threw for a touchdown to give the Tennessee Titans an early lead, and had another TD pass that was the final score of the game.
In between, he spent a lot of time trying to limp away from the New England Patriots rush.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Maybe the Tennessee Titans are coming up for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at the perfect time.
After a drama-filled week, the quarterback says his focus remains solely on football as his team prepares to host the Titans in Saturday's divisional round.
During Brady's tenure, the Patriots are 6-1 against the Titans. He has 13 passing touchdowns and one interception in those games - his best touchdown to interception ratio against any opponent in his career.
Titans, Jaguars aim to show they’re the real deal in AFC
The general belief is there are four contenders for the Super Bowl in the NFC, two in the AFC.
Let's see if Tennessee or Jacksonville can prove that theory wrong this weekend.
Both AFC South representatives are significant underdogs, the Titans at New England on Saturday night, the Jaguars at Pittsburgh on Sunday. For weeks, it's been presumed Steelers vs. Patriots will decide who goes to the Super Bowl from the conference.
Brady bullish in focus on Titans after drama-filled week
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Maybe the Tennessee Titans are coming up for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at the perfect time.
After a drama-filled week , the quarterback says his focus remains solely on football as his team prepares to host the Titans in Saturday's divisional round.
Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey says running back DeMarco Murray will not play against the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional round.
Mularkey said Murray is not close enough to play Saturday night in New England.
Titans running back DeMarco Murray will not play vs Pats
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey says running back DeMarco Murray will not play against the New England Patriots in the AFC divisional round.
Mularkey said Wednesday that Murray is not close enough to play Saturday night in New England.
The coach had listed Murray as day to day after the Titans (10-7) beat Kansas City in the wild-card round. But Murray has yet to practice, and Mularkey says the veteran running back is close enough to play next week.
Tennessee Titans coach says DeMarco Murray ‘day-to-day;’ Derrick Henry to start Saturday vs Patriots
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Derrick Henry is expected to be the Tennessee Titans' starting running back in Saturday's divisional-round game against the New England Patriots, coach Mike Mularkey confirmed.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Go ahead and pick against the Tennessee Titans. Count them out against the New England Patriots or call them the ugliest team left in the NFL playoffs.
A franchise only two years removed from the NFL's worst record over a two-season stretch cares only about winning.
Call Titans ugly or gritty, they keep finding ways to win
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Go ahead and pick against the Tennessee Titans. Count them out against the New England Patriots or call them the ugliest team left in the NFL playoffs.
A franchise only two years removed from the NFL's worst record over a two-season stretch cares only about winning.
Titans owner dispels rumors: Mularkey not going anywhere
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee owner Amy Adams Strunk shot down speculation that Mike Mularkey's job is at risk, saying her coach is going nowhere after helping change the Titans' culture and getting their first playoff victory in 14 years.
National reports first had Mularkey potentially fired if the Titans lost their regular-season finale and again if Tennessee lost its AFC wild-card game at Kansas City. Instead, the Titans pulled off a major comeback after trailing 21-3 at halftime.
Titans rally from 21-3 hole, beat Chiefs 22-21 in playoffs
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Marcus Mariota did everything he could to help the Titans advance in the playoffs, throwing a crazy touchdown pass to himself , running for crucial first downs and providing the kind of spark that Tennessee needed to rally from a 21-3 halftime hole.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Marcus Mariota did everything to help the Titans advance in the playoffs, throwing two touchdown passes, running for crucial first downs and providing the spark needed to rally from an 18-point halftime hole.
Heck, he even caught one of his own touchdown passes.
Titans, Mularkey not feeling much support in playoff push
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Mike Mularkey had heard the rumblings about his job status, and seen all those reports that claimed he would be fired by the Titans if they lost their playoff opener to Kansas City.
DeMarco Murray out for Titans, guard questionable vs. Chiefs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee running back DeMarco Murray will miss his second straight game with the Titans ruling him out against the Kansas City Chiefs in their AFC wild-card game Saturday.
Coach Mike Mularkey had refused to rule the veteran running back out until Thursday.
Mularkey focused on getting Titans ready for playoffs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Mularkey is about to coach his first NFL postseason game as a head coach, and he isn't reaching out to friends or former bosses for advice.
After all, he learned by watching the likes of Bill Cowher and Chuck Noll in Pittsburgh.
Cowher has sent Mularkey a few texts, which he appreciates; but the Titans coach is focused on the work that needs to be done for Saturday's AFC wild-card game in Kansas City (10-6).
Titans won’t have DeMarco Murray for regular-season finale
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans will play their important regular-season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars without running back DeMarco Murray.
Murray sprained his right knee in a 27-23 loss to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. Titans coach Mike Mularkey ruled Murray out Friday.
Titans coach not ruling DeMarco Murray out vs. Jaguars yet
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee fans wanting to see Derrick Henry start at running back instead of DeMarco Murray will get their chance to see what that looks like in the Titans' most important game of the season.
Coach Mike Mularkey isn't ruling Murray out of the Titans' regular-season finale against Jacksonville on Sunday. Mularkey said Tuesday that the veteran will be limited at best if an injured knee allows him to play at all.
Titans RB Murray hurts right knee in loss to Rams
NEW YORK (AP) — Tennessee could be without starting running back DeMarco Murray next week when it tried to clinch a playoff spot.
Murray injured his right knee with 2:23 left in the game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. Coach Mike Mularkey said his running back will have an MRI, but it doesn't look good.
The Rams lost left guard Rodger Saffold to a rib injury late in the game. Los Angeles safety Marqui Christian also hurt a shoulder.
Skid pins Titans’ hopes of ending playoff drought on finale
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The playoff math for the Tennessee Titans couldn't be simpler now.
A three-game skid equals a regular-season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a postseason berth on the line with Tennessee needing a victory to end a postseason drought stretching to 2008.
Titans cornerback Ryan questionable vs Rams, Sims on IR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee cornerback Logan Ryan missed his third straight day of practice Friday and is questionable when the Titans host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Ryan suffered an ankle injury in the first half of last week's loss to the San Francisco 49ers and did not return to the game.
"He did not practice today, but we're going to list him as questionable and see if we can get him back for Sunday," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said.
Titans cornerback LeShaun Sims out possibly rest of season
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee cornerback LeShaun Sims will miss the Titans' game with the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday with a hamstring injury that likely will sideline him the remainder of the season.
The team's third cornerback sustained the injury in Wednesday's practice. Sims had an MRI exam, but Titans coach Mike Mularkey did not share results except to say he could rule Sims out against the Rams.
Mularkey says the injury potentially could cost Sims the rest of the season.
Titans cornerback misses practice, backup hurts hamstring
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee cornerback Logan Ryan missed practice as he heals from an ankle injury that knocked him out of the Titans' previous game, and backup cornerback LeShaun Sims hurt a hamstring, needing an MRI.
Coach Mike Mularkey said Wednesday that Ryan, who left last week's 25-23 loss to San Francisco in the second quarter, remains day to day along with defensive lineman Karl Klug with an injured groin.
Titans know task at hand to end playoff drought: win at home
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have frittered away their margin for error by dropping back-to-back games on the road to teams with losing records.
Now the task at hand to end the franchise's playoff drought dating back to the 2008 season is simple: Win their final two games.
That's the easiest math for the Titans (8-6), currently in the first wild-card spot as the AFC's No. 5 playoff seed.
Titans making the most of their week in Arizona
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are mostly glad to be away from Nashville for a week of practice in Arizona.
And they're making the most of their time on the road and getting a little sun while they do it.
The Titans opted to stay in the Phoenix area and have practices at Arizona State after their game against the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. They will travel to the Bay Area to play the 49ers on Sunday.
Coach: Injuries to Titans QB Mariota, LT Lewan not serious
Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey says he doesn't think quarterback Marcus Mariota's sprained left knee or left tackle Taylor Lewan's sore back should keep either out of the Titans' game with San Francisco on Sunday.
Mularkey said Monday that he anticipates both could practice Wednesday.
Titans will be without linebacker Derrick Morgan vs. Cards
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans will be without outside linebacker Derrick Morgan on Sunday when they visit the Arizona Cardinals.
Morgan, who leads the Titans with 7 1/2 sacks, sprained a knee in last week's 24-13 victory over the Houston Texans and did not practice at all this week.
"He'll be out this week. He's still day-to-day, in our opinion," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said.
Titans lineman DaQuan Jones has season-ending bicep tear
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Titans defensive lineman DaQuan Jones has a torn bicep muscle and will have season-ending surgery.
Coach Mike Mularkey said Monday that Jones will be placed on injured reserve.
Timing of the injury couldn't be worse for Jones, whose contract expires after this season. The lineman was playing possibly the best of his career with two sacks last week against Indianapolis and 1 ½ sacks in the 24-13 win over Houston before being injured.
Titans find groove sacking QBs, piling up 11 in past 2 games
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans sure hope they've found the combination to help them get to the quarterback, and now they've set a standard they want to continue.
Back atop AFC South, Titans focus on wins, not style points
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Titans may not impress too many people with how they're playing.
For now, all that matters to Tennessee is finding a way to keep winning.
They have won five of their past six, and the past four victories all have come by four or fewer points.
Titans use bye, long weekend to get players healthy
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee wide receiver Rishard Matthews is questionable for Sunday's game in Indianapolis after not practicing Friday.
He's the only player listed on the Titans' team's injury report this week.
Matthews is second on the Titans with 41 receptions and has a team-best 626 yards receiving. He was placed on the injury report Thursday after being limited with the hamstring issue, and coach Mike Mularkey said Matthews could be a game-time decision.