NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time after general manager Jon Robinson was fired and said it’s important for the organization to move forward.
Vrabel said he was informed of Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk’s decision to fire Robinson, which was made without his input. He thanked Robinson for giving him the opportunity to train.
“Change is never easy, but we realize that we all have a job to do,” Vrabel said. “It is evaluated every day. I have told this to the team and all the staff. We all have a personal relationship with Jon in some way. But personal feelings are not important. We need to respect and understand the decision and move forward in alignment.”
Vrabel said he and Robinson were aligned in their approach to building the roster and appreciated how the general manager included the coaching staff in the evaluation process. But Vrabel’s comments before the Titans’ decision to trade wide receiver AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles on draft day would indicate otherwise. Vrabel denied rumors that Tennessee was looking to trade Brown, saying the young receiver would not be traded as long as he was head coach.
Robinson’s firing came days after Brown’s seven receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns against the Titans last Sunday, which makes the timing pretty interesting. Brown said Wednesday that he had no reaction to Robinson’s firing.
“After the game, it’s over,” Brown said. “I just put it behind me. What happens in Tennessee is in Tennessee. It doesn’t bother me anymore. I don’t give it a thought.”
Firing Robinson was about more than the Brown trade. But failing to keep Brown, the most productive receiver the Titans have had in years, had a lot to do with the organization’s roster disappointment.
“We made a decision that we felt was best for the football team,” Vrabel said. “AJ is in Philly and we’re moving forward.”
Vice President of Player Personnel Ryan Cowden was selected to oversee the Titans’ personnel department for the remainder of the season. Vrabel would not say whether or not he will have more say in personnel decisions now or in the future, which include naming the next general manager.
According to Vrabel, Adams Strunk will have the final say in any personnel decision, especially if there is a disagreement between him and Cowden. In the meantime, Vrabel will continue to communicate with Cowden regarding the active roster and players returning from injury.
ESPN’s Tim McManus contributed to this report.