Titans hit reset button, fire Mike Vrabel even after beating Jaguars to end season

• All 4 AFC South teams have changed coaches the past 2 years. The Titans are the latest after firing Mike Vrabel to start 2024

Nov 19, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson and
Nov 19, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson and / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

While the Jacksonville Jaguars making some tweaks to their coaching staff, the Tennessee Titans are pressing the reset button, firing head coach Mike Vrabel after going 6-11 in 2023, and posting a losing record in back-to-back seasons. Although the Titans finished the season by beating the Jags 28-20, they felt that moving on from Vrabel was in their best interest.

Heading into Black Monday, there were reports Tennessee could trade Vrabel. However, they ultimately decided that outright dismissing him was the best course of action, since a trade might've been too complicated, according to Dianna Russini of The Athletic.

Vrabel arrived in Tennessee in 2018, and oversaw four winning seasons. They reached the AFC South championship in 2019 and made the playoffs three straight seasons. However, the Titans started a soft reboot in 2022 when they hired Ran Carthon to run the front office after previously dismissing Jon Robinson.

While Vrabel routinely got the most out his players, the effort wasn't reflected in the standings, the bottom line. Then again, you could make the case that Vrabel wasn't dealt a good hand. Although players responded well to him, there was only so much he could do with the team's collection of talent. The past three years, several draft missed left the team deviod of talent.

Carthon inherited a roster with lots of glaring holes. He did the best he could in his first offseason with the team, but relying on aging veterans such as Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill proved to be a failure. Unfortunately, the blame fell on Mike Vrabel.

This isn't the last time the Jaguars will hear from Mike Vrabel

On the bright side, Mike Vrabel can proudly say that he finished his tenure in Tennessee on a strong note. With nothing to play for, he vowed he wasn't going to take it easy in the finale. He said he would love to play spoilers and knock Jacksonville out of playoff contention.

True to his word, Vrabel had his team ready to go and beat the Jaguars. Ultimately, the fact that he never threw in the towel wasn't enough to help him keep his job. Having gotten the pink slip, he will now look for his next stop. While some clubs could be turned off by his consecutive losing seasons, he should still be a hot commodity in the current coaching cycle.

Teams with vacancies at head coach should make a strong push for Vrabel, and that includes the Washington Commanders, the New England Patriots, the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons and the Las Vegas Raiders. But if Vrabel fails to get a head coaching job, he should get offers as a defensive coordinator. In the worst-case scenario, he'll take a year off and wait for better opportunities.

And that's the thing. Vrabel is in a position to choose his destination. That's how good he is. While he's far from perfect (like any other head coach), he's shown he can make chicken salad with whatever he gets. That makes him the perfect candidate to be the heir apparent to Bill Belichick in Foxborough. Belichick is one of the greatest coaches and football minds in league history. If anyone is capable of filling his shoes, it's Vrabel.

Following his firing, the Jacksonville Jaguars will no longer have to face Mike Vrabel twice a year but that doesn't mean that's the last time they'll hear from him.

Here are more stories from Black & Teal: