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Mike Vrabel calls new helmet rule “important” in trying to reduce head injuries

Mike Vrabel

New Tennessee Titans NFL football head coach Mike Vrabel answers questions during a news conference Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans hired Vrabel, formerly the Houston Texans defensive coordinator, five days after firing Mike Mularkey. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


Mike Vrabel experienced concussions in his playing career. The Titans new head coach said both of his sons, one of whom plays football, also have had concussions. So he thinks the league’s attempts to reduce head injuries with the new helmet rule is “important.”

“Anything we can do to make our game safer for our players, the players in college, at every level,” Vrabel said, via Jason Wolf of The Tennessean. “Players in high school at every level, and most especially the players at the youth level. Whatever we can do to make it safer, we need to try to do that.”

Coaches and players remain uncertain what the prohibition against lowering the helmet to initiate impact means, but Vrabel said his practices won’t change. The Titans will spend time on the fundamentals.

“We’re always spending time on the fundamentals,” Vrabel said. “If it comes down to, yeah, ‘Don’t turn your helmet into a weapon,’ I think that’s pretty important. I don’t think we ever want to use our helmet or our headgear as a weapon. We’re not out there to injure players or to try to turn our helmet and our bodies into torpedoes or spears or missiles. We’re trying to play football as competitively and as physically and within the rules as we possibly can.

“I think that there’s a fine line, but I don’t think that you ever want to turn your body and use your helmet as a weapon. I think that’s pretty cut and dried. Hopefully, that’s where we can move to.”