NASHVILLE 49ers Weston Richburg Jersey , Tenn. (AP) — The NFL tapped Titans coach Mike Vrabel to narrate a video detailing the new rule on lowering the head to initiate contact, hoping the man who played 14 years as a linebacker in the league could more easily explain how players should adapt.
Now Vrabel’s own Titans (0-2) find themselves tied with defending champion Philadelphia for the most lowering-the-head penalties through two preseason games with five apiece. Tennessee was flagged three times for the new rule in an opening loss in Green Bay , and the Titans added two more in Saturday night’s 30-14 loss to Tampa Bay .
Getting it right matters because any player initiating contact with his helmet could be ejected after an in-game video review decided in New York.
So far this preseason, blame either the player making contact, the speed of the game or everyone still getting used to the new rule.
“Pretty much all those are going to fall into one of those categories,” Vrabel said Sunday.
Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro drew one penalty for running across the field to tackle Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans at the end of a 38-yard reception on the sideline. Wide receiver Nick Williams was flagged late in the third quarter while on punt coverage, costing the Titans 15 yards.
Vrabel said Vaccaro has to do a better job avoiding contact with the crown of his helmet while trying to break up the pass. The coach wasn’t sure if Williams made contact, but noted the receiver’s head was in the linear position the NFL is trying to eliminate from the game. The Titans will turn those plays into the league for an explanation.
The coach said he already showed his team an eight-minute video from the NFL of penalties in the first week of the preseason.
“We’ll keep doing that and we’ll keep coaching it and we’ll keep stressing it, and hopefully it doesn’t, one, lead to injuries, or two, cost us yards,” Vrabel said.
Even though the rule is new, six NFL teams that have played two preseason games have not been flagged even once for lowering the head to initiate contact. Indianapolis, who plays Baltimore on Monday night, was not flagged in its preseason opener. Behind the Titans and Eagles, five teams have been penalized under the rule three times apiece: Arizona, Atlanta, Carolina, the Rams and San Francisco.
Chicago has three such penalties through three exhibitions.
The Titans have been penalized 25 times for 258 yards through two games.
Asked if officials might be a bit overzealous enforcing the rule during the preseason before hopefully scaling back in the regular season DJ Moore Color Rush Jersey , Vrabel said he wasn’t really sure.
“I try to do my job. They ask me to provide a video, a voiceover video , on what I thought was the right way to play outside linebacker or inside linebacker taking these blocks on, tackling. I thought I tried to go through and provide examples of what was good and what was probably needed to be fixed and changed in some of the style of play,” Vrabel said.
“But they don’t tell me, ‘Hey, coach, this is going to get scaled back in the regular season.’ I think these guys are doing what their boss, and the league, is just telling them to do. So if they see that position and they see contact, they’re calling it.”
That leaves Vrabel and his assistants coaching the Titans better to adjust how they play.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals‘ offense ran one play in opposing territory on Sunday, the last play of their 34-0 loss at the Los Angeles Rams.
Not surprisingly, first-year Cardinals coach Steve Wilks is considering making changes to get an offense that has scored six points in eight quarters headed in the right direction.
“I don’t even know where to start right now,” Wilks said. “It’s just we got to do a much better job running the football. We got to do a much better job protecting.
“Receivers got to get off the jam at the line of scrimmage. We got to convert on third down. We’re going to go back and evaluate things as a coaching staff, evaluate the players, make sure we have the best guys out there and put in the right position to make plays moving forward.”
The Cardinals had 137 yards against the Rams, 35 of which came on their final possession with Sam Bradford’s 8-yard pass to tight end Ricky Seals-Jones finally putting them on the Rams’ side of the 50.
They had five first downs, one in each of the first three quarters before their final and most successful drive of the game picked up the final two.
Bradford said the offense never gave itself a chance to score.
“I wish that there were one thing I could tell you that if we got that fixed it would be instantly better,” Bradford said.
“You know, I think there’s a lot of things that need to improve for us to improve and it’s got to start happening now. That’s two weeks in a row we’ve let the defense down, and I think we all understand we have to play better.”
David Johnson was held in check with 48 yards on 13 carries and was a non-factor in the passing game with one catch.
Larry Fitzgerald managed three receptions for 28 yards Adidas Mitchell Marner Jersey , only finding any sort of room to operate when lined up in the slot and away from cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. The offensive line was unable to keep the Rams’ touted defensive front at bay.
The Cardinals (0-2) did not have a run longer than 9 yards, and their longest pass play was a 15-yard gain by Fitzgerald.
For Bradford, who was 17 of 27 passing for 90 yards with one interception, he described it as a frustrating start in Arizona after playing in two games last season for Minnesota because of a knee injury.
“I think to put so much work and put so much effort into getting back onto the field, and then to play the way we have the past two weeks I think it’s just really disappointing,” Bradford said
Wilks said he never considered replacing Bradford with first-round pick Josh Rosen in the former UCLA star’s first game in Southern California as an NFL quarterback. However, Wilks did not rule out turning to Rosen, who was selected 10th overall, as some point during the season.
“When you look at the climate of the game and how it was going, I don’t know if he was going to make a difference there because, again, it just wasn’t one guy,” Wilks said. “It was several on both sides of the ball, in all three phases.”
While their offense remained stagnant, the Cardinals actually made improvements on defense following a 24-6 loss to Washington. They held the Rams (2-0) to 90 yards rushing after allowing 182 yards on the ground the previous week.
Los Angeles running back Todd Gurley averaged 2.2 yards per carry, needing 19 attempts to get 42 yards, though he did have three touchdown runs.
Wilks refused to assign blame for the loss solely on the offense, noting that the defense struggled to hold on third down or contain the Rams’ play-action passing.
“As I just stated in there, everybody needs to check themselves,” Wilks said. “We’re going to do that as we watch the tape and find a way to win a football game.”
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