Tennessee Titans to incorporate college elements to offense as Mike Vrabel cites NFL’s ‘farm system’


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans will be the next NFL team to embrace a collegiate-style spread system as a sizable chunk of their offense.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel made it clear in his introductory news conference that there would be plenty of spread elements for quarterback Marcus Mariota, including run-pass options, run options and bootlegs.

Vrabel also was honest in how he viewed the dynamic between college football and the NFL.

“The NFL has the greatest farm system in the world. We pay our farm-system coaches $10 million to develop players,” Vrabel said. “[Alabama coach] Nick Saban is our farm system. [Ohio State coach] Urban Meyer is our farm system.”

Vrabel’s comments will certainly reignite conversations about whether college football players should be paid. Vrabel’s oldest son, Tyler, will be a freshman tight end at Boston College this fall.

Vrabel, who was an active NFL Players Association representative as a player, has coached college football at Ohio State and pro football with Houston Texans and now the Titans.

College football is the feeder system for the NFL, and it appears the league will see more similarities between the two games moving forward.

“Those are the type of players that they are developing. Those are the type of players that are playing in high school. That’s where the game is at,” Vrabel said. “You have to be creative. You have to cause conflict. They’re taking great athletes and putting them in similar positions to succeed.”

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