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Mike Vrabel’s war room is a reality show that comes with pop culture references

The Titans head coach was not exactly alone while making his first round selection of offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson.

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Head coach Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans looks on in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

UPDATE, April 24: Mike Vrabel was indeed asked about the scene that took the Internet by storm on Thursday. The Athletic’s Joe Rexrode has a fun write-up about the scene from Vrabel.

“I know there’s some pictures going around — Tyler was not using the restroom,” Vrabel said on a Zoom press conference with Titans GM Jon Robinson that was mostly about using the No. 29 overall pick on Wilson, a mauler from Georgia who is expected to push Dennis Kelly at right tackle. “Tyler was sitting on a barstool next to his mom. And as fate would have it, it came across as probably something other than that.”

On the kid’s decision to look a little goofy:

“It’s been a long quarantine over here, man,” Vrabel said. “We’ve got a bunch of 19- and 18-year-old kids and you know, they’re stir crazy. They saw all the other kids (of coaches and general managers) as the draft wore on, and they said, ‘Well, we’ll give our own little spin to it,’ and it was fun.”

On the Freeze costume:

“It’s a long story,” Vrabel said. “So Jackson has been with us for a little over a year — he graduated with Carter. That was ‘The Freeze’ from the Atlanta Braves, and he races (fans). So the Father Ryan baseball team this year, the season got canceled. Jen (Vrabel) was gonna make Jackson race the students to try to get more kids to come out to the games. So she ordered the ‘Freeze’ costume. So when the season got canceled we were sitting with an extra ‘Freeze’ costume, and again, a lot of kids have got high school kids, 18, 19 years old. And I think that probably came together in 10, 15 minutes, I would imagine.”


There was plenty of action in the foreground of the photo as well. Vrabel was flanked by two young men. One wore a costume similar to Frozone from The Incredibles movies and the other wore an old Pro Bowl jersey of Vrabel’s and what appeared to be the kind of haircut one gets when barber shops are closed. Both were mugging for the camera while Vrabel looked at his phone and chewing tobacco.

“It’s been a long quarantine over here, man,” Vrabel said. “We’ve got a bunch of 19- and 18-year-old kids and you know, they’re stir crazy. They saw all the other kids [of coaches and General Managers] as the draft wore on, and they said, ‘Well, we’ll give our own little spin to it,’ and it was fun.”

A lot of coaches in the NFL Draft 2020 conducted remotely due to the quarantine tried to operate alone.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury:

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichek:

Those all seem to be on brand.

But one who wasn’t afraid to involve the family was Mike Vrabel. Let’s take a look at the Tennesee Titans War Room, and keep in mind this is a multi-billion dollar operation on one of their most important days of the year.

Yes, that is someone on the toilet behind Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite. Is that also Joe Exotic or one of his friends standing off to the right in a football jersey?

We’ll keep investigating, but a hat tip to the AFC Championship Game coach for having a sense of humor about all of this.