NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Titans may not enter the 2018 season as a Super Bowl favorite, but the team is entering a critical window as it attempts to win the NFL’s ultimate prize.
While some scoff at the Titans chances, head coach Mike Vrabel is not one of them.
“I think honestly every team in this league can win a Super Bowl. I know people will scoff at that, but this season, this NFL season how they make it, it’s like a horse race,” he said.
So, the horses are at the game with the preseason upon us and the players know it is time to crack the whip.
Titans cornerback Logan Ryan has won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots and said winning it all has to be the goal.
“If you’re not preparing to play February, then you got no shot. You have to prepare for the Super Bowl,” he said.
What makes the window so critical for the Titans over the next two years is the structure of their quarterback’s contract.
Marcus Mariota will only count $7.7-million against the cap this season, that number balloons to over $20 million in 2019. After that, it could soar over $25 million a season.
The time to strike is now while they can pay other positions.
Defensive end Jurrell Casey said he sees the clock ticking.
“Definitely, this is our time to get it done. I think we’re ready to get it done,” Casey said.
Safety Johnathan Cyprien likes what the Titans have.
“We definitely have the pieces in place, but like I said before, we have to put our work in. No one’s going to roll out there on Sunday’s and give us anything.”
General manager Jon Robinson was handed a mountain of salary cap space when he took over and he has 10 advantage handing out big free agent deals to Logan Ryan, Dion Lewis and Malcolm Butler and re-signing players like Taylor Lewan, Delanie Walker and Josh Kline to massive deals.
The result, for the first time in about a decade the Titans are invested in all 22 starting spots.
“Times have changed for sure. That’s great. I’m excited,” Ryan said, adding, he sees the potential.
“When you’ve got a team that’s competitive, an owner that wants to win, a general manager that wants to win, a head coach that’s preaching fast aggressive, be team first and winning. That’s the culture we’ve got here,” he said.
Raised expectations raise the pressure, and that is just fine with Cyprien.
“When pressure comes it busts pipes or it makes diamonds,” he said.
The Titans open the preseason Thursday at the Green Bay Packers. The window is open, will they stop through?
Click here to read more stories featured in News 2’s New coach. New uniforms. New season. Tennessee Titans on News 2 Thursday.