Jadeveon Clowney is only two practices into his stint with the Tennessee Titans, but already he feels a certain comfort level, because of his past relationship with head coach Mike Vrabel.
Vrabel was Clowney’s position coach in Houston and was defensive coordinator for the Texans in 2017 when the former No. 1 overall pick had arguably his best statistical season.
“I was just trying to figure out what scheme I wanted to be a part of. I know when I was with Vrabel in Houston, I was second-team All-Pro and went to three Pro Bowls with him. So I wanted to see if I could do that with him in this system,” Clowney said in his first meeting with reporters as a Titan on Thursday.
Clowney, 27, agreed to a deal with the Titans over Labor Day weekend, and is busy getting up to speed for Monday night’s opening game in Denver.
“Monday night, of course, I’m going to be ready. I’ve got to. That’s what I signed up for. I’m just looking forward to getting back into playing,” said Clowney, who admits there is a difference in being in regular shape and football shape.
Clowney spoke often of his admiration for Vrabel and how he is a perfect fit for what the Titans coach wants to do on defense.
“I think Mike Vrabel is one of the smartest coaches I’ve ever had since I’ve been playing football. He’s knows football frontward and back, and that’s what he did in Houston was put guys in position to make plays,” Clowney said. “When I got here, he’s starting to move me around already. He’s just putting me in position to make plays. He believes I’m a playmaker and he believes in my ability to make a play. He keeps lining me up all over the place, and I keep executing the calls and making plays for him.”
Clowney has been a welcome addition to the Titans, and said he is meshing well early on with his new teammates. He indicated he appreciated several reaching out to him on Twitter trying to recruit him to town.
On the field, Clowney said Vrabel already has him moving around to different spots like he was used with the Texans.
“I knew if I came to a new system, and a system of Mike Vrabel’s, I knew I could catch on fast and wouldn’t have to think a lot about going out and executing the calls, because I had been in his system before. I’d been in his system and been in Seattle’s system, and I made way more plays in his system than when I was in Seattle,” said Clowney, who had just three sacks last year with the Seahawks.
And if things work out, Clowney, who is in Tennessee on a one-year, $12 million contract, said he would be open to a long-term deal with the Titans.
“I hope so. It’s going well so far. I’m enjoying my time here so far. The players have accepted me. They’re having a good time with me and they like my company,” Clowney said. “They’re like, ‘Man, I’m glad we have you.’ You just want to go out there and help the team as much as possible. Hopefully they see me as a piece of their defense in the future.”
Linebacker Derick Roberson (knee) was out for the second straight day of practice. Also, guard Jamil Douglas (hand) was not present in the open part of practice.Bo
Linebacker Vic Beasley again worked on the side with Mike Vrabel during the open part of practice. Beasley was listed as limited in practice with a knee injury.
Receiver Corey Davis left the practice field before the open period was up and was listed as limited with a hamstring injury. Running back Darrynton Evans is also limited with a hamstring issue.