Titans Coach Mike Vrabel Leads By Example By Allowing Black Assistant Head Coach Terrell Williams To Serve As HC In Preseason Game

In a move that makes so much sense it should be mandatory, Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is stepping aside on Saturday to allow his assistant head coach, Terrell Williams, the opportunity to serve as head coach in a preseason game against the Chicago Bears.

“I told the team and everyone involved here in the organization Terrell Williams will act as the head coach against Chicago, starting on Friday,” Vrabel, who got his head coaching opportunity just seven years into his career on the sideline, said to gathered reporters. “This is a great opportunity for him and for us and for everyone involved. So, ‘Big T’ will handle that.”

Vrabel Inspiring His Team With This Act

Williams, who is Black, is two years older than Vrabel and began his coaching career at the collegiate level in 1998. He has worked his way up the ladder, but opportunities to be an NFL head coach are few and far between. Especially with the league’s terrible track record on hiring Black head coaches.

This decision by Vrabel is significant in that Williams will have a low-pressure opportunity to get real head coaching experience. He’ll be coaching a team he’s been a part of since 2018, so he’ll know the terminology, players, and show his ability to lead from the big chair.

He will devise the game plan, craft a message to the team, and manage in-game strategy.

In a league where coaches are known to be dictators and controlling over every aspect of the team, this is a move that could pay real dividends.

In pro sports, coaches are just as competitive as players. There are a scarce amount of jobs. Most coaches fear they will be fired and don’t want to hire their replacements or do anything that would allow their assistants to shine.

More Coaches Should See The Big Picture

But the coaches that have the most job security and build true cultures of success, understand that x’s and o’s and getting credit is only part of their job.

Think of the NBA San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich allowing Becky Hammon to serve as head coach of the summer league team. Or Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr taking a lineup suggestion from a second row assistant in the NBA playoffs.

If the ultimate goal is to win, you need everyone feeling as though they can contribute so you’re all pulling in the same direction.

Maybe this leads to more white head coaches doing the same for their Black assistants. Maybe it forces the NFL to look long and hard at its hiring practices.

Or maybe it’s just something the Titans and Vrabel will do and they will reap the rewards.

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