New Linebacker Goes Way Back With Vrabel

John Simon had the Tennessee Titans head coach as his position coach at times in college and in the NFL.
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In case there was any question about whether the Tennessee Titans ever stop trying to improve their roster, here’s the answer.

Sunday, two days before veterans are scheduled to report for the start of training camp, they made a roster move.

Outside linebacker John Simon, an eight-year NFL veteran who has played for four different teams, was signed. To make room, outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper was released.

The 30-year-old Simon has 97 games of NFL experience with Baltimore, Indianapolis, Houston and New England. He started every game in 2020 for the Patriots and has made 52 starts in all. For his career, he has been credited with 277 tackles, 21 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

As has been the case with a number of Titans additions in recent years, Simon has a connection to coach Mike Vrabel through the Houston Texans. Simon spent three seasons with the Texans (2014-16), and Varbel was his position coach. He made his first career start (2015), recorded his first career sack (2014) and first forced fumble (2016) and recovered his first fumble (2015) with Houston.

Simon entered the league as a fourth-round pick by Baltimore in 2013 out of Ohio State, where during his junior and senior seasons Vrabel was an assistant coach.

Skipper joined the Titans early in the 2020 regular season as a member of the practice squad and by early November he was a regular gameday addition to the active roster. He ultimately appeared in four games with two starts and was credited with five tackles before he finished the regular season on injured reserve. He was returned to the practice squad at the start of the postseason.

Tennessee re-signed him to a futures contract days after the playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens.