Rashad Weaver strikes Mike Vrabel as someone who wants to work hard and be a good teammate.
The Tennessee Titans coach will leave it up to others to figure out whether or not the rookie defensive end struck a woman during a public argument last month.
Weaver, one of two Titans’ fourth-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, is among the 28 first-year players and inexperienced veterans involved in this weekend’s rookie minicamp, which runs from Friday through Sunday. The 6-foot-4, 259-pound defensive end out of Pitt was a full participant Saturday, when media was allowed to attend, but was not made available to answer reporters’ questions after the session.
Vrabel, therefore, was the only one who addressed allegations against Weaver, which came to light publicly two days after Tennessee selected him with the 135th overall pick. Police in Pittsburgh charged Weaver with simple assault on April 30, a day before he was drafted.
“We understand the severity of the accusations,” Vrabel said. “We take them very seriously. But we’re also going to allow the legal process to play its part and run its course.”
According to reports, witnesses identified Weaver as the man who struck a woman in the early morning hours of April 18 outside a Pittsburgh nightclub. The two reportedly had argued publicly, and the woman told police she threw her drink at Weaver. Days later, she said she was diagnosed with a concussion.
When the news broke, the Titans said in a statement that they found out about the alleged incident that morning and were unaware of it prior to their decision to add Weaver to their team.
“Having talked to [general manager] Jon [Robinson] and having met with Jon as much as I have, his scouts and our coaches – we stand by the process of evaluating players,” Vrabel said. “There’s always going to be things that come up, and we’ll do our best to do everything we can to avoid those and then work through them when they happen.”
Weaver is one of three players among the eight the Titans drafted this year who has yet to sign a contract. It is unclear whether the team intends to wait on legal proceedings before they make a financial commitment to him.
As of now, a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5.
Weaver was a three-year starter at Pitt who was a consensus All-American in 2020 after having missed all of 2019 with a knee injury. Outside of football, he was a member of the Blue & Gold Society, an undergraduate organization composed of top students who serve as ambassadors for the university and Pitt Alumni Association.
“Everything I’ve seen from Rashad here in person, he’s been one that’s been attentive and wants to try to be a good teammate and has taken coaching,” Vrabel said.