The secret behind the Tennessee Titans’ pregame meetings on the opposing team’s logos is a simple one – mental warfare.
“No doubt it’s mental warfare,” inside linebacker Rashaan Evans said Thursday on the Jim Rome Show. “Whenever you get your opponents upset before the game even starts you’ve already started on a good ride.”
Tennessee’s pregame ritual garnered attention after a spat with Baltimore on Nov. 22. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh categorized the meetings as “disrespectful,” but his comments didn’t stop Evans, or his team, from doing it again the following week at Indianapolis.
The history of the act coincides with Mike Vrabel’s arrival in Nashville. That explains why Tennessee remained unfazed by the opposing coach’s opinion, said Evans. It’s just part of what the team does to prep for the game.
“This is just something we do,” Evans, a first-round draft pick in 2018, said. “We have been doing that since I’ve been here.”
For Tennessee, it is means of imposing the team’s will on the opponent. It’s not necessarily meant to disrespect the other organization, instead, it’s simply a part of the gameplan – mind games before the actual game.
“Our players will run out there to midfield like they’ve done since I’ve been here,” Vrabel said last week. “They’ll break it down and come over to the sidelines and I’ll make some last-minute adjustments or talk to some of the assistants. We’ll go from there.”
This season, the ritual seems to be working just fine for Evans and the Titans.
The team is 8-3 heading into Sunday’s matchup against Cleveland. Both teams have win-streaks (two games for Tennessee, and three for Cleveland). And both have an elite run game, with the Browns boasting Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, while the Titans trot out the current NFL rushing leader in Derrick Henry.
Three road games remain for Tennessee, Dec. 13 at Jacksonville, Dec. 27 at Green Bay and Jan. 3 at Houston.
So, ritual and all, the only thing the Titans are really worried about at this point is winning football games.
“For us, all we can worry about is us, and what we do,” Evans told Rome. “Whatever else happens after that, the only thing we are worried about is a W.”