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There were plenty of reasons for the Tennessee Titans to dislike their Week 1 effort, a 38-13 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
But after hearing Titans head coach Mike Vrabel on Monday, it's hard to imagine him disliking much more than Julio Jones' unnecessary roughness penalty early in the game when it was still, you know, a close game.
It was 10-0 Arizona at the time, and the Titans appeared to be facing a 3rd and 1 after Derrick Henry ran for 7 yards on 2nd and 8. But Jones tangled with Cardinals DB Byron Murphy, and the flag flew. Jones was guilty.
That made it 3rd and 15. Titans QB Ryan Tannehill threw an incomplete pass — and was nearly picked off. The Titans punted, and by the early second quarter it was 17-zip, Cardinals.
Vrabel could be see shaking his head on the game broadcast after the call was made. He was asked about Jones' penalty on Monday, and he didn't hold back in a video posted by ESPN's Turron Davenport.
“That’s absolutely nothing we coach or teach," Vrabel said. "So that would fall under the category of doing dumb s*** that hurts the team. Right there, in bold letters.”
Jones' Titans debut didn't go as expected. He caught only three passes for 29 yards on six targets.
All three of Jones' targets that he didn't catch clanged off his hands. One would have been a spectacular catch. But one came in the end zone (with the Titans down three scores) and another deflected into the arms of the Cardinals' Isaiah Simmons for an interception after the Titans had been driving, mid-third quarter.
If the Titans are going to beat the 1-0 Seattle Seahawks next week, they'll need far less "dumb s***" from Jones and the rest of the squad.