Titans coach Mike Vrabel criticizes star receiver Julio Jones after costly penalty

Written By Jake Aferiat
Julio-Jones-09132021-Getty-FTR
(Getty Images)

Even bona fide NFL superstars commit penalties once in a while.

But rarely do they so clearly and explicitly draw the ire of the coach after the fact, as was the case with star Titans receiver Julio Jones and coach Mike Vrabel.

Early in the game, Jones got hit for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that saw the Titans go from looking at a third-and-1 situation to a far less manageable third-and-16 while trailing 10-0 in the first quarter.

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It was just the beginning of a lackluster performance for both Jones — who had three catches for just 29 yards — and for the Titans, who lost to Arizona 38-13 and gave up five sacks to Chandler Jones.

"That was absolutely nothing we coach, or teach," Vrabel said regarding Jones' penalty, which he also said "hurts the team."

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Jones was brought over from the Falcons in exchange for a second-round pick in 2022 and a fourth-round pick in 2023 and is a seven-time Pro-Bowler who has twice led the NFL in receiving yards and joined one of the NFL's top offensive units from a year ago.

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