Joining NFL Network's Good Morning Football Friday, Vrabel said the conversation was just old friends connecting.
"Well, it would be no different than a conversation you would have with your girlfriends on a weekend," the Titans coach said in response to Kim Jones' question on GMFB. "My relationship goes back to 2001 with Tom Brady -- training camp in Rhode Island, at Parente's we'd go to practice and bunch of us would go out to the bar at Parente's after practice and that's where a lot of those friendships were made. Those friendships aren't just going to stop or not continue to grow and develop now that I'm a head coach and he's a quarterback with and expiring contract. Those are going to continue on well after we're done playing with his family, with my family and having the ability to meet Jules and all those players -- there's a special bond that goes on in the locker room and that's not going to stop."
The friendship between Vrabel and Brady might be able to explain away the public Facetime call, but it's also the reason the quarterback is being linked to the Titans in the first place. Of all the places Brady could land outside of New England, Tennessee has the distinct advantage of having the coach understand Brady's personal machinations and could provide a certain setting for the 42-year-old signal-caller.
"You mentioned both Derrick and Ryan and those two players were a large part of our success," Vrabel said. "They helped us get to where we were. It wasn't good enough but we always recognize those players who have helped us get to where we are and obviously, the business of football to me is that every day Jon [Robinson] and I are trying to look for players that are younger and cheaper. The players in those seats are doing everything that they possibly can to make sure that doesn't happen. I recognize that is the definition of what the business of football is to me. I recognized that in my career and obviously see it in the same sense as a head coach."
The Titans have big decisions to make within the week. The franchise tag deadline is Thursday, March 12. Tannehill or Henry could get tagged -- or both.
With the NFL players' CBA voting deadline closing after the tag deadline, teams will be allowed to franchise tag one player and transition tag another -- per the rules of the final year of the old CBA -- but would be forced to rescind one if the new CBA passes.
The Titans' moves with Tannehill will speak volumes about how they view Brady's pending free agency.
On a more important note, Vrabel had a message to the public in the wake of the tornado disaster in Tennessee: