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  • NASHVILLE Travis Benjamin Jersey , Tenn. (AP) — The NFL tapped Titans coach Mike Vrabel to narrate a video detailing the new rule on lowering the head to initiate contact, hoping the man who played 14 years as a linebacker in the league could more easily explain how players should adapt.

    Now Vrabel’s own Titans (0-2) find themselves tied with defending champion Philadelphia for the most lowering-the-head penalties through two preseason games with five apiece. Tennessee was flagged three times for the new rule in an opening loss in Green Bay , and the Titans added two more in Saturday night’s 30-14 loss to Tampa Bay .

    Getting it right matters because any player initiating contact with his helmet could be ejected after an in-game video review decided in New York.

    So far this preseason, blame either the player making contact, the speed of the game or everyone still getting used to the new rule.

    “Pretty much all those are going to fall into one of those categories,” Vrabel said Sunday.

    Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro drew one penalty for running across the field to tackle Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans at the end of a 38-yard reception on the sideline. Wide receiver Nick Williams was flagged late in the third quarter while on punt coverage, costing the Titans 15 yards.

    Vrabel said Vaccaro has to do a better job avoiding contact with the crown of his helmet while trying to break up the pass. The coach wasn’t sure if Williams made contact, but noted the receiver’s head was in the linear position the NFL is trying to eliminate from the game. The Titans will turn those plays into the league for an explanation.

    The coach said he already showed his team an eight-minute video from the NFL of penalties in the first week of the preseason.

    “We’ll keep doing that and we’ll keep coaching it and we’ll keep stressing it, and hopefully it doesn’t, one, lead to injuries Joe Montana Jersey , or two, cost us yards,” Vrabel said.

    Even though the rule is new, six NFL teams that have played two preseason games have not been flagged even once for lowering the head to initiate contact. Indianapolis, who plays Baltimore on Monday night, was not flagged in its preseason opener. Behind the Titans and Eagles, five teams have been penalized under the rule three times apiece: Arizona, Atlanta, Carolina, the Rams and San Francisco.

    Chicago has three such penalties through three exhibitions.

    The Titans have been penalized 25 times for 258 yards through two games.

    Asked if officials might be a bit overzealous enforcing the rule during the preseason before hopefully scaling back in the regular season, Vrabel said he wasn’t really sure.

    “I try to do my job. They ask me to provide a video Brent Urban Jersey , a voiceover video , on what I thought was the right way to play outside linebacker or inside linebacker taking these blocks on, tackling. I thought I tried to go through and provide examples of what was good and what was probably needed to be fixed and changed in some of the style of play,” Vrabel said.

    “But they don’t tell me, ‘Hey, coach, this is going to get scaled back in the regular season.’ I think these guys are doing what their boss, and the league, is just telling them to do. So if they see that position and they see contact, they’re calling it.”

    That leaves Vrabel and his assistants coaching the Titans better to adjust how they play.

    The Minnesota Twins head into the weekend riding high after taking consecutive series from Cleveland and Boston but could be shorthanded Friday night when they open a three-game set with the Texas Rangers at Target Field.

    Eduardo Escobar left in the fourth inning of Minnesota’s 9-2 loss to the Red Sox Thursday after he took a Rick Porcello fastball to the right elbow.

    The AL leader with 32 doubles this season, Escobar has been red-hot this month Kendell Beckwith Jersey , batting .386 with an .800 slugging percentage in 70 June at-bats.

    Manager Paul Molitor said Escobar would be re-evaluated Friday.

    “He’s sore and swollen,” Molitor said. “I think it got the bottom of the triceps more than on the elbow. We tried to see if he was able to continue, and he gave it a go, but you could tell he was having trouble swinging in that second at-bat.”

    Eddie Rosario was scratched prior to the game Thursday with soreness in his right shoulder. He leads the team with 16 homers this season and has been having a good month as well, batting .357 with a .757 slugging percentage.

    Rosario said he’d be back in the lineup against Texas and Molitor admitted resting the 26-year-old was a precautionary move.

    “I just think we’re trying to keep the big picture in mind,” Molitor said. “So, we’re gonna back him off. It’s just one of those things where you think what you’re doing is best for the player for the long term.”

    The Twins are already without second baseman Miguel Sano, who was optioned to Class A Fort Meyers to work on hitting the slider, and center fielder Byron Buxton, whose fractured toe has shown improvement but not enough to return from a minor league rehab assignment.

    Missing all that firepower will leave right-hander Fernando Romero a much smaller margin for error as he takes the mound for his 10th career start.

    Romero has cooled off since going 2-0 with a 1.66 ERA through his first four big league outings, going 1-2 with a 6.46 ERA over his last five. That number is somewhat skewed by an eight-run disaster at Kansas City back on May 30 Jonathan Stewart Jersey , but Romero’s strikeout rate has plummeted from 9.11 per nine innings to 5.95 over his last four starts.

    “Gosh, there’s still a lot to like,” Molitor said. “The way that he’s been able to get the ball on the ground pretty consistently, especially the way he can get in on righties.”

    In his first start against Texas, Romero will face a Rangers’ lineup that is feeling good after sweeping the Royals earlier in the week and has won five in a row overall.

    Rougned Odor has been a catalyst for the Rangers’ recent success. He was hitting .169 exactly one month ago but has batted .267 with a .761 OPS in the 26 games since to raise his average to .226.

    “I believe he’s progressively gotten better,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “He’s showed progress where we need him to show progress. Odor has been a significant player on this team and will continue to be a significant player.”

    Left-hander Mike Minor gets the start for Texas.

    He held the Rockies to two runs over seven innings in his last outing, giving him a second consecutive quality start for the first time since earning six in a row for the Braves back during the 2014 season.

    Friday will mark Minor’s first career start against the Twins.

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