Cunningham likes familiarity as he prepares for Titans debut

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Zach Cunningham landed in a somewhat familiar place last week when Tennessee claimed him off waivers from the Houston Texans.

Cunningham, who is expected to see his first action with the Titans on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, spoke of his comfort level with Tennessee’s defensive scheme and the city of Nashville. The linebacker was an All-Southeastern Conference player at Vanderbilt before the Texans drafted him in 2017.

“I know a few people on the team being as I spent four years in Nashville at Vandy,” Cunningham said Friday. “So, being able to come back to the city to get around some guys I know, some coaches I know, that was really exciting.”

One of those he knows is coach Mike Vrabel, who was his defensive coordinator in Houston before taking over the Titans in 2018.

“It seems like he’s excited to be here,” Vrabel said. “I felt like his attitude and his demeanor in meetings and on the practice field and communicating and playing football with his teammates (was good).

“The other stuff is going to take some time as far as getting to know teammates and who he’s playing next to, but hopefully he can help us in some capacity on Sunday. He’ll play in the game, help us on special teams and in various situations on defense.”

Cunningham, who had 63 tackles in 10 games this season for Houston, is glad to be back in a system similar to one he thrived in during his first four years with the Texans.

“This is something that I definitely feel more comfortable with,” Cunningham said. “I’ve played it for years, and I definitely feel like I fit it. I’m excited to be back with Vrabs.”

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