Former Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel was sworn in as the Titans new head coach. The move was made official on January 22nd, nearly a week after contract talks with former head coach Mike Mularkey fell through.
Vrabel, 42, has a great reputation in football because of his leadership qualities. From his playing days in college and the NFL to his time as an assistant coach, those around him have raved about his presence and how others respond to him.
From 2014 to 2016, Houston’s defense ranked third in the NFL in net yards allowed per game (319.9) while Vrabel served as linebackers coach. In 2015, the Texans’ linebackers combined for 22.5 of the team’s franchise-record 45 sacks.
In 2012 during his short tenure with his former alma mater, Mike Vrabel coached as an assistant for the Ohio State Buckeyes. That same year, the then 37-year old Vrabel was also named Big Ten Recruiter of the Year by ESPN.
Mike Vrabel was on three Super Bowl teams with the New England Patriots in 8 years. He played in 206 games over 14 seasons. He also played for the Steelers under coach Bill Cowher, he’s worked under Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, and current Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.
A big reason as to why the Titans decided to go with Mike Vrabel is due to the fact that Marcus Mariota took a major step back in 2017, despite winning his first playoff game. The Titans were very displeased with the progression of their former No. 2 overall selection. Even more so, Rishard Matthews and Delanie Walker have spoken their peace as well on the Titans’ coaching inefficiencies.
It was seem by sone as odd that they would go with a defensive minded coach to replace Mike Mularkey, but Vrabel has stated that he will work with Mariota to get him back to where he used to be.
To aid the presumed revival of Marcus Mariota’s career, Vrabel added former Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Matt LeFleur into the mix to help stop some of the bleeding. He was wonderful in his lone season with the Rams giving rebirth to the careers of Jared Goff, Robert Woods, and Sammy Watkins.
Here is what the enthusiasm is about Vrabel. He’s played on winning teams and know what it takes to win. Not to mention, he carries a lot of Bill Belichick with him from eight years as a Patriot. He has a presence in front of players and he’s seen as a guy who brings people together and who can help build a winner.
Whether or not the former Ohio State Buckeyes deserves it or not, that is his reputation in the NFL. Don’t underestimate his connection with the greatest coac of all time, Bill Belichick. Ever. A lot of people are expecting this guy to be great.
It’s still somewhat of an odd situation that a team would so willingly fire their head coach after winning their first playoff game in over a decade. However, Mike Mularkey’s stubbornness becomes Mike Vrabel’s gain. The NFL world will finally get to see after waiting so long how he will fair as a head coach.