Vrabel with the Titans in 2019
|Born:||August 14, 1975|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||261 lb (118 kg)|
|High school:|| Walsh Jesuit |
(Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio)
|NFL Draft:||1997 / Round: 3 / Pick: 91|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||18–14 (.563)|
|Player stats at PFR|
Michael George Vrabel ( // ; born August 14, 1975) is an American football coach and former linebacker who is currently the head coach of the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Ohio State University, where he earned consensus All-American honors. He was chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft, joined the New England Patriots as a free agent in 2001, where he became an All-Pro and a three-time Super Bowl champion, then finished his career with the Kansas City Chiefs.
After retiring as a player following the 2010 season, he was the linebackers and defensive line coach at Ohio State for three seasons. His NFL coaching career began in 2014 with the Houston Texans as linebackers coach and then defensive coordinator, before being hired in 2018 as head coach of the Titans.
Vrabel was born in Akron, Ohio. He is a 1993 graduate of Walsh Jesuit High School in nearby Cuyahoga Falls, where he was a standout on their football team.
Vrabel accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Ohio State University, where he played defensive end from 1993 to 1996. He compiled twelve quarterback sacks as a sophomore, thirteen as a junior, and forty-eight tackles and nine sacks as a senior.As a senior in 1996, he was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American. Vrabel finished his career at Ohio State by being named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in both 1995 and 1996, becoming only the second player to ever win the award twice (Wendell Bryant of Wisconsin being the other). He totaled thirty-six sacks and sixty-six tackles for a loss.
He was named to the Ohio State Football All-Century Team in 2000, and in 2012 was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Vrabel was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round (91st overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft.He spent the first four seasons of his career in Pittsburgh. His most notable play as a Steeler came in his rookie season, when he sacked Drew Bledsoe in the 1997–98 AFC Divisional Playoffs to clinch a 7–6 win for the Steelers. Vrabel had 12 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 1998, 9 tackles and two sacks in 1999 and 15 tackles, one sack, and one fumble recovery in 2000.
Vrabel joined the New England Patriots as a free agent for the 2001 season.He played in every game on defense, starting in 12. He would occasionally come in as an eligible receiver, lining up as a tight end. Belichick took advantage of this in 2004 in Super Bowl XXXVIII. In the fourth quarter, Tom Brady threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Vrabel, making Vrabel the first defensive player to score a Super Bowl touchdown on offense since William "Refrigerator" Perry did so for the Chicago Bears against the Patriots in 1986's Super Bowl XX. Vrabel was one of the defensive stars as well; he had two sacks (one forcing a fumble) of Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme.
In Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, Vrabel caught a two-yard touchdown pass despite being held by Philadelphia's Jevon Kearse, a feat pictured on the cover of the 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book. The reception made him one of 17 players to catch two or more touchdown passes in Super Bowls.
Vrabel finished with ten career receptions in just 14 targets, all for touchdowns.He caught one in 2002, two in 2004, three in 2005, and two in 2007 in the regular season, and one each in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX, all with the Patriots, and one each in 2009 and 2010 with the Chiefs (thrown by former Patriot Matt Cassel). According to the website Cold Hard Football Facts, no other player in NFL history has a better record of converting receptions to touchdowns. His versatility was good enough for NFL Network to rank him #7 on their Top 10 episode of the Most Versatile Players.
In Week 8 of the 2007 season, Vrabel forced three fumbles, had three sacks, recovered an onside kick, and scored an offensive touchdown against the Washington Redskins, for which he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. In December 2007 he was selected to start at the Pro Bowl; in January 2008 he was named to the NFL All-Pro team for the 2007 season.
On December 26, 2005, on the final Monday Night Football game on ABC, Vrabel became, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the first player—since the official recording of sacks began in 1982—to have two touchdown catches and a sack in the same game.
Though right outside linebacker had been Vrabel's primary position in the Patriots' 3-4 scheme in his first four seasons with New England, in 2005 Vrabel moved to inside linebacker, because of the limited effectiveness of inside backers Monty Beisel and Chad Brown, although he had never before played inside in the NFL. By the time Tedy Bruschi had returned from injury, he and Vrabel were the two men starting inside. Rosevelt Colvin successfully filled Vrabel's old spot, and many cite the change in positions as a major contributor to the Patriots' rebound in the second half of the season. Vrabel moved inside again late in the 2006 season after Junior Seau suffered a broken arm.
On February 27, 2009, the Patriots traded Vrabel to the Kansas City Chiefs for what was originally announced as an undisclosed draft pick.The following day it was revealed that Patriots traded both Vrabel and Matt Cassel in exchange for the Chiefs' second round pick, the 34th overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Vrabel retired on July 10, 2011 to become the linebackers coach at Ohio State.On December 21, 2011 new Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer decided to keep Vrabel on as part of his coaching staff as defensive line coach.
On January 10, 2014, Vrabel was hired by the Houston Texans as a linebackers coach.During his three seasons as linebackers coach, the Texans ranked third in the NFL in yards allowed per game. In January 2016 news outlets reported that the San Francisco 49ers offered Vrabel their defensive coordinator job; Vrabel declined the offer and remained in Houston. In January 2017 the Texans named Vrabel as their defensive coordinator, moving previous coordinator Romeo Crennel to assistant head coach. He coached players such as JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus, and Benardrick McKinney.
On January 20, 2018, Vrabel was hired as the head coach of the Tennessee Titans on a five-year deal.On September 16, 2018, Vrabel beat the Houston Texans 20–17 in Week 2 for his first career win as a head coach. On September 30, 2018, he led the Titans to a 26–23 overtime victory over the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles in a Week 4 upset. On November 11, 2018, Vrabel beat his former longtime coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in a 34–10 Week 10 victory. Under Vrabel, the Titans' defense improved from the 13th-ranked defense in 2017 to the eighth-ranked defense in 2018. Vrabel and the Titans narrowly missed the playoffs by one game and finished the 2018 season with a 9–7 record.
The 2019 season saw the Titans once again finish 9-7, however, this occurrence would be enough to make the playoffs as a sixth seed. During a 16-0 shutout loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 6, Vrabel elected to bench quarterback Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill, a move that led to the Titans winning seven of their final ten games despite starting 2-4.
In the wild-card round, Tennessee upset the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 20-13, led by running back Derrick Henry's 204 yards from scrimmage, to advance to the divisional round against the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens, where they would once again pull off an upset, winning 28-12 behind another breakout performance from Henry with 202 scrimmage yards along with a passing touchdown on a trick play. With the win, the Titans advanced to their first AFC Championship game in seventeen seasons, where they were eliminated by the eventual Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs, 35-24.
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|TEN||2018||9||7||0||.563||3rd in AFC South||—||—||—||—|
|TEN||2019||9||7||0||.563||2nd in AFC South||2||1||.667||Lost to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Championship Game|
Vrabel and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons, Tyler and Carter.Tyler currently plays offensive line for the Boston College Eagles football team. Carter committed to play baseball at Wabash Valley College in September 2019. Vrabel founded the "Mike's Second and Seven Foundation" with his former Ohio State teammates Ryan Miller and Luke Fickell to promote literacy in the Ohio area.
In March 2011, Vrabel was arrested and charged with a Class D felony for theft at an Indiana casino. According to reports from Kansas City television station KMBC and ProFootballTalk.com, the incident involved eight bottles of beer at a deli. Vrabel was released after posting a $600 bond.
Super Bowl XXXVI was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion St. Louis Rams and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2001 season. The Patriots defeated the Rams by the score of 20–17. It was New England's first Super Bowl championship, and the franchise's first league championship of any kind. The game was also notable for snapping the AFC East's long streak of not being able to win a Super Bowl championship, as the division's teams had lost eight Super Bowls in total. It would be the last time the Rams reached a Super Bowl during their time in St. Louis; the team would return to Super Bowl LIII in 2019 as the Los Angeles Rams 17 years later, where they would again face the Patriots, only to lose 13–3.
William Stephen Belichick is an American professional football coach who serves as the head coach of the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He exercises extensive authority over the Patriots' football operations, effectively making him the team's general manager as well. He holds numerous coaching records, including winning a record six Super Bowls as the head coach of the Patriots, and two more as defensive coordinator for the New York Giants. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest coaches in NFL history by current and former players, his peers, and the press.
Tedy Lacap Bruschi is a former professional American football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons. He played college football for the University of Arizona, and was a two-time consensus All-American. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft, and played his entire professional career with the Patriots. Bruschi won three Super Bowls and was a two-time All-Pro selection.
Rodney Scott Harrison is an American former professional football player in the National Football League (NFL). Harrison played strong safety for the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and winner of two Super Bowl rings. During his career, Harrison set and still holds the record for sacks by a defensive back, as well as becoming the first NFL player with 30 sacks and 30 interceptions. He currently serves as a commentator for Sunday Night Football on NBC. On October 10, 2019 he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame at a game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro versus the New York Giants.
Charles Richard "Dick" LeBeau is a former American football coach and cornerback who was last an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He was active at field level in the NFL for 59 consecutive seasons – 14 as a player with the Detroit Lions and 45 as a coach. He is considered to be one of the greatest defensive coordinators of all time. Considered an “innovator” and “defensive football genius”, LeBeau popularized the "zone blitz" when he was defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals in the late 1980s.
Adalius Donquail Thomas is a former American football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons. He played college football for the University of Southern Mississippi. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, and also played for the NFL's New England Patriots.
Russell Dean Pees is a former American football defensive coach. He served as the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, and Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL), and was also the head coach at Kent State University from 1998 to 2003, compiling a record of 17–51.
Thomas "Pepper" Johnson is an American football coach and former linebacker who played in the National Football League for 13 seasons, the first seven of which were for the New York Giants. He won two Super Bowls with the Giants before playing for the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and New York Jets.
Robert Michael Ninkovich is a former American football outside linebacker who played eleven seasons in National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Purdue as a defensive end and was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He also played for the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, winning two Super Bowls with the latter. After eight seasons with the Patriots, Ninkovich announced his retirement from the NFL following 2016.
The 2003 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 34th season in the National Football League, the 44th overall and the 4th under head coach Bill Belichick. They finished with a league-best 14–2 record before advancing to and winning Super Bowl XXXVIII.
The 2005 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 36th season in the National Football League, the 46th overall and the 6th under head coach Bill Belichick. Following a Week 6 loss to the Denver Broncos, the Patriots failed to either improve or match their 14-2 record from last season, finishing with a 10–6 record and the division title before losing in the playoffs to the Broncos, ending their hopes of becoming the first NFL team to three peat in the Super Bowl.
Patrick Christopher Chung is a Jamaican professional American football strong safety for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at Oregon and has also been a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. In May 2020, Chung was named to the New England Patriots 2010s All-Decade Team.
Brian Ndubisi Orakpo is a former American football outside linebacker who played 10 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Texas, was recognized as a unanimous All-American, and was drafted by the Washington Redskins with the thirteenth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He also played for Tennessee Titans, and was selected to four Pro Bowls.
Qualin Dont'a Hightower is an American football inside linebacker for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Alabama, was recognized as an All-American, and was a member of two BCS National Championship teams and was selected by the Patriots in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Hightower, who is noted for his versatility, can play both middle and outside linebacker. He won Super Bowl XLIX, Super Bowl LI, and Super Bowl LIII with the Patriots.
Kyle Van Noy is an American football linebacker for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft after playing college football at Brigham Young University (BYU), where he was recognized as a third team All-American.
Malcolm Terel Butler is an American football cornerback for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). Butler played collegiate football at the University of West Alabama. During his senior year in 2013, Butler broke up 18 passes and had two interceptions and was named first-team All-Gulf South Conference at cornerback. Butler entered the NFL in 2014, signing as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots.
Elandon Roberts is an American football linebacker for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at University of Houston. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He plays primarily as a linebacker on defense, but when injuries during the 2019 season left the Patriots without a fullback on the roster, Roberts began to play that position as well.
Jayon Lee Brown is an American football linebacker for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Titans in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He played college football at UCLA.
The Brady–Belichick era, also known as the New England Patriots dynasty or the Patriots dynasty, was a sports dynasty in the National Football League (NFL) from the 2000 season to the 2019 season.
Shane Andrew Bowen is an American football outside linebacker coach with the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (“NFL”).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mike Vrabel .|