Some were surprised when Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel emerged as a candidate for the Rams head coaching job, since he hasn’t been a coordinator yet.
But Patriots coach Bill Belichick had a sense that his former linebacker (and red zone tight end) was going to end up in the business, based on their many conversations when he was playing in New England.
“Yeah, we talked about that several times during his career,” Belichick said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “Mike does a tremendous job. As a player he was very astute, had a great understanding of his position and technique and how to play his spot and corresponding positions from an overall standpoint. He had a very good grasp of the overall defensive and offensive concepts and how they would attack different fronts. We talked about that.
“Of course, I never worked with Mike as a coach. As a player, he certainly showed those qualities. A lot of players understand the game well and have a good awareness, but Mike has good leadership, good communication. He’s direct. He gets along with everybody, has a good way of working with people, got good leadership skills. Those things are very important.”
Vrabel’s been part of a strong staff in Houston, which helped the Texans become the league’s leading defense. While climbing to the head coaching ranks without the traditional step between (he turned down a chance to be the 49ers coordinator last year) might be a stretch, but having an endorsement from Belichick can’t hurt.