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Bill Belichick saw signs of a coach in Mike Vrabel

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 25:  Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots talks with Mike Vrabel #50 on the sidelines against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 25, 2007 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

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.

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34 Responses to “Bill Belichick saw signs of a coach in Mike Vrabel”
  1. truninerfan49 says: Jan 11, 2017 8:55 AM

    I think most guys would turn down the chance to be Chip Kelly’s D coordinator

  2. Salamano says: Jan 11, 2017 8:55 AM

    Vrabel: 14 Targets, 10 Receptions, 10 TDs …

    Pretty good stat-line.

  3. terripet says: Jan 11, 2017 9:04 AM

    Mike as a defensive coach you should know how to take away Julie from catching his three yard passes punish him when he comes over the middle

  4. jjackwagon says: Jan 11, 2017 9:06 AM

    Vrabel is a good guy but still needs some coordinator success before being considered for the HC job.

  5. streetyson says: Jan 11, 2017 9:17 AM

    Crybaugh was given a leg up into coaching by Belichick recommending him, which classy Crybaugh has repaid in spades – spades of false aspertions. However, Vrabel IS class and will be a HC one day – a good one.

  6. myspaceyourface says: Jan 11, 2017 9:25 AM

    That’s about as good of a referral as a person is going to get. I’m not Patriots fan, but you can’t beat those compliments.

  7. bosoxpatsfanincali12 says: Jan 11, 2017 9:26 AM

    Vrabel!!!

    Lets hire jerod mayo as our lb coach. I think he could coach too

  8. lifetimefan says: Jan 11, 2017 9:27 AM

    I seem to remember another article where BB stated Vrabel was one of the smartest players he had ever coached.

  9. j0esixpack says: Jan 11, 2017 9:30 AM

    Belichick has said many good things about Vrabel over the years – and despite his barb at Defensive players wanting to play offense, Vrabel, the LB was the exception – a trusted goal line TE with 10 career TDs – 2 of them in the playoffs

    Belichick seemed to know Vrabel was an intelligent player when he signed him away from the Steelers

    Heck – the guy even has a handful of kick returns under his resume!

    Any team would be wise to grab him – he’s going to have to have good coordinators but as far as seeing the big picture of the game and being a true leader of men, I can’t think of any other coach out there I’d want for my team (‘cept Belichick of course!)

  10. Flash1287 says: Jan 11, 2017 9:31 AM

    terripet says:
    Jan 11, 2017 9:04 AM
    Mike as a defensive coach you should know how to take away Julie from catching his three yard passes punish him when he comes over the middle

    #Jealousy

  11. nhpats says: Jan 11, 2017 9:32 AM

    terripet says:
    Jan 11, 2017 9:04 AM
    Mike as a defensive coach you should know how to take away Julie from catching his three yard passes punish him when he comes over the middle

    —————

    Hush child…..BB is talking….

  12. bballplaya88 says: Jan 11, 2017 9:39 AM

    Not every retired player can be a coach. just sayin

  13. factschecker says: Jan 11, 2017 9:46 AM

    #50 Mike Vrable and #50 Rob Ninkovich even sort of look alike. Both from the Big Ten. Both played for Black and Gold before coming to NE. (Pitt for Vrable. NO for Ninko) Neither makes tons upon tons of plays but the plays they do make seem to be at the absolute biggest moments.

    I use to wonder if BB use to mistakenly call Rob “Mike” but now I could see BB mistakenly calling Mike “Rob”. You take the name off the back and they are hard to separate. I may never see another player get replaced by such an equal level of player in style of play.

    Can we do that with Tom Brady? Replace a legend with someone as equally competitive, talented and charming QB? That’s probably a bit too much to ask.

  14. qbarrel says: Jan 11, 2017 9:48 AM

    terripet says:
    Jan 11, 2017 9:04 AM
    Mike as a defensive coach you should know how to take away Julie from catching his three yard passes punish him when he comes over the middle

    ================

    “Julie” has a career ypc of 10.7 . Just felt the need to inform the uninformed.

  15. thirdand43 says: Jan 11, 2017 9:49 AM

    In my humble opinion, not only would he be a terrific NFL head coach, I think he would make an even better college head coach because of the life impact he could make on 18-22 year old young men.

  16. superpatriotsfan says: Jan 11, 2017 9:54 AM

    Yeah, he sure learned a thing or two about bending the rules from BB.

  17. ikeclanton says: Jan 11, 2017 9:57 AM

    terripet says:
    Jan 11, 2017 9:04 AM
    Mike as a defensive coach you should know how to take away Julie from catching his three yard passes punish him when he comes over the middle

    No one else has figured out how to stop Julian Edelman in all the years he’s been tearing up the league, but yeah, Vrabel will get right on that–first order of business.

    Thanks for the good tip!

  18. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 11, 2017 10:00 AM

    “Lets hire jerod mayo as our lb coach. I think he could coach too”

    Most former players don’t want to be coaches because as a position coach they make 70-100k a year and have to put in 70-80+ hour work weeks.

    Mayo probably makes at least that much for his cushy TV gig.

    Troy Brown has mentioned several times that exact fact. He was offered the chance to be receivers coach 2 or 3 times he said but the time commitment isn’t worth it for any player who was smart with his NFL money.

    The easy TV gig is going to win out almost every time.

  19. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 11, 2017 10:03 AM

    “you should know how to take away Julie from catching his three yard passes punish him when he comes over the middle”

    Lol you keep making these same silly comments when the Pats led the league in completions of 20+ yards in the air this year.

    I especially liked the one to Hogan that was over 50 yards in the air and right on the money. Too bad he never had a QB in Buffalo who could throw to him like that.

    But according to you Tom must have tossed himself the ball 17 times for 3 yards each in the same play, before finally throwing a 3 yard lateral to Hogan.

    SMH

  20. chieftaindawg says: Jan 11, 2017 10:06 AM

    Vrabel would have retired a Pat if it weren’t for the comments he made about Patriot Place and owners being able to make gazillions off of the players. Quality guy, great player, solid coach. Good luck to him.

  21. logast says: Jan 11, 2017 10:06 AM

    It is really hard not to like Vrabel. Heck, I can’t even hold the fact he went to Ohio State against him.

  22. silvernblacksabbath says: Jan 11, 2017 10:08 AM

    Vrabel and Ninkovich…. bad dudes!

  23. imodan says: Jan 11, 2017 10:28 AM

    superpatriotsfan says:
    Jan 11, 2017 9:54 AM

    Yeah, he sure learned a thing or two about bending the rules from BB.
    ———————————————————-
    What he learned was how to win, consistently. This is the NFL where winning isn’t everything, it’s the ONLY thing. The great Vince Lombardi told us that along time ago. But you keep to your one line script while the rest of us don’t hide behind a childish attempt to deceive your team loyalties.

  24. brettsmyboi says: Jan 11, 2017 10:42 AM

    I like Ninkovich solid player rarely out of position always makes the plays he’s supposed to and every now and again comes through with big plays in crucial moments, similar player to Vrabel, that said Vrabel was better in every way, put him on another team that chased stats as opposed to the Pats who chased rings he would’ve been in the pro bowl yearly.

  25. dumbaseinstien says: Jan 11, 2017 10:48 AM

    Too bad Vrabel can’t say the same thing about Belicheat…

  26. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Jan 11, 2017 10:51 AM

    Given how the Texans seemingly fold when they play the Patriots, it’s clear all the former Patriots coaching staff have no desire to beat their former team.

  27. RE LEE says: Jan 11, 2017 11:01 AM

    Cheat sheet… Broncos number one. Patriots number 15. For those willfully ignorant haters. You’re welcome.

  28. maust1013 says: Jan 11, 2017 11:03 AM

    dumbaseinstien says:
    Jan 11, 2017 10:48 AM
    Too bad Vrabel can’t say the same thing about Belicheat…
    ====================

    Yawn. Here’s your cookie. How are those queens doing? Don’t see anyone saying much of anything about them. Who are they playing this weekend?

  29. patsfiend says: Jan 11, 2017 11:10 AM

    Strong staff in Houston. They get up for every game.

  30. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Jan 11, 2017 11:24 AM

    Being a coordinator is not a requirement for getting a HC job. Experience is nice, but sometimes you can just go with your gut as to whether a guy is ready.

    Make fun of him all you want, but Andy Reid has an outstanding record as a head coach. He was never a coordinator. He was quarterbacks coach for the Packers when the Eagles hired him.

  31. skinnylegspeytonmanning says: Jan 11, 2017 12:19 PM

    Wow. Big Billy has suddenly become a global spiritual leader. He is lovingly sharing his wonderful knowledge on all things with us at all times. Bless you Billy! We love you!

    SLPM

  32. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 11, 2017 12:36 PM

    Billy has spoken and so the sheep shall bleat in unison their agreement.

    Vrabel may make a good HC, but BB’s coaching tree is missing a few broken limbs.

  33. bullcharger says: Jan 11, 2017 1:58 PM

    Nofoolnodrool says:
    Jan 11, 2017 12:36 PM
    Billy has spoken and so the sheep shall bleat in unison their agreement.
    Vrabel may make a good HC, but BB’s coaching tree is missing a few broken limbs.

    ————-

    Maybe so, but the limbs that are there have a lot of leaves. Saban (maybe the best college football coach of all time), Kirk Ferentz, Bill O’Brien. Not so terrible.

  34. ibillwt says: Jan 14, 2017 10:26 AM

    In the first place, the media conveniently prunes and grafts coaches from one so-called tree to another depending on their bias (aka “storyline”).

    The best example is the fact that Belichick was coaching in the league and with the Giants before Parcels ever started, but the New York and Boston media drank Parcels’ phony act. Parcels had a LOSING record and ZERO playoff wins without Belichcik. In contrast, history will show that Belichick’s record in developing coaches is unsurpassed.

    More importantly, I could care less about my coach’s “tree”. Belichick is the greatest coach of all time based on what HIS teams have done in the free agency era. Everybody else is on their own.

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