Mike Vrabel retired from the NFL as a player in 2010 and made a quick rise through the coaching ranks to become the head coach of the Titans this offseason.
The speed of that rise means that there are still players who shared locker rooms with Vrabel around the league. One of those players is back in Vrabel’s locker room this season.
Safety Kendrick Lewis was a rookie with the Chiefs in 2010 and had the locker next to Vrabel. Lewis said he “learned a lot” from the linebacker that year and that he’s continuing to learn from him in their new relationship.
“It is different, obviously,” Lewis said, via the Titans website. “It shows you how great of a job he did during his career, as a player and as a coach. But it is great, man. He was a great player, and he’s an even greater coach. I look forward to continuing my career, learning from him and him teaching me new things.”
Vrabel said Lewis was “conscientious, smart, cared about football, loved football” and “was a good pro” during their year together in Kansas City.
Lewis didn’t play in 2017 and got a contract after trying out during an April minicamp that doesn’t make him a sure thing for the 53-man roster. His history with Vrabel and defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who ran Baltimore’s defense when Lewis played for the Ravens, could help his bid to remain with the team beyond cutdown day.