With the Patriots facing the Titans (who are coached by former Patriot Mike Vrabel) on Sunday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick had plenty of good things to say about Vrabel during a midweek press conference. Ultimately, Belichick lumped Vrabel, current Patriots defensive back Patrick Chung, and former Patriots defensive back Rodney Harrison into one very special category.
“You know, when you’re working with somebody every day, you get to see them a little bit differently,” Belichick said. “But, with players like Pat, Mike, Rodney, they just never want to come off the field. So if they’re out there on defense, they’re out there for every play, and then when the scout team’s out there, they want to go out there and take scout team plays, too, and jump in there on special teams and be on the scout team, kickoff team, or punt team or whatever it is. I mean, they just like to go out there and play football.
“They’re, all three of those players, in great condition, like never got tired. At least, they didn’t seem like they ever got tired. You know, go run 50 yards and cover a guy and they’re not tapping out, looking for somebody to come in for them. They run back to the huddle and they’re ready to go on the next play, whatever it is. So, that’s the way Mike was. He loved to play on the scout team defense. He’d be their best pass rusher, he’d play middle linebacker, he’d play free safety, strong safety, [Troy] Polamalu, Ed Reed, [Dwight] Freeney. Whoever we were playing, he would love to be those guys against our offense and then he’d take all the snaps on defense. So, all those guys are kind of like that. They bring a lot of good, positive energy to the team by just what they do and how they do it. So, I mean, you can’t put a price on guys like that. They’re great.”
Vrabel and Belichick remain close, and this will be their first meeting with both as head coaches. Vrabel, who has a much different interpersonal style than Belichick, has plenty of similar qualities to Belichick when it comes to coaching, and Vrabel could be on his way to becoming one of the better coaches in the game, especially once he has more than a few players like himself, Chung, and Harrison on the roster.