Mike Vrabel: It’s about the players, not my years in New England

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No one needs to look too hard to find connections between the Titans and Patriots.

Titans running back Dion Lewis and cornerback Logan Ryan are among a handful of ex-Patriot players in Tennessee while Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees used to have the same job on Bill Belichick’s staff. Titans General Manager Jon Robinson worked in the Patriots front office and their head coach Mike Vrabel won three Super Bowls with the team in the 2000s.

Vrabel played linebacker and caught the occasional touchdown from Tom Brady during his time in New England. Brady is the only active player who was around when Vrabel was in New England, which is why he downplayed the significance of his connections to Saturday’s opponent.

“I’m not going to be out there trying to pass rush Tom,” Vrabel said, via the Tennessean. “This is about the players and the preparation. This isn’t about my career, my eight years in New England. This is about the Titans and our preparation to go up there and face a team that’s won three Super Bowls in the last five years. They’re 8-0 at home [during the playoffs] in that span. They’ve got the No. 1 defense. They’ve got the best coach. They’ve got the best quarterback. So it’s quite a challenge.”

The Patriots’ last home loss in the playoffs came in the AFC title game after the 2012 season, so it’s a challenge that has proven to be too much for many teams over the years. That was the case for the Titans two years ago when Mike Mularkey was their coach and we’ll find out Saturday if Vrabel’s got the right formula for ending that streak.

17 responses to “Mike Vrabel: It’s about the players, not my years in New England

  1. He is really a good coach. That was a ballsy move to switch to Tannehill and he did it ans it paid off big time.
    You can tell his years as a player has been huge for him
    Go Titans

  2. Titans are playing well and I wouldn’t be surprised if they win this weekend.

    Pats need to have the team that beat Buffalo show up, not that crap from last week

  3. I think Titans win. NE has been sleep walking the last few games and doesn’t seem like the dominant team they were earlier in the year. Brady can do a lot but he needs help and others aren’t stepping up. Henry is a big back and can roll up a lot of yards along with eating clock. Look for play action pass all day.

  4. Jamsamwich says:
    January 1, 2020 at 9:26 am
    It won’t matter which team wins. Neither is going to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead. Andy Reid will finally get a SB ring.

    Yeah that’s what Chiefs fans said last year too

  5. It’s not about either it’s about Pats line being heavily patched and the rest of the offense being either banged up all season, or a carousel. Add to that no Gronk or Develin (IR) to help the enfeebled o-line run-block, Brady’s tendonitis, Gostkowski IR, the fact they’re still in it says a lot about the D, coaching and underlying strengths & toughness of the team. I think these issues are too much to reach the SB this year, but you never know. If not I’ll support Vrabel.

  6. “Patriots will crush the Titans, you all know its coming!”

    I don’t think so I believe it will be a very hard fought game, or if anything the Titans may pull out a stunner.

    Last year Vrabel had one of the best defensive game plans the Pats have ever faced. He and his coaching staff know Brady all too well. Dean Pees faced Brady in practice for years as a coach in NE.

    Titans will be a very tough out. On the bright side if the Pats win a tough game it will only help them in the divisional round and the AFCC if they reach it.

  7. Vrabel knows the deal because he’s LIVED IT!! He also knows that the mystique of playing in Foxboro against Brady IS REAL, and some players let it get to them, and Vrabel knows that the only way the Titans will win is if his guys stay focused and ignore the noise. If they spend too much time thinking about what’s gone on in years past they’ll fall victim to that very Mystique that’s crushed other opponents, and right now the Titans are the better team so they SHOULD win this thing, but if that crucial moment comes and it’s Tom Brady with the ball with under 2 minutes to go, and a chance to win the game, Vrabel doesn’t want his guys thinking of how many times Tom has crushed some other teams dream. He just wants his guys to DO THEIR JOBS!! Titans should win the only question is will they…We shall see

  8. “It’s not about either it’s about Pats line being heavily patched and the rest of the offense being either banged up all season, or a carousel. Add to that no Gronk or Develin (IR) to help the enfeebled o-line run-block, Brady’s tendonitis, Gostkowski IR, the fact they’re still in it says a lot about the D, coaching and underlying strengths & toughness of the team. I think these issues are too much to reach the SB this year, but you never know. If not I’ll support Vrabel.”

    Injury-wise, the Pats are probably one of the healthiest teams in the playoffs. What you just described is basically the minimum situation that every team is in at this time of year.

  9. First whiff of competition in that division in what a decade, and right off the bat they play wildcard round. Ah yes, real life. Welcome, pats fans.

  10. anuary 1, 2020 at 9:26 am
    It won’t matter which team wins. Neither is going to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead. Andy Reid will finally get a SB ring.

    Yeah that’s what Chiefs fans said last year too

    Yeah chiefs said that about the titans the year before too. Big game Andy blows big games.

  11. The Patriots offense is different. They lost the TE couch, WR couch & Assistant QB couch. It shows how much this Patriots offense has been affected by the change in staff every game lately.

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