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Patriots QB Tom Brady Praises Titans Coach Mike Vrabel

Posted Jan 29, 2018

New Titans head coach Mike Vrabel played eight seasons with the New England Patriots, where he was teammates with quarterback Tom Brady. On Super Bowl LII Opening Night, Brady discussed his former teammate, and friend.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – When Patriots quarterback Tom Brady thinks of Mike Vrabel, a lot of things come to mind.

And here on Monday night, on Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Center, Brady rolled off some of the memories he shared with his former teammate with the New England Patriots.

And he spoke optimistically about Vrabel’s future as head coach of the Tennessee Titans.

“Mike is a great friend, and he’ll be a great head coach,” Brady said. “He has a great personality, has great command. He is extremely intelligent. He was an incredible player and competitor.

“Unfortunately he picked a terrible college to go to, but not everybody can get into Michigan, so I understand he had to go to Ohio State,” Brady continued, smiling. “So that is probably the only negative thing I could say about him.”

Vrabel played 14 NFL seasons, including eight seasons with the Patriots. He played in college at Ohio State, of course, while Brady starred at Michigan.

Still, the two managed to become friends.

“Mike is a great leader,” Brady said. “He’s just a great guy, great person, and he has a great family. He has been a great friend since I have known him.”

During his introductory press conference, Vrabel talked about his friendship with Brady, a 13-time Pro Bowler and four-time Super Bowl MVP.

Brady will be aiming to win his sixth Super Bowl ring on Sunday when the Patriots face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.

“Tom is a great friend, he’s an amazing competitor,” Vrabel said of Brady. “He’s been nothing but good to me since I played with him, or after I played with him. What he’s been able to do is nothing short of a miracle. He’s highly competitive. I will gear our practices similar so that our players are practicing against each other and are competitive against each other. Some of the most memorable practices I had as a player, was going against the guy.”

Brady and Vrabel won three Super Bowl rings together. Vrabel played in 125 games for the Patriots from 2001-2008, and he was a menacing linebacker and special teams player.

Vrabel was also a favorite target of Brady’s near the goal-line, lining up as a tight end. Vrabel has an uncanny stat-line catching footballs. In his career, which spanned from 1997-2010, Vrabel caught 12 passes for 12 touchdowns, including two in Super Bowls.

“Mike, what did he have -- 12 touchdowns, 12 receptions?,” a smiling Brady said of Vrabel. “He was actually very good down in that area. Mike had a great first step. He could kind of slide his way through the line of scrimmage and he had great hands. I loved throwing it to him down there.

“We’ve had some good goal line receivers but I don’t think anyone will have that kind of stat-line again.”