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Titans Interview Mike Vrabel for Head Coaching Job

Posted Jan 18, 2018

The Titans on Thursday completed an interview with Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel for the team’s head coaching position.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans on Thursday completed an interview with Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel for the team’s head coaching position. 

Here’s what you need to know about Vrabel:

Age: 42.

Alma mater: Ohio State.

Most recent positions:

• Defensive coordinator, Houston Texans, 2017

• Linebackers, Houston Texans, 2014-16

• Defensive line, Ohio State, 2012-13

• Linebackers, Ohio State, 2011 

Background:

• Played 14 NFL seasons, with the Steelers (1997-2000), Patriots (2001-2008) and Chiefs (2009-2010). 

• From 2014-16, the Texans defense ranked third in the NFL in net yards allowed per game (319.9) while Vrabel served as linebackers coach.

• DE/LBs Jadeveon Clowney earned Pro Bowl honors under Vrabel’s tutelage, and linebackers Whitney Mercilus and Brian Cushing were productive playmakers.

• In 2012, Vrabel coached four Ohio State defensive linemen who were either drafted into the NFL or signed free agent contracts. That year, Vrabel was also named ESPN.com Big Ten Recruiter of the Year.

• Vrabel played on three Super Bowl-winning teams with the New England Patriots, where he played 2001-2008.

• Played in 206 games over 14 seasons, registering 722 tackles, 57 sacks, 42 passes defensed, 11 interceptions, 20 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and 12 touchdown receptions (as a tight end), including two in Super Bowls.

• Selected in the third round (91st overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Steelers.

• Played linebacker, on special teams and even on offense under Bill Belichick with the Patriots.

• Played linebacker and on special teams under Steelers coach Bill Cowher.

• Vrabel graduated with a degree at Ohio State in exercise science. He earned back-to-back All-America honors and was twice named Big Ten conference Defensive Lineman of the Year (1995 and 1996).    

• Along with quarterback Matt Cassel, Vrabel was traded from the Patriots to the Chiefs in 2009 in exchange for a second-round draft pick, the 34th overall selection of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Why he’d be a good fit:

Titans general manager Jon Robinson said earlier this week he’s looking for a “leader of men,” and Vrabel has a great reputation because of his leadership qualities. From his playing days in the NFL to his time as an assistant coach, those around him have raved about his presence, and how others respond to him.

Vrabel is a tough-minded coach. He’s intense, and he expects the same from his players.

Vrabel learned from one of the best in the game while playing for Belichick in New England for eight seasons. In addition to Cowher and Belichick, he also worked under Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, and Houston head coach Bill O’Brien.

Robinson also knows Vrabel from his days with the Patriots organization as well.