New England Patriots Links 7/11/11 - Mike Vrabel Retires From NFL, Joins Ohio State

Mike Florio reports the statement issued by Mike Vrabel after announcing his retirement from the NFL to begin a coaching career at Ohio State.

"After 14 years in the National Football League, I have decided to retire and accept the position of Linebackers Coach at The Ohio State University," Vrabel said.

"I am extremely appreciative of the teammates, coaches, and great fans who surrounded me during my NFL career, and am honored to have been a part of three tremendous organizations in the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, and Kansas City Chiefs. I am especially grateful to Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli, who not only gave me the opportunity to play for a team that won three Super Bowl championships and an NFL record 21 games in a row, but also taught me invaluable lessons on creating the ultimate team approach.

The Ohio State Buckeyes report Bill Belichick, Vrabel's coach for eight years in New England, was most impressed with Vrabel as a player and is confident of his abilities to lead as a coach.

"During his Patriots career, there was no player more respected for his football intellect and revered for his leadership by his teammates than Mike," Belichick said. "He was elected a team captain by his peers and is a player who I think everyone knew was destined to become a coach after his NFL playing career was over.

"Mike Vrabel is as well-suited for coaching as any player I have ever coached. He has a tremendous feel for people, players, coaches and what his team needs regardless of the situation. He is outstanding in his knowledge of the game, which contributed to his excellence as a player. I have no doubt Mike will develop tough, intelligent, fundamentally sound winners."

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