If you can’t beat ‘em, sign their free agents and hire a GM from New England and, oh, hire one of their greatest players as your head coach.
All shade from last weekend aside - OK, one more, one more. After a treacherous southeastern blizzard delayed Tennessee’s head coaching interviews this week, the Titans have announced that Mike Vrabel is hired as their new head coach. Only two other candidates, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, were interviewed.
Vrabel’s shooting up in the coaching ranks almost as fast as he did as a linebacker once the Pittsburgh Steelers decided he wasn’t worth re-signing once his rookie deal ran out and New England happily scooped him up as a free agent. Mike’s spent the last few years like this:
2011: Ohio State, linebackers coach
2012 - 2013: Ohio State, defensive line coach
2014 - 2016: Houston Texans, linebackers coach
2017: Houston Texans, defensive coordinator
That, of course, puts Vrabel in the AFC just in time for next year’s Patriots-Titans game.
We’ll sign off for tonight with one of the rare instances where Bill Belichick couldn’t say enough good things about how much he loved coaching Vrabel back in the day (god, we’re getting old):
“When Mike arrived in 2001, we knew we were adding a solid outside linebacker. But where Mike took it from there exceeded our highest hopes. Mike Vrabel epitomizes everything a coach could seek in a professional football player: toughness, intelligence, play-making, leadership, versatility and consistency at the highest level.
”Of all the players I have coached in my career, there is nobody I enjoyed working with more than Mike. In the same way people recognize guys like Troy Brown, we appreciate and thank Mike Vrabel. He is one of the very special Patriots champions.”
Head over to our good buddies at Music City Miracles for more on the Vrabel hire.