Mike Vrabel Calls It Quits...................
In a surprising move veteran Kansas City LB Mike Vrabel is retiring from the NFL to become the linebackers coach at his alma mater Ohio State University. A formal announcement is expected Monday.
This is made all the more interesting due to the fact that Vrabel has been one of the key player representatives during the CBA negotiations and perhaps the most outspoken one.
Vrabel is a 15 year NFL vet with All-Pro credentials and was been named to the SI All Decade in 2009. Although many NFL players end up coaching at their colleges few begin that career while still an active player. Apparently KC was expecting him to return to them as one of their starting OLB's. Surprise, surprise, surprise Sgt. Haley, LOL.
Sun Jul 10 09:17am EDT
Mike Vrabel hangs up NFL cleats for gig at his old Ohio home
By Matt Hinton
Mike Vrabel (in black) and former college roommate/new boss Luke Fickell (far right) spelling O-H-I-O with ex-Buckeyes Mike Pechac and Ryan Miller at a youth football camp.
Under most circumstances, an old player beginning his second career as a position coach at his alma mater doesn't make for much of a headline. Then again, under most circumstances, the fledgling assistant in question doesn't happen to be an active NFL player with three Super Bowl rings, and Ohio State's newest hire is: Citing "sources close to the program," the Columbus Dispatch has confirmed rumors that ex-Buckeye All-American and 14-year NFL vet Mike Vrabel is returning to OSU as linebackers coach. The official announcement is expected on Monday.
Vrabel's retirement won't come as a surprise to anyone with an eye on the buzz out of Columbus last week. Still, it might seem rather abrupt to his current employers, the Kansas City Chiefs, who (as of Sunday morning) still list him as a starter at outside linebacker and apparently expected him to return for his 15th NFL season this fall — you know, if there is an NFL season this fall.
Vrabel has spent the past two years in K.C. after eight wildly successful seasons in New England, where he was one of the cornerstones of the Patriot teams that took three Super Bowl titles in four years from 2001-04 and delivered the most dominant campaign in league history in 2007 prior to being upset by the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. He was rewarded that season with his first and only All-Pro nod and two years later with a spot on Sports Illustrated's All-Decade team.
At Ohio State, Vrabel was a two-time All-American in 1995 and 1996, when he helped anchor a pair of nasty defenses on teams that combined to go 22-3 and seemed headed for perfect seasons if not for back-to-back losses to Michigan at the end of the schedule. Another defensive anchor on those teams: Defensive tackle Luke Fickell, who found himself just as abruptly thrust into the head coaching job last month when his boss, Jim Tressel, was tossed overboard as part of the Buckeyes' ongoing penance for multiple, major NCAA violations on Tressel's watch. As linebackers coach, Vrabel will be filling the vacancy left by Fickell's promotion from co-defensive coordinator, where he worked primarily with the linebackers. Oh, and he roomed with his new boss in their campus days, too.
Vrabel, 35, brings as much formal experience to his new job as Fickell brings to his — he has never coached any position on any level, just as Fickell, 37, has never been a head coach — but he's got more going for him than in-the-trenches chops and nostalgia. With recruiting grinding to virtual halt in the face of Tressel's exit, Fickell's tenuous future and pending NCAA sanctions, Vrabel is a name prospects will recognize with rings they will respect. In the long run, his second stint in Columbus may be tied to Fickell's, which — depending on how the upcoming season goes and how attractive the job is to bigger names after the NCAA is done with the Buckeyes — may expire before the end of the year. But if he can staunch the bleeding on the recruiting trail even a little, he can claim mission accomplished.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap. Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.
Originally Posted by soulman
From success in a cheating NFL franchise and moving into coaching in a cheating college franchise....
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