Friday, December 08, 2017

Mike Vrabel focused on Texans, not other jobs

By Aaron Wilson

December 7, 2017

Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel has grown accustomed to finding his name linked to head-coaching vacancies.

The former New England Patriots All-Pro outside linebacker is highly regarded in NFL circles.

Vrabel was linked to the Los Angeles Rams' job that went to Sean McVay last year. He turned down the San Francsico 49ers' defensive coordinator opening two years ago before later being promoted from linebackers coach to running the Texans' defense.

While Vrabel has plenty of ambition to be a head coach in the future, that's not his focus as he's trying to hold together the Texans' 20th-ranked defense that's playing without an injured J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus.

"Obviously, I would entertain it, but right now we're clearly focused on San Francisco, like everybody here," Vrabel said. "I think that all those things that get taken care of in the offseason really are something that you can't concentrate on right now or anybody can. I think we have to play and we have to coach and we have to prepare and we have to practice.

"I think when you get into coaching I think that everybody aspires to lead at the highest level, and clearly being a head coach in the National Football League is the opportunity to do that."

Vrabel has ascended quickly in the coaching ranks. First, he was a position coach at Ohio State. Then, he coached the Texans linebackers. Now, he's in charge of an entire defense.

"When I started coaching, I didn't think I would be in the NFL," Vrabel said. "When I started coaching I didn't think I'd be at Ohio State. Didn't think I would be coordinating. So, you never really know. You try to do as good a job as you can in the role that you have and then you go from there."

Texans Pro Bowl pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney said he believes Vrabel is head-coaching material.

"He's a smart guy," Clowney said. "He's the same guy every day. High-energy guy. He brings the best out of his players and he's a good coach."

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