Friday, January 10, 2020

Ohio State Football: Former Buckeye Vrabel becoming a top-notch coach

by David Wysong 1 hour ago

The Ohio State football team has had a plethora of players excel at the next level, but now they have a former player excelling as a head coach.

Mike Vrabel is one of the best defensive players to ever play for the Ohio State football team as he was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year. He then went on to have an excellent career in the NFL, winning three Super Bowls, earning a First Team All-Pro selection and a Pro Bowl selection in 2007, and being named to Sports Illustrated All-Decade Team from 2000 to 2009.
Now, he is excelling as a head football coach.
Vrabel found success as Ohio State’s linebackers coach and defensive line coach from 2011 through 2013, and then as the Houston Texans linebackers coach from 2014 through 2016, and their defensive coordinator in 2017. That success at both stops led to him becoming the Tennessee Titans head coach in 2018.
Yes, the Titans went 9-7 the two seasons before Vrabel and have gone 9-7 the two seasons since Vrabel has been the lead-man, but this team actually plays like a contender under him.
In 2017 the Titans’ defense was a middle-of-the-pack unit, allowing 22.3 points per game. Last year under Vrabel they were third in the entire league in points allowed, giving up 18.9 points per game, and this year they allowed 20.7.
He then made a huge decision this season that improved his team drastically.
The Titans’ organization put a lot of stock in quarterback Marcus Mariota as they selected the former Heisman Trophy winner with the No. 2 overall pick in 2015.
During Vrabel’s first season, Mariota started 13 games, played in 14, and only threw for 2,528 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The Titans’ offense ranked 27th out of 32 teams that season, scoring 19.4 points per game.
This year, after Mariota started six games and the Titans started 2-4, Vrabel decided to make the change to Ryan Tannehill at QB. This has helped the Titans to become one of the most explosive offenses in the league as he threw for 2,742 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 10 starts. The Titans also rank 10th in the league this season in scoring, averaging 25.1 points per game.
That switch led to the Titans making the playoffs as a wild card and then ultimately beating the reigning champions and the best dynasty in all of sports, the New England Patriots in the Wild Card Round last week.
This team is playing incredible.

Vrabel has this team playing hard and believing they can beat anybody. They play the same way he did – with a tough attitude. They will have a difficult challenge this week, playing the Baltimore Ravens, but win or lose Vrabel is coaching like he played – he’s dominating.

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