Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is awesome at imitating his Patriots mentor Bill Belichick. Easily his best disciple.
The Bill Belichick Coaching Tree has produced a lot of hilarity for Patriots fans over the years, but we now have to confront the terrifying reality that one of these guys … actually soaked up Belichick’s teachings over the years.
Yes, it seems that in Mike Vrabel, the Tennessee Titans have poached the only one who really gets it.
Perhaps it’s because he was molded by Belichick as a player and not simply as an X’s and O’s guy? Or maybe the two were just cut from the same cloth, destined to someday meet?
Vrabel proved his mettle again on Sunday afternoon, stealing a significant chunk of clock against the Texans with a feigned “brutal” 12 Men on the Field penalty. I’m pretty sure you can find that on page 12 of the Belichick Book of Trickeration.
First, there was the penalty fiesta that robbed the Pats of minute after minute of clock at the tail end of their Wild Card Round faceoff with Vrabel, presenting Tom Brady with a perilous clock en route to his penultimate pick-six.
And now, we’ve got this Vrabel scheme which resulted in another victory in overtime, with enough time on the clock for a game-tying score thanks to this little bit of concession and ingenuity.
As if it weren’t enough to have pulled this trick off not once, but twice (Vrabel was repeating himself, having already nailed this one back in 2018), just listen to the man’s postgame. If he were any more Belichick-ian, he’d be departing the podium to hawk Subway sandwiches.
Somehow, Ryan Tannehill has become one of the AFC’s most trusted quarterbacks, while Belichick’s Patriots have looked somewhat rudderless in recent weeks, both with Cam Newton and without.
We’re not saying the student has become the master, but the next time the Pats have a title run to complete, it’s likely they’ll be the ones who have to plow through Vrabel’s crew, and not the other way around.