It is all but official.
Mike Vrabel is retiring.
810 sports is reporting that Vrabel will not return to the Chiefs next season and that he has officially accepted a job as a coach with the Ohio State football program. Vrabel played his college ball at Ohio State.
Vrabel came to the Chiefs, along with QB Matt Cassel, during the 2009 offseason. The Chiefs traded a second round pick to New England. The move was GM Scott Pioli’s first major personnel move and it turned out to be a good one. In it, he got the team a future Pro Bowl QB and a grizzled veteran leader to be the QB of his defense.
Though Vrabel’s best playing days were behind him, he made a clear impact on a struggling young defense. In particular, Vrabel served as a mentor to OLB project Andy Studebaker.
Originally less than thrilled about being traded away from perennial contender New England to a terrible Chiefs team, Vrabel eventually embraced his new role as mentor and helped the organization turn things around.
Vrabel’s true contributions to Kansas City may not be fully realized until Andy Studebaker gets a chance to see consistent playing time. Should Studebaker develop into one of the game’s top linebackers, or even just a solid contributor, there will be no doubt that Mike Vrabel’s teachings will be largely responsible for his success. Come to think of it, you might say Vrabel’s coaching career started in Kansas City.
Who knows, perhaps if he is successful at Ohio State, he’ll return someday.
If Vrabel does indeed retire and doesn’t pull a Brett Favre, he’ll finish his career with 742 tackles, 57 sacks, 20 forced fumbles, 11 interceptions, 42 pass defenses and one defensive touchdown. He also has a remarkable ten receptions for 14 yards and 10 touchdowns as a goal line tight end. In his 13 year career, Vrabel spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. He won three Super Bowl Championships with the Patriots in 2002, 2004 and 2005.
We wish Mike “Eight Pack” Vrabel the best in his new career.