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Old 05-30-2014   #1
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Default The Mike Vrabel thread

Time for a Mike Vrabel thread, a guy whose ceiling I think is very high in regards to climbing the coaching ladder.



Tania Ganguli begins a Q&A series with Mike...

Mike Vrabel Q&A: Clowney, Cushing, Reed
Quote:
One advantage of being a Super Bowl champion player turned coach is that you have a lot of examples of great players you played with to share with the ones you're now coaching.

It's part of Houston Texans' linebackers coach Mike Vrabel's style. He thinks about which of his former teammates players can relate to and offers them as examples of what works.

As his coaching career progresses, there will likely come a time when he starts using players he coached for those examples.

Vrabel and I sat down on Thursday to discuss his coaching philosophy, leaving Ohio State, rookie outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney and more. I'll break it up into three posts, starting here, with his thoughts on Clowney, Brian Cushing and Brooks Reed.

How has Clowney done so far learning to play outside linebacker?

Mike Vrabel: I think his attitude, much like all of our guys, their attitude has been great... He's somebody that we're excited about because he has the natural ability, but he also has the attitude to want to learn. He doesn't think he has it all figured out.

What did you learn about his mentality before the draft?

MV: ...meeting with him before the draft, I enjoyed my conversations with him. He was conscientious, he wanted to learn, he wanted to study. He knows a...

Was the taking plays off thing overblown?

MV: Everyone gets critiqued on their performance. Whether I get critiqued as a coach or players get critiqued as players, people are going to find the worst things. We need to change the things that we don't do well and we need continue and advance...

Inside linebacker has been a bit of a question. How has Brooks Reed done playing in there?

MV: He's an unbelievably coachable kid. If J.J. Watt's in here the most hours and our quarterbacks, Brooks Reed's gotta be a close second. It means a lot to Brooks Reed. It means a lot to Brian Cushing. It means a lot to all of these guys. And they're in here putting time in. it's a completely different defense, completely different coaching style, completely different philosophy. He's putting the time in. he gets excited. I'm happy when it does well. He's frustrated when he doesn't. I look forward to working with him each day.

I've heard you and Brian Cushing are similar. Do you see that?

MV: ...He's been limited, he hasn't been able to practice with us, but he's at every meeting. He's there. He's conscientious, he's making the calls. I know he's studying. And it's important now that he's getting mental reps. He's staying in tune with the team. He's not a distraction. He's focused on learning the defense and being a leader.
snipped, read complete article here: http://espn.go.com/blog/houston-texa...y-cushing-reed
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Old 05-30-2014   #2
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

Quote:
I've heard you and Brian Cushing are similar. Do you see that?

MV: He's the only guy I think that's married with kids. We have guys that are married and we have a guy that's got a kid. So he's the only guy that's married with kids, so right there I know he's the only guy that's got a wife and kids. He has done well. He's been limited. We all understand that. He's been limited, he hasn't been able to practice with us, but he's at every meeting. He's there. He's conscientious, he's making the calls. I know he's studying. And it's important now that he's getting mental reps. He's staying in tune with the team. He's not a distraction. He's focused on learning the defense and being a leader.
Hmmm.
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Old 05-30-2014   #3
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Hmmm.
I wouldn't read into it that much, I think the team wants to be very careful handling his knees
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Old 05-30-2014   #4
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

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Originally Posted by PHILLYTEXANFAN View Post
I wouldn't read into it that much, I think the team wants to be very careful handling his knees
I understand what you're saying. But as I've posted before, he is more than double out the expected full recovery time. And if he is being kept out of action for solely reasons of extra extra extra caution, and he is considered that fragile, as some are assuming, then we've got just as much if not more of a problem.
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Old 05-30-2014   #5
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

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Originally Posted by PHILLYTEXANFAN View Post
I wouldn't read into it that much, I think the team wants to be very careful handling his knees
Doc is not reading into the comment but into the known info on Cushing's medical condition. The last two seasons have been hard on Brian's health.
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Old 05-30-2014   #6
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

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Originally Posted by badboy View Post
Doc is not reading into the comment but into the known info on Cushing's medical condition. The last two seasons have been hard on Brian's health.
Not try to take anything away from Doc or anything, I really meant to comment to the boards , not so much him directly, my apologies. But I still stand by my comment. I personally wouldn't label him as "fragile" or anything along those lines. We all seen the (don't wanna say cheap shots) blocks? He took low. So for anybody to say he injury prone, etc, is just absurd IMHO.(not saying anyone in particular has) but I've seen comments on other sites were others do.
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Old 05-31-2014   #7
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILLYTEXANFAN View Post
Not try to take anything away from Doc or anything, I really meant to comment to the boards , not so much him directly, my apologies. But I still stand by my comment. I personally wouldn't label him as "fragile" or anything along those lines. We all seen the (don't wanna say cheap shots) blocks? He took low. So for anybody to say he injury prone, etc, is just absurd IMHO.(not saying anyone in particular has) but I've seen comments on other sites were others do.
If Brian Cushing was limited, then they're not telling us the whole story.

If they were accurate with everything they told us so far, Cushing should have been ready for contact a long time ago. Learning a new defensive system with a new defensive coach & a lot of new defensive players... can't imagine the thought process that would have him on the sideline.
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Old 05-31-2014   #8
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHILLYTEXANFAN View Post
Not try to take anything away from Doc or anything, I really meant to comment to the boards , not so much him directly, my apologies. But I still stand by my comment. I personally wouldn't label him as "fragile" or anything along those lines. We all seen the (don't wanna say cheap shots) blocks? He took low. So for anybody to say he injury prone, etc, is just absurd IMHO.(not saying anyone in particular has) but I've seen comments on other sites were others do.
No apologies necessary.

But "fragile" is exactly what the Texans are labeling him as, if his injuries and postoperative course were straight-forward and uncomplicated as reported.........something that I otherwise would have to strongly question.
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Old 05-31-2014   #9
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread



Mike Vrabel Q&A: On coaching, leaving OSU
Quote:
When he's out on the practice field, Houston Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel often looks like he could still suit up and play. He's active out there both with his words of instruction and by doing many of the drills with the players he's coaching.

He likes how the players have adjusted to his style, and this staff's style...

What's your teaching philosophy?

Mike Vrabel: First and foremost you have to learn the individual, how they learn. Some guys may learn through walkthrough. Some guys may learn on the board. Some guys may learn on film. Some guys may learn by drawing on a board. I think it’s my job first as a coach and a teacher to understand what that style is. I just can’t teach the whole room the same way. ...

It seems like a theme with this staff.

MV: I think so. First of all great coaches don’t assume that any player, however long they’ve played, whether it be one year or 13 years, that they know everything or they know the little details. So we’re going to coach every little detail here until our guys understand what it is we’re looking for from practice, from certain plays, from certain techniques. Certain fundamentals that are important to every position.

What do you remember about changing coaches when you changed teams?

MV: I went from Bill Cowher who was a very motivational coach, a very high energy coach, to Bill Belichick who may not be as high energy, may not come across as high energy, he puts a lot of energy in. He’s not going to be out there rallying the troops and firing them up, but he’s going to be very direct, to the point, honest about his evaluations as a player. The one thing you can appreciate about each coach is his consistency. ... Now I’m going to try to do the same thing with the linebackers, give them consistency so they know what to expect each day. ... There’s things we expect them to know after a certain amount of time. Continuing to not look past the little details, don’t let one thing pass with one guy and get on another guy. So, coach them consistently. A guy makes a mistake, coach him immediately. The other guys needs to see what’s going on because we can’t coach all 15 guys at the same time.

When you were playing, did you know you wanted to be a coach someday?

MV: I don’t know what else I’m cut out to be. I’m a husband, I’m a dad. I played football for half my life, more than half my life. It was a natural progression to get into the game. I got into the game at the college level and this opportunity came up and I was more than excited about taking advantage of it.

You're an Ohio guy, grew up there, played in college there, going back to Ohio State must have felt like going home in a way.

MV: ...I’ve had a home in Columbus since 1993...We’re looking forward to getting everybody down here.

Will you go back to Columbus when it's all said and done?

MV: I go back every weekend, but they’re moving down in July. They’re nomads. My kids have adjusted. They did half the school year in Boston, half in Columbus. Half in Kansas City, half in Columbus. They don’t care.

What's the difference between coaching college kids and coaching pros?

MV: I don’t know. Other than that these guys are here more. They’re not required to go to class. Their job is a full time football player and everything that they do from the time they wake up if they want to be successful needs to be geared towards football. Whether that’s training, rehab, treatment, weight training, film study and practice, watching afterward, getting treatment afterward. Some of these guys are very young guys, we have a young group of linebackers. So we’re teaching them how to become professionals. Teaching them what guys that I played with, that were good pros, did. That they all have routines. That they take care of their body. They’re in early, they stay late. It’s one of the top three priorities in their life.

Last edited by Playoffs; 05-31-2014 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 05-31-2014   #10
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

Welcome, Mike Vrabel & family moving to Houston! Having him on staff had to erase any doubts selecting JD Clowney #1 overall. Kicking Brooks inside, being careful with Cush all good with a bunch of hungry youngsters working hard to make Texan roster this position has gone from area of weakness to strength led by V.
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Old 05-31-2014   #11
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
I understand what you're saying. But as I've posted before, he is more than double out the expected full recovery time. And if he is being kept out of action for solely reasons of extra extra extra caution, and he is considered that fragile, as some are assuming, then we've got just as much if not more of a problem.
Dang I hate to be so pessimistic about Cushing, but I can't help but feel like his situation is very similar to that of the LB with Dallas who just blew out his knee in the first day of OTAs. When Cushing finally starts to practice with the team for real, perhaps it's just a matter of time before he suffers another season-ending injury.
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Old 05-31-2014   #12
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

If you were to ask me today, who would play more snaps for the Texans this year? Cushing or Bullough.

I'd go Bullough.
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Old 05-31-2014   #13
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

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If you were to ask me today, who would play more snaps for the Texans this year? Cushing or Bullough.

I'd go Bullough.
Here's crossed fingers that if I ask you the same question AFTER the season that you don't have the same answer.
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Old 05-31-2014   #14
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

Who's playing the SAM in OTA's?
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Old 05-31-2014   #15
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread



Mike Vrabel Q&A: On transition from DE to OLB
Quote:
You made the much-talked-about transition from a college defensive end to a pro outside linebacker?

Mike Vrabel: Not very quickly. Took me a while. And so I have to understand there’s a level of change with a lot of those young guys that were defensive ends two weeks ago. As of two weeks ago they were college defensive ends. I need to try to revert back to when I was trying to learn that position, the things that I struggled with and try to coach them so I can help them make it a quicker transition than what it took me.

What did you struggle with?:

MV: Just playing in space, playing on your feet. Instead of being in a three-point stance, you’re in a two-point stance. There’s coverage responsibilities, there’s rush responsibilities, most importantly really just playing on space and understanding how to tackle defenders in space as opposed to in close areas.

Some people think it was easy for you given the career you had.

MV: If they know that I played for the Steelers, I didn’t start a game for four years. And then I went to New England and started the next 10 years. So with that being said, I understand that there’s a learning curve. Not that I’m going to try to make it go any slower, but I’m going to show them examples of how I can speed up their learning curve.

What helped you?

MV: I had good coaches, I had good players. We had really good linebackers in Pittsburgh so there was the testimonial, there was the examples, there was ownership. They were veterans. Levon Kirkland, Greg Lloyd, Jason Gildon, Earl Holmes. Guys that were good football players in the National Football League on our defense on our team. They helped with the transition, they helped with the learning curve. Sometimes you can learn from a coach, sometimes you need to learn from a player. Good pros, they’re going to teach the younger guys.
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Old 05-31-2014   #16
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
Hmmm.
uh oh...
when Doc goes "Hmmm" about player health

I go
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Old 05-31-2014   #17
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

Optimistic (as they did not use significant draft picks on ILB or WR) that Cush will be on field when he needs to be.
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Old 06-02-2014   #18
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

Podcast -- Texans Today: Clowney And Vrabel Dynamic 06/02/2014:

http://texansradio.houstontexans.com...UTO=Y&EID=3199
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Old 06-03-2014   #19
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

PDS ‏@PatDStat
Quote:
Tuggle says he starts talking football with Coach Vrabel in the morning and ends the day talking to his Dad [former NFL'er Jessie] about football. #Texans

Tuggle continued on Vrabel, "He brings an energy to the linebacker room that we didn't really have before” #Texans

Justin Tuggle talked about Coach Vrabel and said he “demands” we know our assignments on the field. #Texans
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Old 06-03-2014   #20
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Default Re: The Mike Vrabel thread

Your assignment if you choose to accept it:

Go to open training camp.

Get as close as you can to Vrabel running linebacker drills.

Record it.

Do a Vine vid of the most hilarious parts.

Best use of sarcastic profanity ever. But kind too. And not just yelling to yell, they are coaching points.

I had to turn around a few times and stifle laughter he is so dang funny.
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