The New England Patriots answered many of their questions regarding their holes on the roster thanks to this year’s draft. They added an Ohio State product who can play outside linebacker and tight end – and history might just be repeating itself for the team.
Not too long ago, Patriots fans noticed that the team appeared to be switching undrafted free agent RaShod Berry from tight end to linebacker. Because of this, they compared Berry to Mike Vrabel.
Vrabel is currently the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, the team that ended the Patriots’ chances of getting to the Super Bowl this year. This was Vrabel’s second season as the head coach of the team that was later eliminated by the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Round.
During his time as a player in the NFL, Vrabel spent eight seasons with the Patriots. When talking about that time, he explained:
“I enjoyed every minute that I spent in New England. Those players, those coaches, those fans. Bill [Belichick] was obviously a big influence on my playing career just to help me improve.”
Vrabel joined the team in 2001 and quickly exceeded all expectations anyone had of him. He made it to the starting roster at linebacker and recorded 604 tackles and 48 sacks during his time with the team, while also accompanying them to three Super Bowls. About coach Belichick, he said:
“He’s really intelligent. He cares. He has a good way of relating to guys. You know, I think he coaches guys differently based on their personality which is critical.”
This new player that the Patriots have added to the team this year could just turn out to be the next Vrabel. That kind of player would be very beneficial to the team that has lost about a dozen veterans this offseason.