NASHVILLE – Titans Coach Mike Vrabel was inducted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame over the weekend.
With the Titans on a bye weekend, Vrabel attended the ceremony on Saturday in Foxborough, where he got his red jacket for his contributions to the organization as a player.
Earlier this year, Patriots fans voted Vrabel, a three-time Super Bowl champion with the team, as the franchise’s 34th inductee. Vrabel joins Troy Brown (2012), Tedy Bruschi (2013), Kevin Faulk (2016), Ty Law (2014), Matt Light (2018), Willie McGinest (2015) and Richard Seymour (2022) as the eighth player to enter the Patriots Hall of Fame as a three-time Super Bowl Champion with the team.
“On and off the field Mike was a natural born leader,” Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said of Vrabel at the ceremony, per Patriots.com. “He was a mentor to younger players, a voice of reason in the locker room, and a man who led by example, his wit, timing and delivery always seem to be the perfect antidote to lighten the mood in some of those serious team meetings. His unique blend of toughness, strength, intelligence, work ethic and versatility earned him the respect of his coaches and teammates alike and a place among this franchise’s all-time great players.”
Vrabel, who took over as head coach of the Titans in 2018, joined the Patriots before the 2001 season, following a four-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
During his eight seasons in New England, Vrabel played a key role on defense on three Super Bowl championship teams (2001, 2003 and 2004). He also caught eight regular season passes and two more in the playoffs. All 10 of his receptions were for touchdowns, including receptions in back-to-back Super Bowl wins over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII and Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
“I don’t want anybody to [take it lightly] when they go away from here because any time that you’re associated with a Hall of Fame with an organization that has the trophies that this one has behind it, I don’t think you take it very lightly,” Vrabel said at the ceremony, per Patriots.com. “And again, I just remind everybody, don’t take what you have for granted, especially what we had here.
“I showed up and all I wanted to do was start for this team, wanted to start and I want to show Tedy Bruschi and Willie McGinest, Brian Cox and Roman Phifer and all these guys that I belong,” said Vrabel, adding how special of a team it became. “I’m just so appreciative of everybody, that we held each other accountable because there was trust. There was an understanding, there was a respect that you could say things that needed to be said to each other. And every day that’s what I’m trying to recreate.
“Wherever I coach and now it’s in Tennessee, obviously. But I’m trying to recreate what we had in that locker room. And I don’t know if we’ll get it, but we’re going to try every day. I’m going to try because nothing was more important than the team. Not your feelings. Not your stats, not your paycheck. Not what you’ve done in the past. Nothing was more important than football team.”