Vrabel is now the 19th head coach in franchise history and the fourth since 2011. He signed a five-year deal with the team, a significantly longer commitment than the organization gave to predecessor Mike Mularkey.
Vrabel met with team general manager Jon Robinson and instantly hit it off, according to Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk.
“You could see their connection right away from the history they have with one another – seeing the game in a similar way and talking the same language. Mike has a commanding presence and a deep knowledge for how he will attack this head coaching opportunity,” Strunk said in a statement issued over the weekend.
Vrabel, 42, served one season as Houston’s defensive coordinator after beginning his NFL coaching career as a linebackers coach with the Texans for three seasons. The 14-year NFL veteran won three Super Bowls as a player, spending the majority of his career in New England. He earned one Pro Bowl and one First Team All-Pro selection (2007).
Despite being highly thought of around the league, Vrabel’s first season as defensive coordinator did not jump off the page. Houston’s defense finished last in points allowed, middle of the pack in yards, and in the bottom ten in sacks.
At the outset of the search, Robinson made it clear he wanted a “leader of men.” Some believed that Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was that guy, but Vrabel wowed Robinson in their meeting on Wednesday and the team never met with McDaniels. The team also interviewed Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, and Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.
Micah Powell contributed to this post.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.