Home Sports Bill Belichick was ‘losing his mind’ as Mike Vrabel used his own...

Bill Belichick was ‘losing his mind’ as Mike Vrabel used his own tactics against him

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Mike Vrabel played for Bill Belichick for eight years in New England, so he knows better than most what’s going to upset his former head coach.

Now the head coach of the Titans, Vrabel did a pretty good job of it during Tennessee’s AFC wild card win over the Patriots last season. The Titans led 14-13 with about 6:35 left and were able to take nearly two minutes off the clock late in the game with back-to-back dead-ball penalties in punt formation on fourth down.

The Titans took a delay of game penalty and then committed a false start. They were set to take another delay of game penalty, but the Patriots jumped offsides.

By the time New England got the ball, Tennessee had run the clock down to 4:50 and proceeded to knock off the Patriots. They sealed the victory when Tom Brady threw a pick-six in the final minute.

Bill Belichick Mike Vrabel Patriots Titans NFL
Mike Vrabel and Bill Belichick after the Titans beat the Patriots in the AFC wild-card roundGetty Images

Belichick and the Patriots had used a similar tactic against the Jets earlier in the year and the maneuver infuriated Belichick when he found himself on the other side.

Vrabel said assistant John Streicher, sitting in the press box, saw how angry Belchick got during the sequence- and made sure Vrabel was aware of it.

“He’s committed to being my eyes upstairs,” Vrabel said on the NFL Network’s Helliepod Podcast. “He’s like, ‘You’ve got to see Bill. Bill’s losing his mind.’”

Belichick’s reaction was hard to miss and Vrabel said he made sure to not take too much pleasure in his old coach’s tantrum.

“It’s all relative, you know what I mean?,” Vrabel said. “I was like, ‘Hey, we’ve got to finish this game off and we’ll see what happens.’ It was only done four times last year. It’s got to be the right situation. I would have gone for it [on fourth down] but we lost like five yards on third down.”

The NFL has since banned the move, making a rule change this offseason prohibiting teams from committing consecutive dead-ball penalties, so Belichick won’t get a chance for revenge.



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