Shocking Reason Kept Mike Vrabel From 2024 Head Coaching Job

Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel heads off the field during warmups at U.S. Bank Stadium in
Tennessee Titans Head Coach Mike Vrabel heads off the field during warmups at U.S. Bank Stadium in / Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA

Mike Vrabel is listed at 6'4", 261 pounds. In his 14 seasons in the NFL, Vrabel recorded 762 tackles and sacked the quarterback on 57 occasions.

His linebacker build made him an imposing opponent across the line of scrimmage, but according to Dianna Russini, his "intimidating" frame might have prevented him from landed a NFL head coaching job during this hiring cycle.

The Tennessee Titans fired Vrabel on Jan. 9 in a stunning move after accumulating a 54-45 record across six seasons, only two years removed from winning NFL Coach of the Year. Titans ownership tabbed Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan as their next head coach following Vrabel's dismissal.

After his firing from the Titans, Vrabel reportedly interviewed with the Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Chargers, and Carolina Panthers. He was also linked with the Seattle Seahawks opening. Those franchises ultimately proceeded with Raheem Morris, Jim Harbaugh, Dave Canales, and Mike Macdonald, respectively.

Yes, Vrabel isn't Mike McDaniel, who looks like his Best Buy Geek Squad car took a wrong turn and ended up on the Miami Dolphins sideline. He isn't a card-carrying member of the new-age, analytic-driven, joggers-wearing, offensive mind club, but that why should impact his ability to coach an NFL football team?

On the surface, Russini's reporting sounds so crazy that it would have been likely laughed off if Russini didn't hold such reputability. It also raises another question: how much weight should NFL owners have in the coaching hiring process?

Obviously, the answer to this question varies from franchise to franchise. Some franchises operate much more collaboratively, while others fall victim to authoritarian rule from ownership.

Owners have played hundreds of millions of dollars for their respective franchises, and with that comes some entitlement to provide input and make feelings known. But their front office personnel is more qualified to identify and evaluate who is most qualified to coach an NFL football team.

This phenomenon played itself out in the Atlanta Falcons' decision to pass on Bill Belichick. Owner Arthur Blank reportedly wanted to hire Belichick, while Atlanta's front office wanted to move in a different direction. In the end, Blank sided with the front office and hired Rams' defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.

Dear NFL owners, if you're easily intimidated by large human beings, football probably isn't the best profession for you.

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