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Texans DC Mike Vrabel named Titans head coach

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Tennessee has found its new leader.

The Titans have hired Mike Vrabel as the franchise's new head coach, the team announced on Saturday. Vrabel previously coached with the Houston Texans from 2014-16 as linebackers coach, and spent 2017 as the Texans' defensive coordinator.

"I am excited to have Mike Vrabel joining our organization as our new head coach," Titans Controlling Owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement released by the team. "In the interaction between Mike and Jon during the interview, 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 understanding for how he will attack this head coaching opportunity.

"Throughout his football career, he has played for, been mentored by and coached with successful teams and organizations. He knows what it takes to reach that level of sustained success -- he has seen it first-hand. We have a chance to build on the solid foundation that we established over the past couple of years and I believe Mike is the right person to continue that progress."

As a player, Vrabel began his professional career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but flourished as a part of New England's title-winning defenses in the early-to-mid 2000s. Vrabel joined the Patriots for the franchise's first Super Bowl-winning season of 2001 and excelled there through 2008, winning two more titles along the way. He finished his career on a two-year stint in Kansas City, then retired and returned to his alma mater of Ohio State to enter coaching.

The linebacker returned to the NFL as a coach in 2014 as part of Bill O'Brien's staff in Houston and ascended to defensive coordinator in 2017.

"This is an incredible opportunity and one I have been preparing for my entire football life," Vrabel said in the same release. "I want to thank Amy, Jon and the entire Titans organization for putting their faith in me. I am excited to get to work and that work starts now. We want to build a culture around winning, competitiveness and toughness. Everything we do is going to be geared towards winning and being physical. We want to prepare our players so they know what to do, which will allow them to play fast and aggressive."

Vrabel was seen as a rising assistant in at least the last year, if not longer, with his name being tossed around for more than one opening. Now, he's jumping ship from Houston to Tennessee, to lead the franchise that once called Houston home.

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