It wasn’t all good news for the Ohio State Buckeyes on Thursday. They found out that Braxton Miller will be returning for his senior season, but also found out that defensive line coach Mike Vrabel will not be returning in 2014.
The former Ohio State player joined the coaching staff in 2011 when his former teammate and friend Luke Fickell, now the defensive coordinator, was the interim head coach for the Buckeyes. He was then retained by Urban Meyer when he became the head coach. Before beginning his coaching career, Vrabel had a successful career in the NFL as a player with the New England Patriots, winning three Super Bowl rings.
Vrabel will now be leaving Ohio State to become the new linebackers coach of the Houston Texans under new head coach Bill O’Brien, who formerly coached of the Penn State Nittany Lions. So, what does Vrabel’s departure mean for Meyer and the Buckeyes?
The Ohio State defense has enough this season and is looking to greatly improve heading into 2014, but on top of that, Meyer will now have two coaching spots to fill on the defensive side. Safeties coach Everett Withers also left the Buckeyes to become the head coach at James Madison University.
The best part of the Ohio State defense this season was the defensive line, and that was because of Vrabel. He taught his players how he had played in the NFL, which resulted in a defense that was much better defending against the run than the pass.
Vrabel was not just a great defensive line coach at Ohio State, he was a great recruiter. Parents of kids that he recruited have talked about the passion he showed when doing so. Vrabel knows Ohio State and he knows the NFL, and that makes him a successful recruiter. His recruiting abilities will be missed by the Buckeyes.
Vrabel will no doubt be successful coaching in the NFL. He knows how things work in the NFL and has already proved he is a good coach while coaching at Ohio State. Now we will just have to wait and see who Meyer will replace Vrabel with, and hope that they can do for Ohio State what Vrabel did.