Tackle (gridiron football position)
Tackle is a playing position in American and Canadian football. In the one-platoon system prevalent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a tackle played on both offense and defense. In the modern system of specialized units, offensive tackle and defensive tackle are separate positions, the stand-alone term "tackle" refers to the offensive tackle position only; the offensive tackle is a position on the offensive line and right. Like other offensive linemen, their job is to block: to physically keep defenders away from the offensive player who has the football and enable him to advance the football and score a touchdown; the term "tackle" is a vestige of an earlier era of football in which the same players played both offense and defense. A tackle is the strong position on the offensive line, they power their blocks with quick steps and maneuverability. The tackles are in charge of the outside protection. If the tight end goes out for a pass, the tackle must cover everyone that his guard does not, plus whoever the tight end is not covering.
They defend against defensive ends. In the NFL, offensive tackles measure over 6 ft 4 in and 300 lb. According to Sports Illustrated football journalist Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman, offensive tackles achieve the highest scores, relative to the other positional groups, on the Wonderlic Test, with an average of 26; the Wonderlic is taken before the draft to assess each player's aptitude for learning and problem solving. The right tackle is the team's best run blocker. Most running plays are towards the strong side of the offensive line; the right tackle will face the defending team's best run stoppers. He must be able to gain traction in his blocks so that the running back can find a hole to run through; the left tackle is the team's best pass blocker. Of the two tackles, the left tackles will have better footwork and agility than the right tackle in order to counteract the pass rush of defensive ends; when a quarterback throws a forward pass, the quarterback's shoulders are aligned perpendicular to the line of scrimmage, with the non-dominant shoulder closer to downfield.
Right-handed quarterbacks, the majority of players in the position, thus turn their backs to defenders coming from the left side, creating a vulnerable "blind side" that the left tackle must protect. A 2006 book by Michael Lewis, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, made into a 2009 motion picture, sheds much light on the workings of the left tackle position; the book and the film's introduction discuss how the annual salary of left tackles in the NFL skyrocketed in the mid-1990s. Premier left tackles are now sought after, are the second highest paid players on a roster after the quarterback. Recent examples include Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel, Lane Johnson, Matt Kalil, Trent Williams, Jake Long, Joe Thomas
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves; the offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, otherwise they turn over the football to the defense. Points are scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal; the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of association football and rugby football; the first match of American football was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams and Princeton, under rules based on the association football rules of the time.
During the latter half of the 1870s, colleges playing association football switched to the Rugby Union code, which allowed carrying the ball. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, the concept of downs; the sport is related to Canadian football, which evolved parallel and contemporary to the American game, most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are present in Canadian football. American football as a whole is the most popular sport in the United States; the most popular forms of the game are professional and college football, with the other major levels being high school and youth football. As of 2012, nearly 1.1 million high school athletes and 70,000 college athletes play the sport in the United States annually all of them men, with a few exceptions. The National Football League, the most popular American football league, has the highest average attendance of any professional sports league in the world.
In the United States, American Football is called "football". The terms "gridiron" or "American football" are favored in English-speaking countries where other codes of football are popular, such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. American football evolved from the sports of rugby football. Rugby football, like American football, is a sport where two competing teams vie for control of a ball, which can be kicked through a set of goalposts or run into the opponent's goal area to score points. What is considered to be the first American football game was played on November 6, 1869, between Rutgers and Princeton, two college teams; the game was played between two teams of 25 players each and used a round ball that could not be picked up or carried. It could, however, be kicked or batted with the feet, head or sides, with the ultimate goal being to advance it into the opponent's goal. Rutgers won the game 6 goals to 4. Collegiate play continued for several years in which matches were played using the rules of the host school.
Representatives of Yale, Columbia and Rutgers met on October 19, 1873 to create a standard set of rules for all schools to adhere to. Teams were set at 20 players each, fields of 400 by 250 feet were specified. Harvard abstained from the conference, as they favored a rugby-style game that allowed running with the ball. After playing McGill University using both Canadian and American rules, the Harvard players preferred the Canadian style having only 11 men on the field, running the ball without having to be chased by an opponent, the forward pass and using an oblong instead of a round ball. An 1875 Harvard–Yale game played under rugby-style rules was observed by two impressed Princeton athletes; these players introduced the sport to Princeton, a feat the Professional Football Researchers Association compared to "selling refrigerators to Eskimos." Princeton, Harvard and Columbia agreed to intercollegiate play using a form of rugby union rules with a modified scoring system. These schools formed the Intercollegiate Football Association, although Yale did not join until 1879.
Yale player Walter Camp, now regarded as the "Father of American Football", secured rule changes in 1880 that reduced the size of each team from 15 to 11 players and instituted the snap to replace the chaotic and inconsistent scrum. The introduction of the snap resulted in unexpected consequences. Prior to the snap, the strategy had been to punt. However, a group of Princeton players realized that, as the snap was uncontested, they now could hold the ball indefinitely to prevent their opponent from scoring. In 1881, both teams in a game between Yale-Princeton used this strategy to maintain their undefeated records; each team held the ball. This "block game" proved unpopular with the spectators and fans of both teams. A rule change was necessary to prevent this strategy from taking hold, a reversion to the scrum was considered. However, Camp proposed a rule in 1882 that limited each team to three downs, or tackles, to adva
American football strategy
Strategy forms a major part of the game of American football, both teams plan many aspects of their plays and response to plays, such as what formations they take, who they put on the field, the roles and instructions each player are given. Throughout a game, each team adapts to the other's apparent strengths and weaknesses, trying various approaches to outmaneuver or overpower their opponent to score more points in order to win the game; the goal of the offense is, most to score points. In order to accomplish this goal and players plan and execute plays – based on a variety of factors: The players involved, the opponent's defensive strategy, the amount of time remaining before halftime or the end of the game, the number of points needed to win the game. Strategically, the offense can prolong their possession of the ball to prevent the opponent from scoring. Offensive scoring chances, or drives, end when they cannot move the ball 10 yards or the ball is turned over via fumble or interception.
On offense, there are three types of players: linemen and receivers. These players' positions and duties on the field vary from one offensive scheme to another; the position names vary from one team's playbook to another, but what follow are among the most used: Center: The Center is the player who snaps the ball to the quarterback. Like the other four linemen, his job pass blocking; the center is usually responsible for calling the blocking schemes on the line, telling the other linemen which defenders to block. Guard: Guards line up on both sides of the center; the guards are bigger than the center and are better run blockers than pass blockers. Tackle: Tackles are the "bookends" of the offensive line, they are the biggest offensive linemen, but must have great hand and foot coordination to protect against pass rushes. If a team has a right-handed quarterback, the left tackle is the best pass blocker on the line since they are responsible for preventing a "blindside" pass rush the quarterback might not see.
Right tackles have the same responsibilities with left-handed quarterbacks. Backs are so named. Quarterback: The Quarterback lines up directly behind the center, where he takes the ball and puts it into play; the quarterback's primary duty is either passing the ball or handing the ball to a running back who carries the ball downfield. In some cases the quarterback is called upon to run the ball downfield himself, either because the play is designed that way or the quarterback has no other options available. A quarterback can act as a receiver, catching a pass thrown by another player during a "trick play". In most cases, the quarterback communicates to the other players the play they are going to run, both in the huddle before the team lines up to execute the play and before the ball snap. Quarterbacks must be able to throw the ball read defenses, make quick, correct decisions; as the leader of the offense, the Quarterback is considered by many to be the most important player on the offensive field.
Fullback: The Fullback lines up behind the quarterback and is involved in running and catching passes. In many offensive schemes the fullback is considered to be a running back, but this player is bigger and more physical than other running backs on the team and is more involved in blocking than in running or receiving. Halfback: The Halfback referred to as a "tailback" or more generically as a running back, lines up behind the quarterback and in many cases behind the fullback, or behind center to receive the snap. A halfback's responsibilities include running the ball, catching passes and sometimes throwing the ball on trick plays. Wide receiver: Depending on the formation, an offense may have anywhere from zero to five wide receivers. Most basic formations feature either two or three WRs, who either line up on the line of scrimmage or behind the line of scrimmage. WRs are among the fastest and most agile players on the team and their main job is to catch passes and run after the catch. Well-rounded receivers are effective blockers and, in some cases, can act as running backs on trick plays.
Tight end: The Tight End was traditionally a blocking position but is now considered a combination wide receiver/lineman. TEs line up on the line of scrimmage next to the tackles, they are among the most well-rounded athletes on the field as they must be strong enough to run block and pass block as well as agile enough to run pass routes and catch the football. Before the ball is snapped the offensive team lines up in a formation; the type of formation used is determined by the game situation. Teams have "special formations" th
Monday Night Miracle (American football)
The Monday Night Miracle was an NFL Monday night game between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins played at Giants Stadium on October 23, 2000. The Jets scored 30 points in the fourth quarter, twice tying the score, sending the game into overtime, where they defeated the Dolphins, 40–37. Like their 1994 showdown at Giants Stadium, made famous by Dan Marino's "fake spike", this game was for first place in the AFC East as both teams entered the game with identical 5–1 records, but unlike the 1994 game which featured the Jets failing to hold a double-digit lead in the second half, it was the Dolphins who failed to hold the lead. The game is notable for having the second largest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL history and the largest comeback in Jets history, it was voted the greatest game televised on ABC's Monday Night Football, along with being #5 on NFL Top Ten's Top Ten Comebacks. At the end of the third quarter with the score 30–7 in Miami's favor, Jets broadcaster Howard David announced, "And with a whole quarter to go, this game is over."
The Jets proceeded to stage a furious rally in the fourth quarter, scoring 23 unanswered points to tie the game at 30. They scored three touchdowns and a field goal, but a two-point conversion attempt to Curtis Martin was stopped. On the Dolphins' first play from scrimmage after the game was tied, they took the lead on a long touchdown pass by Jay Fiedler to Leslie Shepherd. However, the Jets still managed to tie the game. One of the key plays was a 4th down catch at the Dolphins 2-yard line by Richie Anderson as he caught the ball despite a head-on hit by Zach Thomas and Dolphins defensive back Jerry Wilson. Improbably, the tying touchdown was caught by offensive tackle John "Jumbo" Elliott, playing as a tackle-eligible. After Elliott caught the touchdown pass, Dennis Miller remarked how opposing defenses, "couldn't keep him down forever." In the overtime Fiedler was intercepted by Marcus Coleman but Coleman was hit by Thurman Thomas and fumbled the ball back to the Dolphins. Several plays Coleman intercepted Fiedler again and this time held on.
An eventual Vinny Testaverde pass to Wayne Chrebet put the Jets in field goal range, a pass, nearly intercepted by Brock Marion hit the ground first, nullifying the turnover. Jets kicker John Hall won the game with a field goal with 8:13 remaining in the extra session. Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, while visiting the ABC broadcast booth, said after halftime, Chrebet would catch a pass in the fourth quarter for a touchdown to tie the game at 30–30, the Jets had tied the game up, but as soon as the comeback was complete, the Dolphins answered with a 46-yard td pass to Leslie Shepherd on the first play after the kickoff. With about 3 and a half minutes left in the game, the Jets marched down the field and on the 3 yard line, Jumbo Elliott caught a 3-yard td pass and the game tied up at 37, with less than 30 seconds, the game was heading for overtime; the Monday night game for the Jets was in between Games 2 and 3 of the All New York 2000 World Series. The series overshadowed the game. In fact, the crowd broke out into "Let's Go Yankees" chants countered by "Let's Go Mets" chants during the third quarter.
Referee: Walt Coleman Umpire: Undrey Wash Head Linesman: John Schleyer Line Judge: Dave Anderson Field Judge: Scott Steenson Side Judge: Bill Spyksma Back Judge: Ron Spitler On September 19, 2005, the Washington Redskins came back from a 13–0 deficit with less than 4 minutes left to defeat the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. This game is called the Monday Night Miracle by many in the Redskins fanbase The Monday Night Miracle Monday Night Miracle: NFL Full Game on YouTube
Super Bowl XXXIX
Super Bowl XXXIX was an American football game played between the American Football Conference champion New England Patriots and the National Football Conference champion Philadelphia Eagles to decide the National Football League champion for the 2004 season. The Patriots defeated the Eagles by the score of 24–21; the game was played on February 6, 2005, at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, the first time the Super Bowl was played in that city. The Patriots, who entered the Super Bowl after compiling a 14–2 regular season record, became the most recent team to win consecutive Super Bowls. New England became the second team after the Dallas Cowboys to win three Super Bowls in four years; the Eagles were making their second Super Bowl appearance after posting a 13–3 regular season record. The game was close throughout, with the teams battling to a 14–14 tie by the end of the third quarter; the Patriots scored 10 points in the 4th quarter with Corey Dillon's 2-yard touchdown run and Adam Vinatieri's 22-yard field goal.
The Eagles cut their deficit to 24–21, with quarterback Donovan McNabb's 30-yard touchdown pass to receiver Greg Lewis, with 1:48 remaining in the game but could not sustain the comeback. Overall, New England forced four turnovers, while Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch was named Super Bowl MVP for recording 133 receiving yards and tied the Super Bowl record with 11 catches. To avoid the possibility of an incident similar to the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show during the previous year, the league selected Paul McCartney as a "safe" choice to perform during Super Bowl XXXIX's halftime; the broadcast of the game on Fox was watched by an estimated 86 million viewers. NFL owners voted to award Super Bowl XXXIX to Jacksonville during their November 1, 2000 meeting held in Atlanta. New England finished the regular season with a record of 14–2, bested only by the Steelers' 15–1 mark, ranking 7th in yards gained and fourth in points scored; the Patriots' major acquisition prior to the season was veteran running back Corey Dillon, who joined the team after playing 7 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.
In his first 6 seasons in the league, Dillon averaged over 1,250 rushing yards per year, including setting a single-game rushing record against the Denver Broncos on October 22, 2000. In 2003, injuries, conflicts with the Bengals' management and coaching staff, other off-field problems limited him to just 541 yards during the season. By the end of the 2003 season, Dillon had lost his starting job to running back Rudi Johnson, thus demanded to be traded. Although many observers questioned how effective the 30-year-old Dillon would be after recovering from his injuries as well as his ability to function in a team environment, the Patriots decided to sign the running back in exchange for a second-round draft pick. Dillon became a significant offensive weapon for the 2004 Patriots, recording 1,635 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, both career highs, was named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in his career, he caught 15 passes for 103 yards and another touchdown. His contributions helped lead the team to break the NFL record for the most consecutive regular season victories, the record for the most consecutive overall victories and earned the second best regular season record during the year at 14–2.
The team's only losses during the year were to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who ended up with the league's best regular season record at 15–1, a 29–28 loss to the Miami Dolphins on ABC's Monday Night Football. Another weapon in the Patriots' offensive backfield was running back Kevin Faulk, who rushed for 255 yards, recorded 26 receptions for 248 yards, returned 20 punts for 113 yards, returned 4 kickoffs for 73 yards, scored 3 total touchdowns. Fullback Patrick Pass emerged as a big contributor, rushing for 141 yards, catching 28 passes for 215 yards, gaining another 115 yards on kickoff returns. Pro Bowl quarterback Tom Brady remained at the helm of the Patriots offense, completing 288 out of 474 of his passes for 3,692 yards, 28 touchdowns, 14 interceptions. Although wide receiver Deion Branch, New England's major deep threat, missed most of the season because of injuries, he did record 35 receptions for 454 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wide receiver David Givens ended up being the team's leading receiver with 56 catches for 874 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Wide receiver David Patten contributed with 44 receptions for 800 yards and 7 touchdowns, tight end Daniel Graham had 30 receptions for 364 yards and 7 touchdowns. On special teams, pro bowl kicker Adam Vinatieri had the best season of his career, leading the NFL in field goals made, field goal percentage and scoring On defense, the Patriots were plagued by injuries in their secondary. Defensive backs Tyrone Poole and Ty Law suffered season-ending injuries, while safety Eugene Wilson, who led the team with 4 interceptions, missed several games. In order to compensate for the losses, the following players were promoted to starters: Rookie cornerback Randall Gay, who did not play at all in the first 3 games of the season, did not start until the 6th week. Cornerback Asante Samuel, who only played in dime formations. Safety Earthwind Moreland, who came off of the team's practice squad and had only played in three games in his entire 5-year NFL career. Veteran wide receiver Troy Brown. Head Coach Bill Belichick used Brown in the secondary during training camp, gave him playing time there during the preseason and saw Brown did well.
With their patchwork secondary, the Patriots ranked just 17th in passing yards allowed and 22nd in completions allowed. However, they did rank 7th in
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional American football team based in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens compete in the National Football League as a member club of the American Football Conference North division; the team is headquartered in Owings Mills. The Ravens were established in 1996, after Art Modell, the owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced plans to relocate the franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore in 1995; as part of a settlement between the league and the city of Cleveland, Modell was required to leave the Browns' history and records in Cleveland for a replacement team and replacement personnel that would take control in 1999. In return, he was allowed to take his own personnel and team to Baltimore, where such personnel would form an expansion team; the Ravens have qualified for the NFL playoffs eleven times since 2000, with two Super Bowl victories, two AFC Championship titles, 15 playoff victories, four AFC Championship game appearances, five AFC North division titles, are the only team in the NFL to hold a perfect record in multiple Super Bowl appearances.
The Ravens organization was led by general manager Ozzie Newsome from 1996 until his retirement following the 2018 season, has had three head coaches: Ted Marchibroda, Brian Billick, John Harbaugh. With a record-breaking defensive unit in their 2000 season, the team established a reputation for relying on strong defensive play, led by players like middle linebacker Ray Lewis, until his retirement, was considered the "face of the franchise." The team is owned by Steve Bisciotti and valued at $2.5 billion, making the Ravens the 27th-most valuable sports franchise in the world. The name "Ravens" was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven. Chosen in a fan contest that drew 33,288 voters, the allusion honors Poe, who spent the early part of his career in Baltimore and is buried there; as the Baltimore Sun reported at the time, fans "liked the tie-in with the other birds in town, the Orioles, found it easy to visualize a tough, menacing black bird." After the controversial relocation of the Colts to Indianapolis, several attempts were made to bring an NFL team back to Baltimore.
In 1993, ahead of the 1995 league expansion, the city was considered a favorite, behind only St. Louis, to be granted one of two new franchises. League officials and team owners feared litigation due to conflicts between rival bidding groups if St. Louis was awarded a franchise, in October Charlotte, North Carolina was the first city chosen. Several weeks Baltimore's bid for a franchise—dubbed the Baltimore Bombers, in honor of the locally produced Martin B-26 Marauder bomber—had three ownership groups in place and a state financial package which included a proposed $200 million, rent-free stadium and permission to charge up to $80 million in personal seat license fees. Baltimore, was unexpectedly passed over in favor of Jacksonville, despite Jacksonville's minor TV market status and that the city had withdrawn from contention in the summer, only to return with then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's urging. Although league officials denied that any city had been favored, it was reported that Taglibue and his longtime friend Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke had lobbied against Baltimore due to its proximity to Washington, D.
C. and that Taglibue had used the initial committee voting system to prevent the entire league ownership from voting on Baltimore's bid. This led to public outrage and the Baltimore Sun describing Taglibue as having an "Anybody But Baltimore" policy. Maryland governor William Donald Schaefer said afterward that Taglibue had led him on, praising Baltimore and the proposed owners while working behind-the-scenes to oppose Baltimore's bid. By May 1994, Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos had gathered a new group of investors, including author Tom Clancy, to bid on teams whose owners had expressed interest in relocating. Angelos found a potential partner in Georgia Frontiere, open to moving the Los Angeles Rams to Baltimore. Jack Kent Cooke opposed the move, intending to build the Redskins' new stadium in Laurel, close enough to Baltimore to cool outside interest in bringing in a new franchise; this led to heated arguments between Cooke and Angelos, who accused Cooke of being a "carpetbagger." The league persuaded Rams team president John Shaw to relocate to St. Louis instead, leading to a league-wide rumor that Tagliabue was again steering interest away from Baltimore, a claim which Tagliabue denied.
In response to anger in Baltimore, including Governor Schaefer's threat to announce over the loudspeakers Tagliabue's exact location in Camden Yards any time he attended a Baltimore Orioles game, Tagliabue remarked of Baltimore's financial package: "Maybe can open another museum with that money." Following this, Angelos made an unsuccessful $200 million bid to bring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Baltimore. Having failed to obtain a franchise via the expansion, the city, despite having "misgivings," turned to the possibility of obtaining the Cleveland Browns, whose owner Art Modell was financially struggling and at odds with the city of Cleveland over needed improvements to the team's stadium. Enticed by Baltimore's available funds for a first-class stadium and a promised yearly operating subsidy of $25 million, Modell announced on November 6, 1995 his intention to relocate the team from Cleveland to Baltimore the following year; the resulting controversy ended when representatives of Cleveland and the NFL reached a settlement on February 8, 1996.
Tagliabue promised the city of Cleveland that an NFL team would be located
Michael George Vrabel is an American football coach and former linebacker, the current head coach of the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He played college football at Ohio State University, he was chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft, joined the New England Patriots as a free agent in 2001, where he became an All-Pro and a three-time Super Bowl champion finished his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. After retiring as a player following the 2010 season, he was the linebackers and defensive line coach at Ohio State for three seasons, his NFL coaching career began in 2014 with the Houston Texans as linebackers coach and defensive coordinator, before being hired in 2018 as head coach of the Titans. Vrabel was born in Ohio, he is a 1993 graduate of Walsh Jesuit High School in nearby Cuyahoga Falls, where he was a standout on their football team. Vrabel accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Ohio State University, where he played defensive end from 1993 to 1996.
He compiled twelve quarterback sacks as a sophomore, thirteen as a junior, forty-eight tackles and nine sacks as a senior. As a senior in 1996, he was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American. Vrabel finished his career at Ohio State by being named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in both 1995 and 1996, becoming only the second player to win the award twice, he totaled thirty-six sixty-six tackles for a loss. He was named to the Ohio State Football All-Century Team in 2000, in 2012 was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame. Vrabel was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft, he spent the first four seasons of his career in Pittsburgh. His most notable play as a Steeler came in his rookie season, when he sacked Drew Bledsoe in the 1997-98 AFC Divisional Playoffs to clinch a 7-6 win for the Steelers. Vrabel had 12 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 1998, 9 tackles and two sacks in 1999 and 15 tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery in 2000.
Vrabel joined the New England Patriots as a free agent for the 2001-2002 season. He played in every game on defense, starting in 12, he would come in as an eligible receiver, lining up as a tight end. Belichick took advantage of this in 2004 in Super Bowl XXXVIII. In the fourth quarter, Tom Brady threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Vrabel, making Vrabel the first defensive player to score a Super Bowl touchdown on offense since William "Refrigerator" Perry did so for the Chicago Bears against the Patriots in 1986's Super Bowl XX. Vrabel was one of the defensive stars as well. In Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005, Vrabel caught a two-yard touchdown pass despite being held by Philadelphia's Jevon Kearse, a feat pictured on the cover of the 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book; the reception made him one of 17 players to catch two or more touchdown passes in Super Bowls. Vrabel finished with ten career receptions in just 14 targets, all for touchdowns, he caught one in 2002, two in 2004, three in 2005, two in 2007 in the regular season, one each in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX, all with the Patriots, one each in 2009 and 2010 with the Chiefs.
According to the website Cold Hard Football Facts, no other player in NFL history has a better record of converting receptions to touchdowns. His versatility was good enough for NFL Network to rank him #7 on their Top 10 episode of the Most Versatile Players. In Week 8 of the 2007 season, Vrabel forced three fumbles, had three sacks, recovered an onside kick, scored an offensive touchdown against the Washington Redskins, for which he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. In December 2007 he was selected to start at the Pro Bowl. On December 26, 2005, on the final Monday Night Football game on ABC, Vrabel became, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the first player—since the official recording of sacks began in 1982—to have two touchdown catches and a sack in the same game. Though right outside linebacker had been Vrabel's primary position in the Patriots' 3-4 scheme in his first four seasons with New England, in 2005 Vrabel moved to inside linebacker, because of the limited effectiveness of inside backers Monty Beisel and Chad Brown, although he had never before played inside in the NFL.
By the time Tedy Bruschi had returned from injury, he and Vrabel were the two men starting inside. Rosevelt Colvin filled Vrabel's old spot, many cite the change in positions as a major contributor to the Patriots' rebound in the second half of the season. Vrabel moved inside again late in the 2006 season. On February 27, 2009, the Patriots traded Vrabel to the Kansas City Chiefs for what was announced as an undisclosed draft pick; the following day it was revealed that Patriots traded both Vrabel and Matt Cassel in exchange for the Chiefs' second round pick, the 34th overall selection in the 2009 NFL Draft. Vrabel retired on July 2011 to become the linebackers coach at Ohio State. On December 21, 2011 new Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer decided to keep Vrabel on as part of his coaching staff as defensive line coach. On January 10, 2014, Vrabel was hired by the Houston Texans as a linebackers coach. In January 2016 news outlets reported that the San Francisco 49ers offered Vrabel their defensive coordinator job.
In January 2017 the Texans named Vrabel as their defensive coordinator, moving previous coordinator Romeo Crennel to assistant hea