Before Mike Vrabel was the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, and before he worked with Romeo Crennel on the Houston Texans’ staff, both men were members of the New England Patriots’ organization.
Crennel was the Pats’ defensive coordinator from 2001 through 2004, which just so happened to be the first four seasons Vrabel was with the team after coming over from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
During his time in New England, Crennel taught Vrabel a very valuable lesson that applies to every facet of life, not just the football world.
“When I got to New England, I had never started a game in Pittsburgh, and so I had this burden of trying to be perfect on each and every play, and say that I’m never going to make a mental error, or everything was going to be exactly right, and trying to make up for whatever talent gap that I had, maybe,” Vrabel explained.
“I would press, or if I’d make a mistake I’d carry it with me, and I remember, I think it was Atlanta and something happened and he came over, he said, ‘You can’t function like that in life or in this game, especially. You can’t just let it eat at you because you made the wrong tackle, you did the wrong assignment.’”
Vrabel then went on to call Crennel a mentor, both in his playing career and coaching career.
“They’ve been one of those mentors when I talk about my coaching career, my playing career, that when you make stops along the way that you have people (that) have a positive impact on your life. I would say that Romeo Crennel is certainly one of those people.”
It looks like the Titans owe Crennel a debt of gratitude, as he clearly helped shape Vrabel, who has turned out to be a great coach in Tennessee.