NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When the Titans went to look for their next soccer coach earlier this week, they were looking for a "men's leader".
The organization found that guy in Mike Vrabel.
On Saturday, the Titans and Vrabel accepted the terms of a contract to make him the team's new head coach. Vrabel, who served as defensive coordinator with the Houston Texans last season, will be presented at a press conference Monday at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
Vrabel was one of three candidates to interview for the job after the team split with Mike Mularkey on Monday. The Titans interviewed Vrabel on Thursday in Nashville.
"I'm excited to have Mike Vrabel joining our organization as our new head coach," said Amy Adams Strunk, head of Controlling of Titans. "In the interaction between Mike and Jon (Robinson) during the interview, you can see their immediate connection to the story they have with each other: see the game in a similar way and speak the same language." Mike has an awesome presence and a deep knowledge of how he will attack this head-training opportunity, he played, was a mentor and coach of successful teams and organizations throughout his football career, he knows what it takes to achieve that level of sustained success: he has seen it We have the opportunity to build on the solid foundation we have established over the past few years and I believe Mike is the right person to continue that progress. "
"This is an incredible opportunity and one that I have been preparing for my entire football life," said Vrabel. "I want to thank Amy, Jon and the entire Titans organization for putting their faith in me, I'm excited to get to work and that work starts now, we want to build a culture around winning, competitiveness and toughness. We are going to be oriented to winning and being physical, we want to prepare our players so they know what to do, which will allow them to play quickly and aggressively. "
Vrabel learned from one of the best in the game while playing for Patriots coach Bill Belichick in New England for eight seasons. . He also played for the Steelers under coach Bill Cowher, worked under Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, and Houston head coach Bill O & # 39; Brien.
Robinson, hired as the team's general manager in January 2016 after spending time with the Patriots and Buccaneers in the NFL, meets Vrabel from his days in New England.
"I've always had great respect for Mike as a player and as a coach," Robinson said. "I saw him up close as a Patriots player and saw how he prepared to be successful on a daily basis, he was the team's quintessential player and embodies the same mentality as a coach, he is intelligent, energetic, thoughtful and a leader whose passion for this game will resonate with our players, as a coach, I have seen him develop talent both at the university level and the NFL, and put the players in position to succeed, I am excited to have him in front of our team and see us grow together as a team "
At the beginning of the search, Robinson was clear when asked what he was looking for in the team's next head coach.  "Leader of men," said Robinson. "Obviously, the things that are marked on those pillars, first as a team, detailed, difficult, reliable, one that goes, as I said, maximizes the skills of the players in the three phases of the game."
Vrabel served as defensive coordinator with the Texans last season after serving as coach of 2014-16 linebackers with the team.
Formerly a trainer at Ohio State, where he served as defensive line coach (2012-13) and linebackers coach.
Vrabel played 14 seasons in the NFL, with the Steelers (1997-2000), Patriots (2001-2008) and Chiefs (2009-2010).
From 2014-16, the Texans' defense ranked third in the NFL in net yards allowed per game (319.9), while Vrabel served as linebackers coach. The DE / LB Jadeveon Clowney won the Pro Bowl honors under Vrabel's tutelage, and linebackers Whitney Mercilus and Brian Cushing were productive players. In 2015, Texas linebackers combined for 22.5 of the team's franchise record with 45 sacks.
In 2012, Vrabel coached four Ohio State defensive linemen who were recruited by the NFL or signed free agent contracts. That year, Vrabel was also named ESPN.com Big Ten Recipient of the Year.
Vrabel played in three winning Super Bowl teams with the New England Patriots, where he played 2001-2008. He played in 206 games in 14 seasons, recording 722 tackles, 57 sacks, 42 passes defensed, 11 interceptions, 20 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and 12 touchdown receptions (as tight end), including two in Super Bowls.
He was selected in the third round (91 in total) of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Steelers, and played as a linebacker and special teams under Cowher.
Vrabel played as a linebacker, on special teams and even on offense under Belichick with the Patriots.
Originally from Akron, Ohio, Vrabel graduated in Exercise Science with a degree in the state of Ohio. He won two consecutive honors throughout America and was twice named Big Ten, defensive congressman of the year (1995 and 1996).
The Titans went 9-7 in 2017 and beat the Chiefs on the AFC Wild Card. before losing to the Patriots in the divisional round.
Before deciding on Vrabel, the Titans also interviewed Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur.