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WEEI » This Just In » Vrabel: 'Didn't want to be player I despise'
Fri, 07/15/2011 - 4:45pm  

Vrabel: 'Didn't want to be player I despise'

Former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, who retired this offseason and recently joined the coaching staff at his alma mater, Ohio State University, said in an interview on The Big Show on Friday afternoon that it was clear that it was time for him to move on from his playing days after the 2010 season. He told his family at the end of the season that he was likely to retire, and his offseason workouts with active players made clear that it was time for him to move on.

"I kind of had an idea that that was going to be it," Vrabel said about his sentiments when the Chiefs were knocked out of the playoffs. "As the offseason started to begin and I started to train ... [and] I realized I just couldn’t train or prepare for the rigors of a 16-game regular season and hopefully the playoffs. I didn’t want to become the player that I despise, the player that doesn’t work in the offseason."

Vrabel said that he feels strongly that college is the level at which he wants to coach given the opportunity to mentor young players.

"This is definitely the level I want to be," he said.

Even so, Vrabel suggested that he wanted to take lessons learned from his pro coaches, including Bill Belichick, in order to pass them along to players.

"Bill will probably be at the top of the list in terms of preparation. ... What do we need to do to be successful?" explained Vrabel. "I’m going to try to carry some of those things through."

Vrabel, who served on negotiating committees for the players in talks with NFL owners, also discussed the status of NFL labor negotiations and what it was like to take part in them. He also addressed his feelings about the recent critical comments that Steelers linebacker James Harrison made about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, some of his Patriots' experiences dealing with the media and more.

To listen to the interview, visit The Big Show audio on demand page. For a transcript of more highlights, visit the It Is What It Is blog. For complete Patriots coverage, visit weei.com/patriots.


 




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