By Anthony Caruso III
Mike Vrabel, the Houston Texans linebackers coach, has turned down the opportunity to work with new San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly offered Vrabel the team’s defensive coordinator job.
Maybe he didn’t feel like he was ready to take the job. Or maybe he didn’t want to work with Kelly; we’ll never know.
Now with Vrabel off the market, so to speak, as he returns to the Texans, Kelly will have to continue his search for a new defensive coordinator. There was speculation that he would offer the job to Eric Mangini before offering it to Vrabel.
Mangini was not one of the coaches let go by Kelly. He was the defensive coordinator under former head coach Jim Tomsula.
According to Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, Vrabel is getting a contract extension from the team. Plus, head coach Bill O’Brien and general manager Rick Smith were working to keep him since he got back from Tuesday’s interview with the 49ers.
He’s worked with defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel for the past two seasons, and this season will be their third together. When Crennel decides to step away — which could definitely happen after the 2016 season — Vrabel would likely be the replacement on the staff.
Crennel was Vrabel’s coach when he was a player on the New England Patriots.
Before taking the join with the Texans as their linebackers coach, Vrabel was a coach with the Ohio State Buckeyes since 2011. He began as their linebackers coach on Urban Meyer’s initial staff, before moving to defensive end coach for two more seasons.
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