Former New England Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel once wore a New York Giants helmet in order to troll Bill Belichick in practice.
Despite having won six titles with the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick can’t help but reminisce on his younger coaching days with the New York Giants. During his 1979-90 tenure in East Rutherford, Belichick was a part of two Super Bowl-winning franchises (1986 and 1990), having served as the defensive coordinator for both.
Bill’s opportunity to work with some prestigious names at the linebacker position has given him some teaching points in Foxborough. According to former Pats linebacker Mike Vrabel, Belichick used to often bring up past Giants in practice, and one day, the current Titans head coach wore a Big Blue helmet in order to troll him.
“Every other day, it’s not an exaggeration that [Belichick] would reference the New York Giants,” Vrabel recently told NBC Sports Boston’s “Camera Guys” show. “And he’d be like, ‘[Carl] Banks used to do this, Pepper [Johnson] used to do this, and L.T.’ Like, ‘You guys stink. These guys were 3-4 linebackers.’ And he would show us film.”
“So finally I was like, ‘Okay, we’ve got to do something.’ And I found this old helmet in the equipment room, and I was like, ‘You know what? I think now’s the time to roll with it, come out there and be like, ‘Here we go, Bill. We’ve got the Giants linebackers going.””
Vrabel noting that even Belichick smiled at the joke is saying something, as the longtime coach doesn’t seemingly possess any sort of sense of humor. I guess you just need to hit him with the exact right joke at the exact right time, something Vrabel must’ve done at that very moment.
Vrabel’s career in New England lasted from 2001-08 and encompassed three Super Bowl titles. Having head coached the Titans since the 2018 campaign, Vrabel actually knocked his former coach out of the playoffs this past January. With talk of the Patriots dynasty heading on a downward spiral, the Titans came into Gillette Stadium and shocked New England by a score of 20-13 in the AFC Wild Card round.
Tennessee then went on to lose to the Kansas City Chiefs — the eventual Super Bowl champions — by a score of 35-24 in the AFC Championship Game.