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 50   Mike Vrabel   LB
  Height: 6-4   Weight: 261
  Year: 12   Yrs/Pat: 8
  Acquired: UFA(PIT)-01
  School: Ohio State
  Major: Pre-Med
  Born: Aug 14, 1975  Akron  OH
  Pro Bowl: 2007

Career Transactions

Mike Vrabel was signed by the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent on March 16, 2001 ... He was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round (91st overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft.

 



Career Statistics

View Mike Vrabel's Career Statistics >>



Career Highlights

  • Over 11 NFL seasons, Vrabel has recorded 614 tackles (417 solo), 51 sacks, 10 interceptions for 68 yards and a touchdown, 31 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries.
  • Vrabel has recorded 10 career receptions in regularseason and playoff games, all going for touchdowns. He has caught eight passes for 11 yards and eight touchdowns in the regular season and two passes for three yards and two touchdowns in the playoffs.
  • Since joining the Patriots in 2001, Vrabel has recorded 12 regular-season strip-sacks (four in 2003, one in 2005, three in 2006 and four in 2007) while adding three more in the playoffs (one in 2003, 2004 and 2006).
  • Vrabel earned his first career Pro Bowl selection in 2007 and recorded 12.5 sacks, the most by a Patriots player in 20 years, dating back to Andre Tippett's 12.5-sack season in 1987.
  • In 2007, Vrabel was a key leader on the first team in NFL history to complete a 16-0 regular season, as the Patriots tied the NFL's all-time mark with 18 overall victories and set a league record for point differential, outscoring opponents by 315 points.
  • In 2007, Vrabel was a defensive captain on a Patriots team that allowed just 288.3 yards per game, the franchise's best such figure in 25 years.
  • Vrabel had a huge game against the Washington Redskins on Oct. 28, 2007, recording three strip-sacks of Washington quarterback Jason Campbell, creating three turnovers that were turned into 17 points in the Patriots' 52-7 win. He also caught a touchdown pass while playing on offense. Vrabel earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his effort.
  • In 2006, Vrabel was a captain on a Patriots defense that set a franchise record by allowing just 14.81 points per game. The defense allowed just 237 points, the fewest by any Patriots club over a 16-game season.
  • Vrabel finished third on the team with 101 tackles (59 solo) in 2006 and also tied for the team lead with three regular-season strip-sacks - at Buffalo (10/22), at Green Bay (11/12) and at Tennessee (12/31).
  • Vrabel finished second on the team with 20 tackles in the 2006 playoffs and tied for the team lead with a pair of playoff sacks.
  • Vrabel has recorded four strip-sacks in his 19-game playoff career. He recorded strip-sacks of Philip Rivers in the 2006 AFC divisional playoffs (1/14/07), of Peyton Manning in the 2004 AFC divisional playoffs (1/16/05), of Jake Delhomme in Super Bowl XXXVIII (2/1/04) and of Drew Bledsoe while playing for the Steelers against the Patriots in the 1997 AFC divisional playoffs (1/3/98).
  • Vrabel had a productive season in 2005, leading the team with a career-high 114 tackles (80 solo) while starting all 16 games for the first time in his career.
  • On Dec. 26, 2005, Vrabel became the first player to record two touchdowns and a sack in the same game since sacks became an official NFL statistic in 1982. In that game against the New York Jets, Vrabel caught a pair of 1-yard touchdown passes and also recorded a secondquarter sack.
  • Vrabel enjoyed another strong campaign in 2004, finishing second on the team with 5.5 sacks and fourth on the squad with 76 tackles (59 solo). l Vrabel led the Patriots with a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2003, a total that was then the most by any Patriot in the Bill Belichick era and the most by a Patriot since Willie McGinest notched 9.5 sacks in 1996. Vrabel accomplished the feat despite missing three games due to injury.
  • Vrabel capped off 2003 with a strong postseason, finishing with three sacks, including two in Super Bowl XXXVIII. He also lined up as a tight end in the Super Bowl and caught the Patriots' final touchdown of the game on a one-yard play from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter.
  • Vrabel recorded a career-high three sacks in the Patriots' 9-3 win over Cleveland (10/26/03, at the time was the most sacks in a game by a Patriot since Henry Thomas collected three against St. Louis (12/13/98)).
  • Scored his first career touchdown at San Diego (09/29/02) when he lined up as a tight end and grabbed a one-yard pass from Tom Brady. Vrabel was the first Patriot defender to catch a touchdown pass since linebacker John Tanner caught a two-yard toss from Jim Plunkett at Baltimore (11/24/74).
  • Vrabel intercepted two passes during the 2001 season, including one at the N.Y. Jets (12/02/01). The turnover triggered a momentum change which saw the Patriots outscore the Jets 17-3 in the second half and defeat the Jets 17-16.
  • Vrabel applied pressure to Rams quarterback Kurt Warner in Super Bowl XXXVI, forcing an errant pass that was intercepted by Ty Law and returned 47 yards for a touchdown, giving the Patriots an early 7-0 advantage.
  • Vrabel recorded one of the biggest plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1997 playoffs, when he sacked Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe and forced him to fumble with less than two minutes remaining in the game. The Steelers were able to hold on for a 7-6 victory in an AFC Divisional playoff game versus New England (1/3).


2008 Season

2008 (16/14/0/0):  Voted a defensive captain by his teammates for the fourth time ... Led the team in tackles once (at SEA) and led the team in sacks once (vs. KC) in 2008.

Kansas City (9/7):  Started at outside linebacker ... Tallied four tackles (3 solo), two sacks, three quarterback hits and one pass defensed in the Patriots' 17-10 win over the Chiefs ... Sacked Damon Huard for a 2-yard loss to end the third quarter ... Took down Huard a second time in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard sack ... Disrupted a Brodie Croyle pass intended for Mike Cox in the first quarter ... Teamed up with Richard Seymour to stuff Larry Johnson for no gain on a second-and-goal try with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.  at N.Y. Jets (9/14):  Started at outside linebacker ... Made one solo tackle in the Patriots' 19-10 win over the Jets.  Miami (9/21):  Started at outside linebacker ... Made three tackles, including one for a loss.  at San Francisco (10/5):  Made his 100th career start in the Patriots' 30-21 victory over the 49ers ... Made one tackle.  at San Diego (10/12):  Played in reserve at outside linebacker ... Made one solo tackle at the Chargers.  Denver (10/20):  Played in reserve at outside linebacker in the Patriots' 41-7 victory over the Broncos ... Made three tackles ... Tallied one special teams tackle.  St. Louis (10/26):  Started at outside linebacker in the Patriots' 23-16 comeback win over the Rams ... Made a season-high seven tackles ... Teamed up with Richard Seymour to drop Antonio Pittman for no gain in the fourth quarter.  at Indianapolis (11/2):  Started at outside linebacker ... Made five tackles (2 solo) against the Colts ... Tripped up Joseph Addai in the backfield for a 1-yard loss in the second quarter, forcing a Colts punt on the next play ... Combined with Richard Seymour to stop Joseph Addai for a 2-yard loss on first and goal in the third quarter.  Buffalo (11/9):  Started at outside linebacker in the Patriots' 20-10 victory over the Bills ... Tallied five tackles (2 solo) with one tackle for a loss ... Combined with Richard Seymour to drop Marshawn Lynch for a 3-yard loss on third and goal from the Patriots' 4-yard line in the second quarter, forcing Buffalo to for a field goal.  N.Y. Jets (11/13):  Started at outside linebacker ... Made three tackles against the Jets ... Credited with a quarterback hit.  at Miami (11/23):  Started at outside linebacker in the Patriots' 48-28 victory over the Dolphins ... Hauled down Chad Pennington for a 7-yard sack to end the first half ... Registered a pass defensed, knocking a Pennington pass away from Davone Bess in the third quarter ... Dragged down Ricky Williams for a 3-yard loss in the first quarter ... Tallied five tackles (3 solo).  Pittsburgh (11/30):  Started at outside linebacker against the Steelers ... Snared a Ben Roethlisberger out of midair for his first interception since Dec. 3, 2006, to set up a 3-play, 14-yard drive capped by a Sammy Morris 2-yard touchdown run to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead in the first quarter ... Registered his second pass defensed of the game, tipping a Ben Roethlisberger pass intended for Santonio Holmes at the line of scrimmage later in the first quarter ...  Tallied two tackles (1 solo).  at Seattle (12/7):  Started at outside linebacker in the Patriots' 24-21 comeback win over the Seahawks ... Stuffed Maurice Morris for no gain in the third quarter ... Led the team with a season high nine tackles with a team high seven solo stops.  at Oakland (12/14):  Started at outside linebacker in the Patriots' 49-26 victory over the Raiders ... Got to Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell for a strip-sack on third down in the first quarter, setting up a Patriots touchdown drive his fourth sack of the season ... Stuffed Justin Fargas for no gain in the first quarter ... Tallied seven tackles with four solo stops.  Arizona (12/21):  Started at outside linebacker in the Patriots' 47-7 victory over the Cardinals ... Dragged down Tim Hightower for a 3-yard loss, forcing the Cardinals to a three-and-out on their first possession of the game ... Teamed with Vince Wilfork to hold Hightower to no gain on a third-quarter rush ... Made four tackles with three solo stops.  at Buffalo (12/28):  Started at outside linebacker in the Patriots' 13-0 victory, their first shutout win since 2006, over the Bills ... Pounced on a Trent Edwards fumble forced on a Jarvis Green strip-sack in the third quarter, setting up a LaMont Jordan touchdown run that gave the Patriots a 10-0 lead ... Teamed with Rosevelt Colvin to stop Fred Jackson for no gain in the first quarter ... Joined with Colvin again in the third quarter to drop Fred Jackson for a 2-yard loss ... Stuffed Jackson once more for no gain on a fourth-quarter carry ... Tallied seven tackles (4 solo) with one quarterback hit.



2007 Season

2007 (16/15/0/0):  Played in all 16 regular-season game for the sixth time in the last seven years and made 15 starts at outside linebacker in 2007...Was voted a defensive captain for the 2007 season by his teammates...Set a single-game career record for forced fumbles with three, while tying single-game career high marks in tackles (15), solo tackles (11) and sacks (3) in the Patriots' convincing 52-7 win over the Washington Redskins on Oct. 28...Was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career for his efforts in the Patriots' win over the Washington Redskins on Oct. 28...Established a single-season career high in sacks with 12.5 and earning his first Pro Bowl selection in 2007, while tying a single-season career high with four forced fumbles.

at N.Y. Jets (9/9):  Started at outside linebacker...Teamed with Ty Warren to sack Jets quarterback Chad Pennington in the first quarter for a loss of nine yards and forcing New York to punt...Sacked Pennington a second time for a 7-yard loss in the second quarter...Tracked down Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens for a five-yard loss to help ice the victory while forcing a fumble...Lined up as an eligible receiver at tight end on Heath Evans' 1-yard touchdown run. San Diego (9/16):  Started at outside linebacker...Teamed up with Junior Seau to stuff Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson for no gain on a first-and-four during the third quarter...Sacked Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers for a 10-yard loss in the fourth quarter for his league-leading third sack of the season...Notched five tackles (3 solo).  Buffalo (9/23):  Started at outside linebacker in the Patriots' 38-7 win over the Bills...Tallied five (3 solo) tackles.  at Cincinnati (10/1): Started at outside linebacker...Lined up at tight end on third and goal and hauled in his seventh regular season and ninth career touchdown reception from Tom Brady with 51 seconds remaining in the first quarter, providing the Patriots with a 10-0 lead...Registered three tackles (2 solo) and two quarterback hits.  Cleveland (10/7):  Started at inside linebacker...Applied pressure by knocking down Browns quarterback Derek Anderson twice, including on a second-quarter pass rush that resulted in Junior Seau's second interception of the game...Registered four tackles (2 solo).  at Dallas (10/15): Started at outside linebacker...Part of a linebacking corps that limited Cowboys' running backs Julius Jones and Marion Barber to just 99 yards on the ground, chipping in one solo tackle in the Patriots' 48-27 win.  at Miami (10/21):  Started at outside linebacker...Sacked Cleo Lemon for a loss of 11 yards with 7:18 remaining in the first quarter on a play that resulted in a Lemon fumble and recovery by Ty Warren...Stuffed Ronnie Brown for no gain on a first-and-20 carry in the second quarter, helping the Patriots' defense on a three-and-out stand...Tallied three (2 solo) tackles.  Washington (10/28):  Started at outside linebacker...Stuffed Clinton Portis for no gain to force a Redskins' punt on a first-quarter drive...Grabbed his second touchdown reception of the season and his 10th career touchdown catch on a 2-yard strike from Tom Brady with 8:12 remaining in the second quarter, giving the Patriots a 14-0 lead...Forced Jason Campbell to fumble the ball three times on strip-sacks with the Patriots recovering each loose ball...Sacked Campbell for a loss of 8 yards with 1:55 remaining in the second quarter and forced a fumble that was recovered by Ty Warren...Dragged down Campbell for a second sack, this time for a 7-yard loss and a forced fumble that was again recovered by Warren...Got Campbell a third time for his league leading 7.5th sack with 5:54 remaining in the third quarter, forcing a third fumble that was recovered by Rosevelt Colvin and returned 11 yards for a touchdown and a 38-0 Patriots' advantage...Led the team with single-game career highs in tackles (15), solo tackles (11), sacks (3) and forced fumbles (3) in the Patriots' 52-7 win...Returned one kickoff for three yards.  at Indianapolis (11/4):  Started at outside linebacker...Dropped Peyton Manning for a loss of four yards in the fourth quarter to run his season total to 8.5...Led the team in quarterback hits...Contributed five tackles (4 solo).  at Buffalo (11/18):  Played in a reserve role at outside linebacker in the Patriots' 56-10 win...Ran his season sack total to 9.5 with a sack of J.P. Losman in the first quarter.  Philadelphia (11/25):  Started at outside linebacker...Led the team in quarterback hits with two and tallied six solo tackles in the Patriots' 31-28 comeback win over the Eagles...Stonewalled Brian Westbrook for a loss of two yards during the first quarter.  at Baltimore (12/3):  Started at outside linebacker...Made four tackles in the Patriots' 27-24 come-from-behind win over the Ravens.  Pittsburgh (12/9):  Started at outside linebacker...Tallied six tackles (3 solo) in the Patriots' 34-13 win over the Steelers.  N.Y. Jets (12/16):  Started at outside linebacker...Racked up four tackles (3 solo) and a quarterback hit in the Patriots' 20-10 win over the Jets...Credited with a quarterback hit on Chad Pennington, forcing an incomplete pass on the pressure and leading to a Jets' punt...Teamed with Junior Seau to stop Thomas Jones for no gain in the fourth quarter.  Miami (12/23):  Started at outside linebacker...Ran his season sacks total to 12.5, tying the highest total for a Patriot player since Andre Tippett's 12.5 sacks in 1987, with three sacks in the Patriots' 28-7 victory over the Dolphins...Took down Cleo Lemon for a 5-yard sack in the second quarter, forcing a Dolphins' punt and becoming the first Patriots' player to have 10 or more sacks in a season since Willie McGinest in 1995...Brought down Lemon a second time with a 4-yard sack in the third quarter... Tallied five tackles (4 solo) and two quarterback hits.  at N.Y. Giants (12/29):  Started at outside linebacker...Made two tackles in the Patriots' 38-35 comeback victory, capping off the fourth perfect regular-season in NFL history...Teamed up with Ty Warren to stuff Brandon Jacobs for no gain in the first quarter.

2007 Postseason (3/3/0/0):  Jacksonville (1/12):  Started at outside linebacker... Made two tackles (1 solo) with a quarterback hit, a pass defensed and a fumble recovery in the Patriots' 31-20 win over the Jaguars...Pounced on a David Garrard fumble, forced by Ty Warren's strip-sack in the first quarter.  San Diego (1/20):  Started at outside linebacker... Made two tackles and a quarterback hit in the Patriots' 21-12 win over the Chargers in the AFC Championship Game.  N.Y. Giants (2/3):  Started at outside linebacker...Made two tackles in Super Bowl XLII.



2006 Season

2006 (16/16/0/0): Was voted a defensive captain for the 2006 season by his teammates ... Finished third on the team with 101 tackles (59 solo) ... Led the team in tackles twice in 2006 (vs. BUF, at MIN) ... Led the team or tied for the lead in sacks three times in 2006 (at BUF, at GB, at TEN) ... Tied for the team lead in passes defensed twice in 2006 (at MIN, at GB) ... Tied for the team lead in quarterback hits once in 2006 (at GB).

Buffalo (9/10): Started at inside linebacker ... Led the team with 11 tackles (4 solo) in the Patriots' 19-17 victory over the Bills ... Halted Willis McGahee for a 2- yard loss on a rush off left guard in the fourth quarter. at N.Y. Jets (9/17): Started at outside linebacker ... Notched seven tackles (3 solo), a half sack and a quarterback hit in the Patriots' 24-17 win over the N.Y. Jets ... Teamed with Richard Seymour to sack Chad Pennington for a 10-yard loss on a third-and-eight play in the fourth quarter. Denver (9/24): Started at outside linebacker and tallied eight tackles (5 solo) and a quarterback hit ... Teamed with Richard Seymour to stuff Tatum Bell for a 2-yard loss on a rush off right guard in the first quarter. at Cincinnati (10/1): Started at linebacker and recorded five tackles (3 solo) in the Patriots' commanding 38-13 victory over the Bengals.  Miami (10/8): Started at outside linebacker ... Registered five tackles (4 solo) in the Patriots' 20- 10 win over the Dolphins ... Teamed with Ty Warren to stuff Ronnie Brown for no gain on a rush up the middle in the first quarter. at Buffalo (10/22): Made the start at outside linebacker ... Finished second on the team with eight tackles (3 solo), a sack and a forced fumble in the Patriots' 28-6 road victory over the Bills ... Strip-sacked JP Losman for a 6-yard loss and the ball was recovered by Vince Willfork in the second quarter ... Teamed with Junior Seau to stuff Robert Royal for no gain on a tight end screen in the second quarter. at Minnesota (10/30): Started at outside linebacker and led the team with seven solo tackles in the Patriots' commanding 31-7 road win against the Vikings ... Registered a quarterback hit and an interception in the victory ... Intercepted a Brad Johnson pass intended for Jermaine Wiggins in the fourth quarter. Indianapolis (11/5): Started at outside linebacker and recorded six tackles (5 solo), a half sack and two quarterback hits ... Teamed with Rosevelt Colvin to sack Peyton Manning for a 7-yard loss in the fourth quarter. N.Y. Jets (11/12): Started at outside linebacker and collected one tackle. at Green Bay (11/19): Made the start at outside linebacker and registered six tackles (5 solo), one and a half sacks, a pass defensed and a forced fumble in the Patriots' 35-0 road victory over the Packers ... Teamed with Ty Warren to sack Aaron Rodgers for a 6-yard loss in the third quarter ... Deflected a pass intended for Bubba Franks on the first play of the fourth quarter ... Came off the edge and strip-sacked Rodgers for a 6-yard loss, and the loose ball was recovered by Mike Wright at the Packers' 45-yard line. Chicago (11/26): Started at outside linebacker but switched to inside linebacker when Junior Seau left the game with an injury in the second quarter ... Finished the game with nine tackles (5 solo) in the Patriots' 17-13 victory over the Bears ... Limited Desmond Clark to a 5-yard catch on a third-and-10 play in the second quarter. Detroit (12/3): Started at inside linebacker ... Finished tied for second on the team with 10 tackles (7 solo), two interceptions and a fumble recovery in the Patriots' 28-21 comeback victory over the Lions ... Teamed with Tully Banta-Cain to stuff Kevin Jones for no gain on a rush up the middle in the first quarter ... Pounced on a Jones fumble that was forced by Artrell Hawkins at the Patriots' 5-yard line in the second quarter ... Combined with Vince Wilfork to stop Jon Kitna for no gain on a rush up the middle in the fourth quarter ... Picked off a Kitna pass intended for Dan Campbell in the fourth quarter ... Sealed the victory by intercepting a Kitna pass along the sideline that was intended for Mike Williams late in the fourth quarter. at Miami (12/10): Started at outside linebacker as the team opened the game in a 4-3 alignment ... Recorded six tackles (3 solo). Houston (12/17): Started at inside linebacker and notched five tackles (1 solo) in the Patriots' commanding 40-7 victory over the Texans ... Teamed with Richard Seymour to stuff Ron Dayne for no gain on a rush off left tackle in the first quarter. at Jacksonville (12/24): Started at inside linebacker and registered three tackles (2 solo) in the Patriots' 24-21 division-clinching win over the Jaguars. at Tennessee (12/31): Started at inside linebacker ... Posted four tackles (2 solo), a sack and a forced fumble in the Patriots' 40-23 victory over the Titans ... Sacked Vince Young for an 8-yard loss and caused a fumble that was recovered by the Titans.

2006 Postseason (3/3/0/0):  N.Y. Jets (1/7): Started at inside linebacker ... Finished second on the team with eight tackles (6 solo) and a pass defensed in the Patriots' 37-16 AFC Wild Card victory over the N.Y. Jets ... Broke up a pass intended for Jerricho Cotchery on third-and-five in the first quarter ... Combined with James Sanders to stop Leon Washington for no gain on a rush off right tackle in the third quarter. at San Diego (1/14): Made the start at inside linebacker ... Posted six tackles (5 solo), a sack and a forced fumble in the Patriots' 24-21 AFC Divisional playoff victory over the Chargers ... Stuffed LaDainian Tomlinson for no gain on a rush in the first quarter ... Strip-sacked Philip Rivers for a 5-yard loss and the loose ball was recovered by Tully Banta-Cain on a fourth-and-11 play in the first quarter. at Indianapolis (1/21): Started at outside linebacker ... Collected six tackles (4 solo) and a sack ... Teammed with Vince Wilfork to stonewall Dominic Rhodes for a 2-yard loss on a rush in the second quarter ... Sacked Peyton Manning for a 7-yard loss in the fourth quarter.

 



2005 Season

2005 (16/16/0/0): Was voted a defensive captain for the 2005 season by his teammates … Scored his first career defensive touchdown with a 24-yard interception return for a score against Carolina (09/18/05) … Notched a career-high 15 tackles in the 21-16 victory over Buffalo (10/30/05) … Led the team with a career-high 114 tackles (80 solo) … Grabbed two touchdown receptions in the Patriots’ 31-21 victory over the N.Y. Jets (12/26/05).  Oakland (9/8): Registered five solo tackles, including a sack in the Patriots’ 30-20 victory over the Raiders on opening night … Dropped Kerry Collins for a 6- yard sack with a strong outside rush in the third quarter … Stonewalled Lamont Jordan for a 4-yard loss on a screen pass in the second quarter. at Carolina (9/18): Collected four tackles (3 solo) and an interception … Notched his first career defensive touchdown when he intercepted a Jake Delhomme pass and returned it 24 yards for a score in the third quarter … Stonewalled Stephen Davis for no gain on a rush off left tackle in the second quarter. at Pittsburgh (9/25): Registered three solo tackles and a pass defensed in the Patriots’ 23-20 victory over the Steelers … Stonewalled Willie Parker for a 6-yard loss on a screen pass in the first quarter … Knocked down a pass intended for Hines Ward in the fourth quarter. San Diego (10/2): Lead the team with 10 tackles (7 solo) … Notched a solo tackle on special teams coverage units. at Atlanta (10/9): Recorded three tackles (2 solo), including a half sack in the Patriots’ 31-28 win over the Falcons … Teamed with Jarvis Green to sack Matt Schaub for a 1-yard loss in the third quarter. at Denver (10/16): Collected a career-high 13 tackles (7 solo) … Teamed with Willie McGinest to stuff Mike Anderson for a 2-yard loss on a rush off right tackle in the first quarter … Teamed with Rosevelt Colvin to drop Tatum Bell for a 5-yard loss on third-and-three rush in the third quarter. Buffalo (10/30): Led the team with a career-high 15 tackles (11 solo) and a pass defensed in the Patriots’ 21-16 victory over the Bills on Sunday Night Football … Teamed with Vince Wilfork to stonewall Roscoe Parrish for a 6-yard loss on a reverse in the first quarter … Knocked down a first quarter pass intended for Tim Euhus in the end zone … Teamed with Ty Warren to stop Willis McGahee for no gain on a rush up the middle in the third quarter … Dropped Kelly Holcomb for a 7-yard sack on third-and-eight in the fourth quarter … Sealed the game by stuffing Eric Moulds for no gain on a fourth-and-eight pass play. Indianapolis (11/7): Led the team with 10 tackles (6 solo) and an interception … Teamed with Tedy Bruschi to stonewall Edgerrin James for a 3-yard loss on the first play from scrimmage in the first quarter … Combined with Rosevelt Colvin to stop James for a 2-yard loss on a rush off left end in the second quarter … Intercepted a Peyton Manning pass intended for Dallas Clark on third-and-11 in the second quarter. at Miami (11/13): Notched eight tackles (6 solo) in the Patriots’ 23-16 road victory over the Dolphins … Teamed with Tedy Bruschi to stuff Ronnie Brown for no gain on a third down rush off left end in the first quarter … Combined with Willie McGinest to stonewall Ricky Williams for a 2-yard loss on a rush off left end in the fourth quarter … Led the team with two special teams stops. New Orleans (11/20): Led the team with 11 tackles (8 solo) in the Patriots’ 24-17 win over the Saints … Gave the Patriots a 14-0 advantage with a 1-yard touchdown reception with 13:30 remaining in the second quarter. at Kansas City (11/27): Registered seven tackles (5 solo) … Teamed with Vince Wilfork to stuff Larry Johnson for a 2-yard loss on a rush up the middle in the first quarter … Collected a special teams stop on coverage units. N.Y. Jets (12/4): Recorded five tackles (3 solo) and a pass defensed in the Patriots’ 16-3 victory over the Jets … Knocked down a pass intended for Justin McCareins in the fourth quarter … Collected a solo special teams tackle. at Buffalo (12/11): Notched two tackles in the Patriots’ commanding 35-7 road victory over the Bills … Registered a special teams tackle on coverage units. Tampa Bay (12/17): Notched six tackles (5 solo), a sack and a forced fumble in the Patriots’ 28-0 shutout victory over the Buccaneers … Sacked Chris Simms with a vicious bind-side hit, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Willie McGinest late in the second quarter. at N.Y. Jets (12/26): Started at inside linebacker and also saw time at tight end in goalline situations … Led the team with seven tackles (3 solo) and a sack in the Patriots’ 31-21 victory over the Jets … Grabbed two receptions for three yards and two touchdowns in the victory … Gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead with a 1-yard touchdown grab with 5:27 remaining in the opening quarter … Got open in the back of the end zone and hauled in a 2-yard touchdown grab to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead in the second quarter … Dropped Brooks Bollinger for a 10-yard sack with a fierce outside pass rush in the second quarter. Miami (1/1): Saw limited action at linebacker and notched five solo tackles.

2005 Postseason (2/2/0/0): Jacksonville (1/7): Led the team with 10 tackles (6 solo) in the Patriots' 28-3 AFC Wild Card victory over the Jaguars ... Stopped Fred Taylor for a 2-yard gain on a third-and-three pass play in the first quarter ... Stonewalled Fred Taylor for no gain on a rush off left guard in the fourth quarter. at Denver (1/14): Collected seven tackles (5 solo) and a sack ... Dropped Jake Plummer for a 7-yard sack in the third quarter ... Collected a special teams stop on coverage units.



2004 season

2004 (16/15, 3/3): Started 15 of 16 regular season games at outside linebacker … Finished second on the team with 5.5 sacks … Finished fourth on the squad with 76 tackles (59 solo) … Caught three touchdown passes as a tight end in goal line situations, including a 2-yard score from Tom Brady in Super Bowl XXXIX against the Eagles. Indianapolis (9/9): Tallied four tackles (2 solo) in the Patriots’ 27-24 victory over the Colts … Stuffed Edgerrin James for a 1-yard loss on a rush off right tackle. at Arizona (9/19): Recorded four solo tackles, a sack and a pass defensed in the Patriots’ 23-12 victory over the Cardinals … Stopped Emmitt Smith behind the line of scrimmage for a 2-yard loss … Sacked Josh McCown for a 13-yard loss … Batted down a pass intended for Bryant Johnson. at Buffalo (10/3): Collected nine tackles (7 solo), a sack and a pass defensed in the Patriots’ 31-17 victory over the Bills … Sacked Drew Bledsoe for a 6-yard loss. Seattle (10/17): Collected six solo tackles, a sack and a pass defensed in the Patriots’ 30-20 victory over the Seahawks … Sacked Matt Hasselbeck for a 3-yard loss on a third-and-six play … Batted down a pass intended for Darrell Jackson late in the fourth quarter. N.Y. Jets (10/24): Notched six tackles (5 solo) in the Patriots’ 13-7 win over the Jets. at Pittsburgh (10/31): Registered four tackles (3 solo) against the Steelers … Collected one solo tackle on special teams. at St. Louis (11/7): Led the team with nine tackles (7 solo) in the Patriots’ 40-22 road win against the Rams … Made a diving catch for a 2-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. Buffalo (11/14): Tallied five tackles (4 solo) in the Patriots’ commanding 29-6 victory over the Bills … Combined with Ty Warren to stonewall Willis McGahee for a 3-yard loss on a rush in the first quarter. at Kansas City (11/22): Registered seven tackles (6 solo) in the Patriots’ 27-19 Monday Night victory over the Chiefs. Baltimore (11/28): Notched four tackles (2 solo) in the Patriots’ 24-3 victory over the Ravens … Provided the initial pressure on Kyle Boller before Tedy Bruschi registered the sack and forced fumble that resulted in Jarvis Green’s fumble recovery for a touchdown. at Cleveland (12/5): Played in a reserve role at linebacker and notched six tackles (5 solo), including a sack in the Patriots’ 42-15 victory over the Browns … Sacked Luke McCown for a 15-yard loss. at Miami (12/20): Registered three tackles and a half a sack …Teamed with Roman Phifer to drop A.J. Feeley for a sack in the first quarter. at N.Y. Jets (12/26): Recorded four solo tackles, including a sack in the Patriots’ 23-7 victory over the Jets … Dropped Chad Pennington for an 8-yard sack on a third-and-eight play. San Francisco (1/2): Tied the score at 7-7 with a 1-yard touchdown reception from Tom Brady in the second quarter, his second touchdown grab of the season. Indianapolis (1/16): Notched eight tackles (6 solo), a sack and a forced fumble in the Patriots’ 20-3 victory over the Colts … Sacked Peyton Manning for an 8-yard loss, while forcing the signal caller to fumble, but the loose ball was recovered by the Colts at their own 22-yard line. at Pittsburgh (1/23): Recorded six tackles (5 solo) and a fumble recovery in the Patriots’ 41-27 AFC Championship victory over the Steelers … Recovered a Jerome Bettis fumble that was caused by Rosevelt Colvin … Provided the key block that allowed Rodney Harrison to return a Ben Roethlisberger interception 87 yards for a touchdown. Philadelphia (2/6): Collected four tackles (2 solo), including a sack in the Patriots’ 24-21 victory over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX … Sacked Donovan McNabb for a 16-yard loss … Grabbed a touchdown for the second consecutive time in the Super Bowl with a 2-yard scoring strike to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead.



2003 Season

2003 (13/9, 3/3): Led the team with a career-high 9.5 sacks despite missing three games because of injury … Named AFC Defensive Player of the Month for December after tallying 27 tackles (17 solo), four sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception and a fumble recovery in four Patriots victories … Registered a career-high three sacks against Cleveland (10/26) … Notched a career-high 11 tackles against Miami (12/07). Philadelphia (9/14): Registered his first sack of the season when he dropped Donovan McNabb for a two-yard loss after a strong outside pass rush … On the next play, pressured McNabb in the pocket and forced him to throw his first interception of the game. Miami (10/19): Returned from a three-game absence and saw limited action at linebacker. Cleveland (10/26): Tallied five solo tackles, including three sacks in the Patriots’ 9-3 win over the Browns … All three sacks came on third down and ended Browns drives … Marked the first time a Patriots defender registered three sacks in a game since Henry Thomas collected three against the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 13, 1998. Denver (11/3): Returned to the starting lineup at outside linebacker and notched eight tackles (7 solo). Houston (11/23): Recorded three tackles and an interception … Picked off a Tony Banks pass on the first play in overtime. Indianapolis (11/30): Finished with six tackles, including two sacks and also forced a fumble … Sacked Peyton Manning and caused the signal caller to fumble, which was recovered by Dan Klecko, setting up the Patriots’ first touchdown in the first quarter … Sacked Manning for a five-yard loss in the fourth quarter. Miami (12/7): Tallied a career-high 11 tackles (4 solo), two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery … Combined with Willie McGinest to drop Jay Fiedler for a seven-yard sack in the second quarter … Recovered a fumble deep in Patriots territory in the third quarter … Sacked Fiedler for a 10-yard loss and forced the signal caller to fumble, but the ball was recovered by the Dolphins … Teamed with Jarvis Green to sack Fiedler in the end zone for a safety. N.Y. Jets (12/20): Collected seven tackles (6 solo) and two sacks … Sacked Chad Pennington for a 7-yard loss in the first quarter … Also dropped Pennington for a six-yard sack. Buffalo (12/27): Registered five solo tackles and an interception … Dropped back in coverage and picked off a Drew Bledsoe pass intended for Mark Campbell in the first quarter. Tennessee (1/10): Registered eight tackles (7 solo) and a sack in the Patriots’ 17-14 divisional playoff victory … Sacked Steve McNair for a one-yard loss in the second quarter. Indianapolis (1/18): Started at outside linebacker and registered seven tackles (4 solo) and a pass defense in the Patriots’ 24-14 AFC Championship victory over the Colts. Carolina (2/1): Finished second on the team with six tackles (4 solo), including a game-high two sacks and also caught a touchdown pass and forced a fumble in the Patriots’ 32-29 Super Bowl XXXVIII victory … Gave the Patriots a 29-22 lead with his second career touchdown reception, a one-yard catch from Tom Brady, with 2:51 left in the game … Became the first defensive player since William Perry (Super Bowl XX) to record a touchdown on offense … Sacked Jake Delhomme for a six-yard loss with a vicious blindside hit that forced the signal caller to fumble … The loose ball was recovered by the Patriots and broke a scoreless tie by leading to the first touchdown of the game … Dropped Delhomme for a nine-yard sack on third-and-eight to halt a Panthers drive in the first quarter.



2002 Season

2002 (16/13): Started 13 of 16 regular season games and set new career highs with 75 tackles, 51 solos 24 assists and 4.5 sacks … Recovered a career-high two fumbles during the season. Pittsburgh (9/9): Intercepted a Kordell Stewart pass at the Pittsburgh 26-yard line on the Steelers fourth play of the game in the Patriots 30-14 victory … The Patriots offense took the cue and capitalized on the turnover by scoring the first touchdown in Gillette Stadium history four plays later. N.Y. Jets (9/15): Started at outside linebacker as part of a defense that allowed only 32 rushing yards and only three catches by Jets wide receivers, as the Patriots beat the Jets, 44-7 … Finished second on the team with four tackles (3 solos). Kansas City (9/22): Sacked Trent Green for a loss of nine yards on third-and-two in the second quarter. San Diego (9/29): Scored his first career touchdown when he was on the receiving end of a pass from Tom Brady in the second quarter … Reported as an eligible receiver and lined up as a tight end on the scoring play … Became the first Patriots defensive player to catch a touchdown pass since linebacker John Tanner caught a two-yard toss from Jim Plunkett at Baltimore (11/24/74). Miami (10/6): Sacked Jay Fiedler for a loss of eight yards and totaled four tackles (3 solos). Buffalo (11/3): Sacked Buffalo’s Drew Bledsoe for a loss of six yards. Chicago (11/10): Sacked the Bears’ Jim Miller for a loss of three yards on Chicago’s final possession, sealing New England’s 33-30, come-from-behind win. Oakland (11/17): Tied for third on the team with eight tackles and tied a career high with six solo tackles. Minnesota (11/24): Made five tackles and recovered a fumble in the Patriots 24-17 victory over the Vikings … Pounced on the loose football after Roman Phifer stripped Michael Bennett. Tennessee (12/16): Finished third on the team with eight tackles (5 solos) and shared a sack with Jarvis Green. Miami (12/29): Tied for second on the team with seven tackles (4 solos) in the Patriots come-from-behind, 27-24 overtime win over the Dolphins in the season finale … Stopped Ricky Williams for a loss of a yard on the Dolphins first play from scrimmage.

 



2001 Season

2001 (16/12, 3/3): Started 12 of 16 regular season games and all three postseason games at linebacker … Snared a career high two interceptions … Set career highs, which were later eclipsed in 2002, in total tackles (60), solo tackles (37), assisted tackles (23) and sacks (3.0). Miami (10/7): Recorded his first career interception when he snatched a Jay Fiedler pass on the Dolphins first offensive play of the game … The Patriots scored two plays later on an Antowain Smith nine-yard run. Indianapolis (10/21): Collected six tackles (4 solos), including a sack of Peyton Manning for a six-yard loss on third and goal forcing a field goal attempt which was blocked. Atlanta (11/4): Accumulated a career-high 1.5 sacks as the Patriots recorded a season-high nine sacks against the Falcons … Teamed with Bobby Hamilton to sack Chris Chandler for a seven-yard loss and dropped Michael Vick for no gain. Buffalo (11/11): Recovered a Bills onside kick attempt late in the fourth quarter with the Patriots leading 14-11. N.Y. Jets (12/2): Recorded his second interception of the season and of his career when he snagged a Vinny Testaverde pass that had been tipped at the line of scrimmage on the Jets second play from scrimmage in the third quarter … The turnover triggered a momentum change which saw the Patriots outscore the Jets 17-3 in the second half and defeat the Jets 17-16. Cleveland (12/9): Set a new single-game career-high with nine tackles (5 solos) as the Patriots defense held the Browns to just 50 yards rushing on 19 carries (2.6 avg.) … Joined with Lawyer Milloy to sack Tim Couch for a nine-yard loss. Buffalo (12/16): Tied for a game-high with eight tackles, including a career-high six solo tackles … Tackled running back Shawn Bryson for a five-yard loss. Miami (12/22): Collected five tackles and was part of the defensive front that held the Dolphins to just 58 yards rushing on 22 carries (3.1 avg.) in the Patriots 20-13 victory. Oakland (1/19): Made his first career postseason start in action at linebacker and recorded three tackles as the Patriots held the Raiders to just 77 yards rushing on 30 carries (2.6 avg.). Pittsburgh (1/27): Tallied four tackles (3 solos) as the Patriots limited the Steelers to just 58 yards rushing on 22 carries (2.6 avg.). St. Louis (2/3): Applied pressure to Rams quarterback Kurt Warner forcing an errant pass that was intercepted by Ty Law and returned 47 yards for a touchdown, giving the Patriots an early 7-0 lead in Super Bowl XXXVI.



2000 Season

2000 (15/0 - Pittsburgh): Played in 15 games with the Steelers and established a career-high with 12 special teams tackles … Played defensive end in Pittsburgh’s nickel and dime packages and recorded six tackles, including one sack. Baltimore (9/3): Played both outside linebacker and defensive end and was credited with the team's only sack. Tennessee (9/24): Recorded two special teams tackles. Jacksonville (10/1): Contributed one tackle, a quarterback pressure and one special teams stop in the Steelers’ 24-13 win, their first of the season. N.Y. Jets (10/8): Achieved a career-high three special teams tackles and added two assisted defensive tackles. Cincinnati (11/26): Recovered a fumble on a kickoff that led to a Steelers touchdown in a 48-28 victory … Part of Steelers special teams unit which held the Bengals to zero punt return yards on three attempts and only 96 yards on eight kickoff returns (12.0 avg.).

 



1999 Season

1999 (10/0 - Pittsburgh): Played in 10 games and amassed 12 tackles (9 solos), including two sacks … Missed the first six games because of a fractured arm. Atlanta (10/25): Returned to active duty for the first time in the regular season on Monday Night Football … Recorded a sack for a defense that limited the Falcons to 236 yards, including only 49 yards rushing on 25 attempts (2.0 avg.). San Francisco (11/7): Compiled three tackles (2 solos) and added two quarterback hurries and one special teams tackle in 27-6 victory. Cleveland (11/14): Recorded his second sack of the season and contributed one special teams tackle. Tennessee (11/21): Finished with one tackle. Cincinnati (11/28): Credited with one special teams tackle. Jacksonville (12/2): Recorded one tackle and forced a fumble. Carolina (12/26): Accumulated one tackle, a quarterback pressure and added two special teams tackles in 30-20 win over the Panthers.

 



1998 Season

1998 (11/0 - Pittsburgh): Recorded 12 tackles (9 solos), including a career-high 2.5 sacks, while playing in 11 games … Added six special teams tackles … Debuted at linebacker in the season-opener at Baltimore (09/06) and registered two tackles in a 20-13 victory … Credited with half a sack in 17-12 victory over Chicago (09/13) … Played mostly in the dime defense package at Miami (09/20) and recorded two tackles and one special-teams tackle … Recorded one tackle and three quarterback hurries vs. Seattle (09/27) … Defense held the Seahawks to only 230 total yards (61 rushing, 169 passing) and improved their record to 3-1 …Registered his first unassisted sack of the season for 10 yards at Cincinnati (10/11) … Disrupted the Ravens backfield, recording one sack and two quarterback pressures in 16-6 victory over Baltimore (10/18) … Listed among the Steelers inactives for four straight weeks due to an ankle injury … Activated at Detroit (11/26) but did not record any statistics … Returned to the field vs. New England (12/06) and recorded one solo special-teams tackle … Registered two solo stops at Tampa Bay (12/13), including a jarring hit on Buccaneers receiver Reidel Anthony that forced Anthony to temporarily leave the game … Contributed one tackle and a quarterback pressure against Cincinnati (12/20).



1997 Season

1997 (15/0 - Pittsburgh): Spent his rookie season as a situational pass-rusher and recorded 17 tackles (14 solos), including 1.5 sacks … Also credited with two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and one pass defensed … He was one of eight rookies to make the final 53-man roster … Forced a fumble that led to a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and recorded his first career sack in a 42-34 victory at Baltimore (10/05) … Credited with 4 tackles and recovered a fumble against Baltimore (11/09) … Part of defense that held the Ravens to 170 total yards (58 rushing, 112 passing) in 37-0 Steelers victory … Joined in as the Steelers tied a team record of 10 sacks, with a shared sack in the Steelers’ 26-20 overtime victory at Arizona (11/30) … Recorded one of the biggest plays for Pittsburgh during the 1997 playoffs, when he sacked Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe and forced him to fumble with less than two minutes remaining in the game … The Steelers were able to hold on for a 7-6 victory in an AFC Divisional game against New England (01/03).

 



Honors and Awards

2007
AFC Pro Bowl Starter
Associated Press All-Pro: First Team
Pro Football Weekly/PFWA All-NFL Team
Pro Football Weekly/PFWA All-AFC Team
ESPN.com All-Pro Team
San Francisco Chronicle All-Pro Team
AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Wk. 8)
GMC NFL Defensive Player of the Week (Wk. 8)

2005
USA Today’s All-Joe Team

2003
AFC Defensive Player of the Month (Dec.)
SI.com’s All-Pro Team
USA Today’s All-Joe Team
Patriots Ed Block Courage Award



College

Vrabel set Ohio State career records with 36 quarterback sacks and 66 tackles for losses … Earned first-team All-America honors from Walter Camp and American Football Coaches Association as a senior … Also was named first-team All-Big Ten Conference and the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for second-straight season … Recorded 48 tackles (31 solos) and tied for team lead with nine sacks during senior campaign… Voted unanimous first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection and Big Ten Defensive Lineman of Year as a junior … Started every game at strong side defensive end and led the conference with a Buckeye season-record 26 stops for losses of 133 yards … Tied conference single-season record and broke his own school record with 13 sacks … Earned All-Big Ten Conference and Academic All-Big Ten first-team honors during sophomore season … Started every game at strong side defensive end … Set school season-record with 12 sacks … Served as a reserve defensive end but appeared in every game as freshman.

 



Personal

Michael George Vrabel was born on Aug. 14, 1975 in Akron, Ohio ... Named a USA Today All-American secondteam pick at Walsh Jesuit High in Stowe, Ohio ... Earned Ohio Player of Year honors from Columbus Touchdown Club ... Also voted District Player of Year by the Akron Beacon Journal in senior year ... Elected team captain and recorded 86 tackles with 12 sacks ... Also lettered in basketball and track ... Finished third in shot put at state championships as junior and fourth his senior year ... Named Pro Football Hall of Fame Scholastic Award winner ... Selected as the Patriots' recipient of the Ed Block Courage award in 2003 ... Pre-Med major at Ohio State ... Mike and his wife, Jen, have two sons, Tyler and Carter.



Extra Points

  • Mike's Second and Seven Foundation, which he started with his Ohio State teammates Ryan Miller and Luke Fickell to promote literacy in Central Ohio, held its ninth annual FUNdamental Football Camp in 2008.
  • In April 2006, Mike and his wife Jen made a $75,000 donation to Ohio State in support of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center renovation project. Mike and Jen each attended Ohio State and earned bachelor's degrees from the university.
  • Mike has an interest in coaching after his playing career.