The Chiefs brought Mike Vrabel over from New England in the Matt Cassel trade and quickly pointed out his leadership skills as part of the Mike Vrabel package.
Because of the high praise from Chiefs management, it was strange to see Vrabel stay away from workouts last year. He didn't even draw the ire of Todd Haley. The coach said last year he was in contact with Vrabel throughout the offseason so he wasn't worried about his absence.
Fast forward a year later and Vrabel is attending OTAs -- something he didn't do with the Chiefs last year but did do the previous seven seasons in New England.
Vrabel's decision to attend OTAs has drawn some praise from the Chiefs head coach.
"We've made a big jump from this year to last year and I think Mike -- who's been around some great teams -- that makes you feel good as the head coach that you have a guy like that here and on board like the rest of the guys," Haley said on the Jim Rome Show this week.
"We've had every guy here working hard for the last few months. We finally got to get into some football here in the last week. I really feel that we've made progress. And I'm excited about it. And when you hear someone like Mike verbalize that, as a coach, it makes you feel good."
And the new Chiefs have already taken notice of Vrabel. Eric Berry was asked who the leader of the defense was and predictably responded, "I've been looking up to the guys that have already played," Berry began, "especially Mike Vrabel.
"He knows the defense. He knows all the calls. He's one of those guys that pretty much quarterbacks everything from the defensive side of the ball. So, it's always pretty cool to have a guy like him on your side."
For Vrabel, he says showing up to things like the OTAs is part of the deal and last year's absence was a "totally different situation."
"I chose to re-sign back here," he said. "It was something I wanted to do. So, with that comes going to OTAs and coming to minicamp. It wasn't even a question of showing up. It was what I did in New England and it's what I'll do now. I workout at my home and then come here for the OTAs."
It's nice to hear that he considers that part of the whole package, even though the workouts are voluntary. It's especially nice to hear in light of recent "hold-outs" that seem silly.