I attended the Chiefs rookie minicamp a few weeks back -- it was the first practice I'd ever been to -- and I noticed how much of the conversation you could hear on the field. The players were talking to each other, the coaches were chiming in and all kinds of stuff about who's in position, who's not and so on.
During games, you don't see that all that...but it's there.
Mike Vrabel is someone Chiefs players have publicly declared as a leader of the defense and the team as a whole. Bob Gretz of BobGretz.com writes this morning that there's "no way to discount the value" of Vrabel's appearance at all of the Chiefs OTAs -- something he did not do last year.
"It’s not just his 13 seasons in the league and history of productive play for a Super Bowl champion," Gretz writes. "It’s that Vrabel knows the Romeo Crennel defense forwards, backwards and sideways. It is exactly the scheme that Crennel ran with the Patriots and Vrabel was part of the unit."
Most of the Chiefs went through their "Welcome to the 3-4" moments last season when the initial switch was made. But this season is about perfecting the switch and that's where Vrabel comes in.
Crennel isn't an in-your-face type of coach like Charlie Weis so I think it's good that there is someone like Vrabel on the field talking to everyone. Sometimes having one of your peers instructing you can be more valuable than a teacher.
This is a good sign for the Chiefs moving forward. It sounds as if Vrabel's presence is giving them an even bigger jump on the season compared to last.