As you know by now, Kansas City Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel has officially retired from the NFL and joined the Ohio State football coaching staff. In his release announcing the move, Vrabel singled out New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Chiefs GM Scott Pioli as two guys that taught him "invaluable lessons on creating the ultimate team approach."
Pioli has responded with equally praising words on Vrabel's retirement announcement.
"It was an honor and a privilege to be on the same team with Mike for 10 seasons. Mike was a great college player that came into the NFL as a third-round pick and role player. Eventually, he made himself a starter and a champion. It's no coincidence that Mike won championships everywhere he played - from his time at Ohio State to his role in division titles on three NFL teams.
"His genuine love for the game, his preparation, his work ethic, leadership and dependability are qualities you want from every player. He is a champion in every sense of the word and I'm confident all of these qualities will make him a great coach. I cannot overstate my respect for him as a person and a football player. If there were a Hall of Champions, Mike Vrabel would be a first ballot selection."
Through their statements you can sense the level of respect each has for the other. They won Super Bowls together in New England and started from scratch in Kansas City.
So long, Mike Vrabel.