Mike Vrabel seems to enjoy making his former boss blow his top.
The Tennessee Titans head coach fondly recalls the so-called “loophole play” his team used last season in its wild-card round win over the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Vrabel, who revisited the play Tuesday during his appearance on the “Helliepod” podcast, particularly enjoys infuriating Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who had used it on previous occasions to bleed the clock.
“Stretch ( Titans assistant John Streicher) does a fantastic job upstairs,” Vrabel said. “He’s committed to being my eyes upstairs … He’s like, ‘You’ve got to see Bill. Bill’s losing his mind.’
“It’s all relative, you know what I mean? I was like, ‘Hey, we’ve got to finish this game off and we’ll see what happens.’ ”
"He's like, you gotta see Bill, Bill's losing his mind"
— Dan Hellie (@DanHellie) June 23, 2020
The Titans were leading by one point with seven minutes remaining in the game when they began intentionally committing penalties while in punt formation, draining nearly two minutes off the clock before returning possession to the Patriots. Belichick’s fury became the stuff of Titans lore, as Tennessee went on to win 20-13.
The NFL closed the loophole in May, giving Vrabel both the distinction of being the last coach to exploit it and the pleasure of beating his old coach with one of his own tricks.