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Former Patriot Mike Vrabel confirms retirement

07.11.11 at 9:47 am ET

Former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel confirmed on Monday that he is retiring from the NFL and taking a job as assistant coach at his alma mater, Ohio State.

In a statement released by his agent, Neil Cornrich, Vrabel announced: “After 14 years in the National Football League, I have decided to retire and accept the position of linebackers coach at The Ohio State University.

“I am extremely appreciative of the teammates, coaches, and great fans who surrounded me during my NFL career, and am honored to have been a part of three tremendous organizations in the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, and Kansas City Chiefs.  I am especially grateful to Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli, who not only gave me the opportunity to play for a team that won three Super Bowl championships and an NFL record 21 games in a row, but also taught me invaluable lessons on creating the ultimate team approach.

“I am very excited to become a part of Luke Fickell’s staff at Ohio State. I have great faith and trust in Luke leading the Buckeye football team as he represents all the core values integral for a program’s success, and I am looking forward to working with our student-athletes as I begin the next phase of my career.”

Vrabel played eight seasons in New England after being signed as un unrestricted free agent before the 2001 season. In 125 regular-season games with the Pats, he had 604 tackles (411 solo), 28 sacks and 11 interceptions. He also lined up as a tight end in goal-line situations and caught eight passes — all for touchdowns. He also had TD receptions in the Patriots’ Super Bowl victories over the Panthers in 2004 and Eagles in 2005.

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