Former New England Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel now works halfway across the country as the Houston Texans defensive coordinator, but some good scouting has helped his former team.
Patriots defensive lineman Eric Lee originally was signed by the Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He spent the season on their practice squad but learned a lot. Lee is applying those lessons on the field for the Patriots.
Lee played college football at South Florida, and a game that Vrabel saw is what got the young man’s NFL career in motion.
“I thought he was active against Florida State,” Vrabel said, according to the Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels. “[I] watched him against good competition. He was productive in that game. I thought he had good length. I thought there was some strength, some power there. I knew there was going to be some transition from playing on the ball, but I did see him drop a few times where I thought maybe we could make the transition.”
The Texans roster was full of pass rushers prior to the start of the 2017 season so that is likely why they waived Lee, and the Patriots acquired him. He has 2 1/2 sacks this season and has started in their last two games.
Against the Bills in Week 13, Lee tallied 1 1/2 sacks and an interception. It appears Vrabel taught him well.