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#How Mike Vrabel got Giants revenge against Bill Belichick

#How Mike Vrabel got Giants revenge against Bill Belichick

June 9, 2020 | 12:47pm

Even in the middle of the Patriots’ dynasty, head coach Bill Belichick still invoked his days as the Giants defensive coordinator to motivate New England’s defense — especially the linebackers.

Whatever Belichick did, it worked, as the Patriots have won six Super Bowls under his watch.

And his strategy of bringing up his time with the Giants certainly had an impact on at least one of his Patriot linebackers, Mike Vrabel, who won three titles in New England.

“Every other day, it’s not an exaggeration that [Belichick] would reference the New York Giants,’’ Vrabel said on NBC Sports. “And he’d be like, ‘[Carl] Banks used to do this, Pepper [Johnson] used to do this, and [Lawrence Taylor].’ Like, ‘You guys stink. These guys were 3-4 linebackers.’ And he would show us film.’’

Vrabel, now head coach of the Titans, got his revenge by showing up for a practice during preseason in August 2007 with a Giants helmet from Belichick’s tenure in New York, which lasted from 1979-1990.

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Mike Vrabel; Paige Spiranac
Mike Vrabel; Bill BelichickGetty Images

“So finally I was like, ‘OK, we’ve got to do something,’” Vrabel said. “And I found this old helmet in the equipment room, and I was like, ‘You know what? I think now’s the time to roll with it, come out there and be like, ‘Here we go, Bill. We’ve got the Giants linebackers going.’”

A picture of the helmet next to Vrabel as he was warming up wound up on the back page of the Boston Herald the next day.

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