The San Francisco 49ers search for a defensive coordinator is expanding beyond just incumbent Eric Mangini. Matt Miller is reporting the team will interview Mike Vrabel later today for the job. Vrabel has spent the last two years as the Houston Texans linebackers coach. Prior to that he was Ohio State's defensive line coach for two years and linebackers coach for one year.
Vrabel is most known for his time with the New England Patriots, winning three Super Bowls before spending his final two seasons in Kansas City. He has limited coaching experience, but he also played for one of the great defensive minds in Bill Belichick. I have no idea what that means for his ability to design and call a defensive game plan, but it's at least worth noting.
Houston has some solid linebackers, but I don't know nearly enough about them to then further judge what that means about Vrabel's work with them. He did a Q&A with ESPN back in May 2014 that has some interesting tidbits. The most useful part for considering him as a coach was his discussion of his coaching philosophy:
What's your teaching philosophy?
MV: First and foremost you have to learn the individual, how they learn. Some guys may learn through walkthrough. Some guys may learn on the board. Some guys may learn on film. Some guys may learn by drawing on a board. I think it's my job first as a coach and a teacher to understand what that style is. I just can't teach the whole room the same way. ...
It seems like a theme with this staff.
MV: I think so. First of all great coaches don't assume that any player, however long they've played, whether it be one year or 13 years, that they know everything or they know the little details. So we're going to coach every little detail here until our guys understand what it is we're looking for from practice, from certain plays, from certain techniques. Certain fundamentals that are important to every position.