Mike Vrabel is the obvious story line on Sunday, but thats not the way Vrabel saw it on Sunday, and he saw it on Sunday

Mike Vrabel is the obvious story line on Sunday, but thats not the way Vrabel saw it on Sunday, and  ...

The focus shouldn't be on him and Bill Belichick.

Again, the government will make you do something physically to determine the outcome, Vrabel said. It is a serious challenge. It isn't about me or Bill, It is about yourself and the government.

The Titans toured Gillette Stadium for a wild-card matchup in the same period while playing a Patriot vs. the Titans beat Gillette Stadium 20-13 despite 182 yards from Derrick Henry.

In return, the Titans won another meeting when the Patriots were swept in the road by a victory at Nissan Stadium in November 2018. Henry rushed two touchdowns and threw again for two, while the quarterback Marcus Mariota en route to a 34-10 victory.

In his seven NFL seasons with the Patriots, Vrabel won three Super Bowls. His head-to-head record against Belichick wouldn't drive the controversy. He does not want his history over the game to become the dominant defender.

Obviously, tradition and history will not be the game for any one, Vrabel said. I think we all know where the banners are and the success that that organization has had over the last 20 years.

Vrabel focused on the present: The AFC-leading Titans will have their hands full with an aging Patriots team riding a five-game winning streak.

Vrabel had a lot of nice things to say about the Patriots, he complimented the defensive and praised their linebackers, particularly Matthew Judon and Kyle Van Noy, for their ability to tame and to beat the competitors. The unit has created 13 turnovers in five games for the team.

Vanrabel extended the nice words to the offense and called a rookie quarterback Mac Jones and the passing attack efficient and coached. He said the Patriots are running the football, and they are also running the football, and they are a great addition to any team in the league now, highlighting their physicality.

What can the Titans do to win?

I think what will win and lose is a game of sound, fundamental football and playing with great technique, Vrabel said. What they did: its been amazing for the last five weeks.

It's hard to keep focus off Vrabel and Belichick.

Even Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith said the two are similar in their coaching styles. Smith said that asked to describe his experience as a coach, he said: This guy is definitely an individual, referring to Belichick.

Smith said, They demand a lot from their players, as any great coach should, for their best and their best in every way, Hi, thats what I know.

Vrabel acknowledged that Belichick influenced his coaching style. It emphasized a lot about fundamentals and accountability.

He said, In eight years there, I learned a lot of things. Because you get started, you think you are able to take things with you.

While Vrabel was always open to the matter, he respects the coaches and the organization, so did Vrabel on the field.

This game will always be won by the players, she said. I am not a squaring off. However, it is going to be the same as this game, she said. Bill and I wont be squaring this off-limits to decide this game.

Nicole Yang can be reached by a phone.

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