By Tom E. Curran
Aweek ago I wondered on the Twitter how many knuckleheads would give their NFL brethren a black eye by getting into trouble during the lockout. Mike Vrabel was not a guy I had in mind. But apparently the former Patriot got arrested in Indiana earrrrrllly Monday morning for theft at the Belterra Casino in Florence, Indiana. Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk broke the story. Vrabel got booked at 5:28 a.m. My guess is he wasn't up early, but out late. As Florio reports, theft of anything in Indiana is a Class D felony so that's what Vrabel is on the hook for. Florio reports that Vrabel was released at 10:39 a.m. after posting a 600 bond.
In other words, he could have stolen a casino chip. Or a sweet top hat. Or maybe he was just helping someone out with their poker. Six hundred bucks bond doesn't generally indicate the infraction was too dire. Vrabel replied to an email I sent him with the following message: It was an unfortunate misunderstanding, and I take full responsibility for the miscommunication. I feel comfortable that after talking with the appropriate parties, we will resolve this matter.But Vrabel getting arrested for anything right now is worse than just about any other player in the league getting arrested for grand theft auto. At least for appearances. He's on the NFLPA's executive committee and was a vocal leader of that group. His suggestion two weeks ago that the NFLPA committee meet with a handful of owners while the lawyers cleared the room got a lot of play. Vrabel is a smart, no-BS guy who would have represented the players' interests well. We'll see how much this mitigates his ability to take a leading role at the table.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
When Danny Amendola told the world on Tuesday that he's better than Tom Brady at ping pong, the quarterback must have been listening.
On his Facebook page, Brady published a snarling image of his face Photoshopped onto the body of a table tennis player. That paddle he broke after losing to Amendola three years ago? It's fixed, Brady explained in the caption. And he's ready for a rematch.
Talk about intimidation.
Vince Wilfork will be one of many well-known athletes to strip down and pose nude for photographs in ESPN The Magazine's's Body issue, joining a group that includes Cubs pitcher Jake Arrietta, Broncos defensive end Von Miller and Heat guard Dwyane Wade.
Judging by his latest tweet, the former Patriots defensive lineman -- who is listed at 325 pounds -- is getting pretty comfortable with the idea of becoming a model.
Now it's up to Tom Brady to play match-maker, it seems. Gisele retired from the runway last year so maybe her people are on the lookout for some new talent.
Bill Belichick released a statement on Buddy Ryan's passing Tuesday afternoon.
"Today is a sad day in football due to the passing of Buddy Ryan," Belichick said. "It was always very challenging to compete against Coach Ryan, who was father to a great football family that carries on his coaching and defensive tradition. My condolences are with the Ryan Family."
Belichick is certainly very familiar with Ryan's legacy and the tradition Ryan passed down to his sons Rex and Rob. The Patriots coach has competed against all three.
Rex Ryan has squared off with Belichick during his time as head coach for the Jets (2009-14) and Bills (2015-present), and their matchups go back to Rex's days with the Ravens (1999-2008) when he was a defensive line coach and then defensive coordinator.
Rob Ryan, like his brother, got his first NFL break when his father was the head coach of the Cardinals in the mid-1990s. His second break, though, came from Belichick. He joined the Patriots staff during Belichick's first year as head coach in 2000 and coached linebackers for four seasons in New England. He has since competed against Belichick as a defensive coordinator for the Raiders, Browns, Cowboys and Saints. Rob joined Rex in Buffalo this year to serve as an assistant on the staff there.
For Belichick's thoughts on the impact of Buddy Ryan's famous "46" defense, we dug up some of his comments from a 2012 press conference that you can find here. He called the combination of Ryan's scheme and the talented players Ryan had at his disposal as defensive coordinator of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears "pretty unblockable."