Boston College Tailgate One Week, MNF the Next for Titans Coach Mike Vrabel, ESPN's Joe Tessitore


ARLINGTON, Texas – On Monday Night Football, ESPN's Joe Tessitore will look down from the press box at AT&T Stadium tonight and see Titans coach Mike Vrabel strolling the Tennessee sideline.

Last weekend, the two were in much closer proximity – at a tailgate before Boston College's football game against Miami (Fla). Later, they'd watch that game from the stands.

Vrabel and Tessitore, you see, are B.C. dads – Vrabel's son Tyler is an offensive tackle at the school, while Tessitore's son John is a freshman kicker. The two dads have crossed paths numerous times in the past year, ever since their sons first signed with the Eagles last spring.

"Jen and Mike were at our family tailgate," Tessitore, the play-by-play broadcaster of Monday Night Football, said of Vrabel and his wife. "And it was great to have them there and spend time with them.

"Now we have to switch gears, and he has to be the head coach and I have to be the MNF broadcaster. It's pretty cool."

The tailgate was a who's who affair – not only were Vrabel and Tessitore there, but former Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich was on hand, and ESPN's Todd Blackledge also stopped by before broadcasting the game. Boston College beat Miami 27-14 in the Friday night game, as the schedule makers did both Vrabel and Tessitore a big favor with the day of the game. Vrabel was on the bye week, and Tessitore was able to make it because his MNF traveling schedule can accommodate a Friday night game.

Of course the celebrity sightings are nothing new at BC, where coach Steve Addazio has recruited some noteworthy names.

In addition to Tyler Vrabel and John Tessitore, Boston College freshman running back Javian Dayne is the son of former NFL running back Ron Dayne; freshman tight end Tito Pasqualoni is the son of Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni; sophomore defensive back Tate Haynes is the son of Hall of Famer Michael Haynes; and senior defensive end Wyatt Ray is grandson of Nat King Cole, and his aunt is Natalie Cole.

Tessitore said Addazio is "wired similarly" to both Vrabel and himself.

Tessitore is a big fan of Vrabel's, and he thinks he's going to be successful with the Titans, who face the Cowboys tonight on MNF.

"He is one of those guys to me that was destined to be there all along," Tessitore said of Vrabel. "I love the hands-on approach, the level of intensity and toughness he brings. He is so authentic, and that is very refreshing to me. There are some great coaches out there who are having a lot of success, that have all the layers and all the polish. … I just think Mike is just so real in every way.

"If I could draft a coach in his young 40s that I would turn the keys to a franchise over to, Mike Vrabel is that guy. He holds people accountable -- you are not going to coast through days with Mike Vrabel as your coach. And he's smart. … I just have so much respect for that kind of coach, and he comes from a great pedigree.

"I think Mike Vrabel is going to be an excellent head coach."

The Titans are 11-6 on Monday Night Football, having won five of their last six. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP) looks back at the all-time series against the Dallas Cowboys. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)