Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, January 9, 2014

It looks like Ohio State defensive line coach Mike Vrabel is leaving for a spot on the staff of new Houston Texans coach Bill O?Brien, according to reports.

Vrabel already was on the staff at Ohio State after Urban Meyer got the job in Columbus in 2012. Vrabel is a former Buckeye who brought passion to the field.

Vrabel released the following statement via twitter.

That?s two spots Meyer must fill on his defensive staff, as co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers left to become head coach at James Madison. These two departures will allow Meyer to begin remaking a defensive staff that has come under scrutiny with some poor play. Some wonder about the future of defensive coordinator Luke Fickell. Stay tuned. Meyer has a lot of work to do.

The Buckeyes finished seventh in the Big Ten in total defense last season, allowing 377.4 yards per game. The pass defense was a big issue, ranking 11th by allowing 268.0 yards per game with opponents completing 61.8 percent of their passes.

Ohio State?s defense often was gashed last season, which culminated with consecutive losses to Michigan State in the Big Ten title game and Clemson in the Orange Bowl. MSU had 438 yards, with 304 through the air. Clemson had 576 yards with 378 via the air. In the regular-season finale at Michigan, OSU allowed 603 yards with 451 through the air. The Big Ten title game loss cost Ohio State a shot at playing in the BCS title game after OSU had ripped off a 24-game winning streak.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.