First, tell us about your job as a Defensive Line coach at Snow College. How did you start your career as a coach?
Well I always knew I wanted to be a coach. Even before I stopped playing I was pursuing a career as a coach. I asked Coach Tomlin, LeBeau and all those guys advice all the time and wrote notes religiously. I was always surrounded by good coaches and players.
John Mitchell – there was a method to his madness. He was always mad. But I learned a lot from him. How to get players to match a coach’s personality – the toughness that he expected. You knew he meant business. But man, if you give the guy a glass of wine, he’ll sing for you.
First, tell us a bit about your work with III and Long – your foundation?
Well, I founded III & Long by myself, with four other people. My son has a rare disease that has plagued my family and cost us lives over the years. Sickle Cell Disease has touched so much of our lives – I lost many family members years do to Sickle Cell.
Personally, I just want to build on who I am as a sports figure and be more proactive in helping families fight against causes they can’t control.
First, let us know what you’re up to now?
Well, I’m training. Just waiting for a call. You know, the free agency process.
Has your agent told you anything? Any teams you are hoping for?
Just that I need to take it week to week. We’re just looking for a situation that works to get signed by a team. I’m not looking to get signed by any specific team really.
First, can you talk a bit about how being a successful undrafted free agent impacted your approach as a coach?
The biggest deal really of being an undrafted free agent is that people look at it as a terribly hard road to make it in the NFL. But it gives you the mindset to accomplish big things. The biggest thing for me was needing to understand the details quickly – the schematics in coaching. As an undrafted free agent I had to quickly learn all the wide receiver positions – the X, Z, slot…whatever they call it depending on the team. The details that also come with learning the run game and everything else. Just gaining the knowledge of the game. I constantly was learning the game and seeking information.
That’s because as an undrafted free agent you have the humility – you’re humble. And the veterans like that and will help you any way the can because of that humility. That helps me now as a coach – it’s the same deal. I always try to learn the details and be humble enough to ask questions and learn the work as humbly as possible.
First, let us know what brought you to your role as a scout for the Chargers – how did this come about?
I’ve been a scout for seventeen years now. I thought I’d get into the mortgage business – but the market fell through. I got the football bug so I went back to the University of Washington and finished my degree. I had ten credits left. I worked with the football program after then got a job as a coach at the University of Idaho – I was there for five years then I got a job at Nevada, I was there for seven-to-eight months But I had a young family and when the opportunity at San Diego to become a scout came up, I took that. It offered more security for me and my family – I took the job in 2000 and have been there ever since.
First, can you let me know what you’re doing with yourself since you’ve retired from the NFL?
Well, I’m on the path to getting my MBA. I’m working on logistics and strategy in business. The holdup for me is that I have the have a certain amount of work experience – I was conditionally accepted for the program but I need real experience. I tried to convince them that my time on the NFL counted – to twist that, but they didn’t accept that understandably. So I have to build my resume.
First – you’re a busy guy – tell me about the various things you have going on right now
The first thing is my energy business – we ship coal to utilities and export them from West Virginia.
But I’m now in the Agro-Med business – we have obtained a license for growing medical cannabis and are constructing greenhouses in Pennsylvania. We were one of twelve companies to be issues licenses by the state and have to have them up and running by the end of the year. So that’s obviously on the frontburner…
And I’m still doing the broadcasts for Penn State – I’m staying busy…
First, tell us about your new site and work as an Orthopedist!
Well, my main work is still as an orthopedist – surgeries, etc. But the new site is ProFootballDoc run by the San Diego Tribune. I live in San Diego and was the team orthopedist for San Diego. They contacted me to work with them on the site – they wanted a more national offering. The site offers injury updates for fantasy football players and fans.
What brought you to this point and how did you get so much popularity on social media as an orthopedist!
Blame it on my wife – for all of this. When I stopped being the orthopedist for the Chargers after seventeen years, I was watching the football games and hearing the announcers talk about an ankle injury when I could see the player blew out his knee the play before. I was yelling at the announcers on the tv when my wife told me to tell it to someone who cares.
So, she later signed me up on Twitter – I didn’t know anything about it really -I’m not on any other social media. I played wth Twitter and it just grew organically (now to over 60,000 followers – ). I made friends doing it in the media and enjoyed it. I can’t tell you now how many people tell me they follow me for football injury information but don’t want to tell their friends about me so they can win at fantasy football.
First – we’ve been chatting back and forth on Twitter as you’e been traveling across the country. Tell me about the trip – what drove you to start the trip and how it’s going.
Well I ride a lot – I have a couple of bikes. I stay on the West Coast normally – I usually go back and forth from Kansas City since I had kids in the area – I’ve probably done that ten times already. But I’m riding now to West Point to see my son – he’s a law major there. He plays football there and there’s a list of things other than football he can do. He’s struggling a bit – his older brother started at the Naval Academy and I think my younger son is trying to hold himself up to that too. I guess I’m going there to tell him it’s ok to walk away from the game – the game ends for us all at some point.
First, can you let us know what you’ve been doing with yourself since your time in the NFL?
I was coaching youth football for the past two years but stopped now since my son’s now playing baseball instead of football. I’m following him full-time – following him and his dream.
I’m retired now. And I’m giving back to the inner city community – that’s my passion. Seeing kids follow their dreams through athletics and coaching them to succeed.