Good morning, Coaches. We’ve got a few stories for you on a Tuesday.

1. Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins gives Twitter tutorial on playing defensive back (Twitter)

Looking for coaching tips on playing defensive back from an NFL safety? Philadelphia Eagles defensive leader Malcolm Jenkins has you covered.

Jenkins has spent the last week or so posting clips from last season in which he read keys to put himself in position to make plays in the secondary.

That’s the epitome of a team player. When someone else blows an assignment, go make a play even if it means you have to take on additional responsibility. Here’s another:

That’s another great example of a team-first play. Jenkins doesn’t get credit for the tackle on that play, but he makes the play for his cornerback.

That’s three examples of plays a safety made because of his willingness to go beyond the job description.

How do you encourage your players to go the extra effort even when it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet?

2. Inspiring Newton coach, who was battling Graft-versus-host disease, passes away (Dallas-Fort Worth Varsity)

We have some sad news to share. Former Newton athletic director and head football coach W.T. Johnston passed away on Saturday after battling Graft-versus-host disease for over three years. We did a story on Johnston after his state championship victory in December, and we’ll forever be grateful that he took the time to pass along his perspective on life and football.

At the start of the season, Johnston gathered his players to stress the importance of his final lesson to them.

“That’s when I told them this is going to be the last lesson I teach them,” Johnston said. “It’s how you live before you die, where to put your strength, where you put your faith, and who to lean on. I’m going through this life experience, and we’re all going to experience it at some point. I’m going to show you how to handle it, whose feet to lay it on, and where to put your trust.
“I don’t want to die, but I’m at peace with it. I know where I’m going, and I’m not going to be sick anymore. Don’t worry about me.”

Following his team’s state championship victory, Johnston did a postgame interview with a local FOX affiliate that went viral. He never anticipated that his final game as coach would become a national sensation, but he never shied away from it either.

“I’ve been given a great gift through all of this,” Johnston said. “People don’t understand that. I’ve been able to see how my life can affect people before I die. Not everyone will have that experience. I’ve been able to see what I can do to enrich other people’s lives before I die. If I leave them with something from me, that’s a part of me that will never die.
“Coaches don’t realize the impact they can have. I still remember things my coaches said to me 40 years ago. Do things the right way, and put things in the right perspective.”

What do you want your lasting lesson for your players to be?

3. Alabama’s Nick Saban helps GSU celebrate Eddie Robinson’s 100th birthday (News Star)

Nick Saban first picked up his lasting influence of Grambling State’s legendary football coach Eddie Robinson more than 50 years ago.

What he learned still sticks with the now six-time national championship-winning coach today.

“When I was a young coach, I couldn’t tell you when or where but it was one of those coaching clinics we have every year and I was just starting out in coaching,” Saban recalled Tuesday on GSU’s campus. “I may have been 25, 27 years old and he (Robinson) spoke at one of these clinics we have. He talked about humility and how important it was in being successful in being a head coach and the things you need to do to be successful. He talked about never being satisfied and treating other people the right way.
“He embodied so much class in the way he spoke, carried himself. Sometime you see people that way and you say, ‘I want to be that way someday.’ That’s my first and probably greatest impression, lasting impression I have of coach Robinson.”

Robinson had a knack for making his players better people, Saban said, and that was one of the things he learned from the former Grambling coach.

“The relationship that you have, the impact that you have and to see them so well, that’s what you proud as a coach. When you talk about someone like coach Robinson, all great coaches have this, but when you meet their former players and they come back and talk about the lessons they learned, the stories they tell and what a great impact he had on their lives,” said Saban, who’s won the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year award twice in 2003 and 2008, “That’s what makes him one of the greatest coaches.”

Coaches — What coach made a lasting impact on your career, and in what ways?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!

 

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Dan Guttenplan