FNF Coaches Talk — Mentors for Players, Andy Reid on Building a Winning Culture, Coaches Share Photos of Kids on Sideline

Happy Friday, Coaches. We’ve got three entertaining stories for you. Enjoy the weekend!

1. NFL Mentors Give Back to Game but Also Get a Lot Out of It (New York Times)

This is a story about former NFL players giving back to the game by mentoring young players, and it made us think about whether a similar concept would be doable at the high school level. I’m sure many coaches ask their former players to come back and speak to their team. I’ve even heard of coaches who hire exclusively alumni to serve as members of their coaching staffs.

The former NFL players are mentoring rookies on life skills like sitting up in their chairs during meetings, how to approach an interview, and recommendations for managing money.

This year’s group of 14 combine mentors included Amani Toomer, Steven Jackson, and Hall of Famers John Randle and Rod Woodson. All are members of the NFL Legends Community, launched in 2013 as a way to connect the game’s greats with today’s pros and tomorrow’s prospects.

Mark Brunell regrets he didn’t have just these kinds of tutors when he came to the combine in 1993 after a so-so career at the University of Washington.

“I wish I had someone like me back in 1993, just somebody to ask questions of, a veteran guy who had been through the process,” Brunell said. “It would have been very helpful because I didn’t know anything, I got a late invite to the combine. I was fortunate to be there. I didn’t play a lot in college, my sophomore year, a little bit my senior year. I came into the combine very raw, not knowing anything. So, that would have been helpful.”

How could you get your alumni more involved in mentoring your players?

2. Coach K and Andy Reid Chat About Building a Winning Culture (SiriusXM)

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid appeared as a guest on Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s SiriusXM show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” on Thursday evening.

“Coach K” congratulated Reid on his Super Bowl title win before asking him about life, and how he builds a coaching staff.

In the exchange, they seemed to share a key to building a winning culture, and it was pretty simple.

“If we can work hard and we can be honest with one another, I think that’s a good starting block,” said Reid. “And so I tell the players that I’m never going to put you on the spot in the media. I’m also going to bring it every day. I’m going to give you my best shot every day, and if I’m not, tell me. And I’m surely going to tell you if you’re not. But let’s get in this thing and be a true team and work together. And your strength will cover up my weakness and my strength will cover up your weakness. And let’s go roll.”
“Well, you bring up, really to me, the most important aspect of building culture, and that’s being honest with one another,” answered Krzyzewski. “You know, I tell my guys all the time — let’s just tell each other the truth. Those are confrontations. Confrontation is meeting the truth head on, but when you do that, the single biggest thing is trust. You trust your guys, and they trust you, and you bring that every day.”

What are the keys to building a winning culture?

3. Coaches Share Photos of Their Football Families on #TXHSFBCHAT (TXHSFBCHAT)

It’s Friday, and we can all use a boost going into the weekend. This always does the trick — photos of coaches enjoying the game they love with their children.

It started with a question on the #TXHSFBCHAT on Twitter on Wednesday night.

What followed was an outpouring of photos of coaches with their kids!


Our friend Chris Fisher from #TXHSFBCHAT loved it as much as we did.

Great job, Chris!

What is the appropriate age for a child before you would let him/her on the sideline?

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