Former players interning as coaches
Former Denver Broncos stars Terrell Davis and Steve Atwater are among six former players interning as training camp assistants with the Washington Redskins this summer. Michael Pittman, Chris Samuels, Steve Beuerlein and Clarence Vaughn are also working with the team during camp, to test the coaching waters.
Davis, Atwater, Beuerlein and Pittman all played for Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan in Denver, while Vaughn played for the Redskins from 1987-1992, winning two Super Bowls with the franchise. Samuels, the Redskins' left tackle for the past decade, joined the team as a coaching intern after retiring at the end of last season.
The relationships formed during their playing days provided the players the chance to see what they think of coaching, they said.
"We put a lot of years in together and it is good to be able to call someone up and be offered this opportunity because I don't take it lightly," said Atwater, an eight-time Pro Bowl safety who won two Super Bowls in Denver. "A lot of people may have applied for this position and a lot of people would like to be here doing this internship, so it's great that [Shanahan] would think enough about me to invite me up."
"I expect to...hopefully be able to look at the offense in a different light," said Davis, who was the 1997 Super Bowl MVP and two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year during a standout career in Denver. "I was pretty much one-dimensional looking at the offense just from my position standpoint. But now, I want to be able to look at it from a coaching standpoint, understand what it requires to be a coach, the hours they have to put in, the discipline for that, and just see if it's something I'd really like to do."
"Right now I'm just trying to feel the water and see if it's warm," he added. "And if it's nice and warm I might hop in. That's what I'm going to do for the next two weeks."
Atwater said the experience already has been eye-opening and that it has only fueled his desire to pursue coaching. Atwater spoke about the rigors of coaching, including the increased film time that has allowed him to better understand the nuances of the game, and said he has enjoyed getting to learn an entire system instead of just position-specific roles.
Atwater, who is working with the defensive backs, praised the unit and said he has been impressed so far. The two-time All-Pro also spoke highly of Redskins safety LaRon Landry, who is expected to feature more in the Redskins' aggressive 3-4 scheme this season.
"I have gotten a chance to speak with him and he's an extremely talented player, extremely intense," Atwater said. "He's played well the last few years and I think he's going to have a great year, especially in this defense. It's an aggressive defense, I think, and I think it'll be a great fit for him."
July 30, 2010; 4:41 PM ET
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