Every coach has a story of how he started in the NFL. Eric Mangini was a ball boy with the Cleveland Browns. Bill Belichick took a $25-per-week job with the Baltimore Colts as an assistant. Jon Gruden was an assistant getting paid $500-per-month before getting his shot.
For Kansas City Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, the beginning includes a stop as a quality-control coach. If you're like me, then you've always wondered: What the heck does a quality-control coach do?
- Playing gofer at practice
- Fetching coffee
- Transferring plays to the computer
- Breaking down film up to five weeks in advance
And basically any other tasks you can think of.
"We worked quadruple everybody else, but we got to feel like a coach," Haley said . "We had responsibility. It’s the greatest job in football as far as learning."
Greg Bishop of the New York Times has a very interesting look at the life of a quality-control coach.
"Haley shared a 6-by-6-foot office with the wide-bodied Charlie Weis and a cot," Bishop writes. "He ran penalty laps with Mangini whenever they messed up the practice schedule made by Bill Parcells. Even Kotwica performed duties unique to quality control, like picking up the cane of the special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff when he threw it in anger."
Current Dolphins head coach, Tony Sparano, said it was the most "valuable experience I had." Like Haley, he said there's no better way to introduce yourself to the NFL.
It's a really interesting piece and it's worth a read. Judging by the article, life as a quality-control coach may be where Haley developed his tireless work ethic.