The week spent by our 20 CGSU interns was remarkable in many ways, but one was was in the stories they got to hear. One theme was taking risks. All who shared their stories had left nothing to chance, including taking risks that could backfire on them in order to get the job.
Among our speakers were former Browns and 49ers scout Bob Morris (now with the USFL), former Chiefs scout John Bonaventura (now with Winnipeg in the CFL) and Marc Lillibridge (who coaches and runs a training facility in St. Louis). Here are a few stories from the week.
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers Western Regional Scout John Bonaventura said he was teaching at a middle school and helping out wherever he could when he got an opportunity to work with a member of the Chiefs scouting staff at a combine in California. After helping out over several days and proving himself, he was offered a job with the team — if he could do organizational and administrative tasks to include extensive work with Power Point. When he was asked specifically if he had experience with the program, he made it clear: “Yeah, I know Power Point.” He then drove directly back to his high school job, found the audio/visual guy, and told him, “I need a favor. You got a week to teach me Power Point.” It must have worked because he was hired and spent four-and-a-half years with the Chiefs.
- Former NFL linebacker and agent Marc Lillibridge spent six years with the Packers and Chiefs, but it almost didn’t happen. He was given a chance to interview with the Packers, and though he had a lucrative offer to join a media franchise and head its draft coverage, the allure of working for Green Bay was strong. After meeting with team officials and making a good impression, he was offered the job — at about half of what he would have made providing draft content. “Let me go outside and talk to my wife about it,” he said, but he’d already made up his mind he was going to take it (he didn’t even call his wife).
- Bob Morris was a lifelong defensive backs coach when he was approached to join the Cleveland Browns under new head coach Butch Davis in the Spring of 2002. Had he opted to play it safe and stay on the coaching side, he might have wound up out of the game, but instead, he decided to give it a try. It led to two decades in NFL scouting (eight with the Browns and almost 12 with the 49ers) as well as jobs in the AAF, XFL and, now, the USFL.
There’s so much more to say about our inaugural CGSU intern class, and we say plenty in this week’s Friday Wrap, which comes out later today. You can register for it here.