The extra Antone’ Sewell watched Ravens coaches from an intimate vantage, the extra he was struck by the similarities between their work and the work he and his colleagues do main Morgan State’s soccer program.
It was an academic expertise, but in addition an affirming one.
“Some of it was getting new ideas and some of it was confirming things we already do,” stated Sewell, Morgan’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. “Being round coach [John] Harbaugh, you anticipate issues to be totally different if you’re speaking about being round skilled gamers, however he treats his guys, each coaches and gamers, like he genuinely cares for them.
“I expected it to be strictly business. Every day, he’s sharing nuggets and giving guys information that can help you be a better football player but also just be a better man. That’s refreshing, because it’s also something that [Morgan State head] coach [Damon] Wilson has always been about.”
Coaches from Morgan State and Bowie State spent a full day shadowing their Ravens counterparts throughout offseason coaching actions. Sewell might be with the Ravens by subsequent week’s necessary minicamp as a recipient of the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship.
Ravens director of soccer analysis Scott Cohen reached out with the invitation to the staffs from the traditionally Black universities.
“They came early in the morning, and they’ve been shadowing our coaches [in] all the position meetings, rookie meetings, special teams meetings,” Harbaugh stated. “They’ve been involved in everything … so [it’s] a great opportunity to get to know those guys, great opportunity just to kind of give back from a football perspective. And I know, coaches, we like talking ball, so it’s good having those guys here.”
The NFL’s government vice chairman for soccer operations, Troy Vincent, who has labored to construct connections between the league and HBCUs, applauded the teaching interplay on Twitter.
“It was a great opportunity to get to see how those guys operate on a day-to-day basis,” stated Bowie State offensive line coach Maurice Paulk, who shadowed his Ravens counterpart, Joe D’Alessandris. “Everything there is based off time. Those guys got in on time and prepared on time, and that’s one of the biggest things in this profession.”
He chatted with Ravens proper sort out Morgan Moses, noticed drills and blocking schemes he may incorporate for the Bulldogs, however Paulk got here away most impressed with the general tradition of precision.
“That was my first opportunity to see it that close,” the 14-year teaching veteran stated. “You’re always learning in this profession. Without a shadow of a doubt, if invited, I would go back.”
HBCU soccer has been within the information over the past yr, with former Ravens greats Ed Reed and Deion Sanders among the many outstanding voices decrying a scarcity of administrative and monetary help for applications with wealthy histories of manufacturing future execs. Reed was set to turn out to be head coach at Bethune-Cookman earlier this yr, however he and college directors couldn’t agree on ultimate phrases for what had been an settlement in precept. Sanders constructed a profitable program at Jackson State earlier than leaving to turn out to be head coach at Colorado in December.
Though Sewell and Paulk stated they recognize the curiosity, each expressed frustration at commentators lumping all HBCU applications in the identical basket.
“Every coach runs their program differently,” Sewell stated. “I think it’s a little unfair that when people talk HBCU football and group us together, it’s always in a negative light. … Each HBCU is unique, just like every other university in the country.”
“I don’t want to be considered just an HBCU football coach,” Paulk stated. “It’s great, because I went to an HBCU. There’s a lot of talent — you can see the NFL is taking heed to it — and just being able to give back is a great deal. But I just want to be the best coach I can be.”
Sewell performed free security at Bowie State and has constructed his 20-year teaching profession at traditionally Black universities however “it was never a situation where I set out and said, ‘I only want to coach at HBCUs.’ Like everyone else in the world, I would love to test my ability and prowess against some of the best of college football, the NFL, whatever the case might be.”
He has spent most of his time with the Ravens observing and collaborating with defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and inside linebackers coach Zachary Orr.
He’s struck by Orr’s unrelenting exuberance and openness to “really just chopping it up and comparing notes.” He identifies with Macdonald’s democratic intuition to include strategies from all his defensive coaches.
“From a tangible standpoint, it’s been about getting some new ideas — some fresh ideas to implement defensively as well as taking notes on some things I can share with coach Wilson and our staff in terms of how we can possibly operate more efficiently on a day-to-day basis,” Sewell stated.
He added that Ravens coaches have urged him to succeed in out if he ever desires to return again or ask a element query.
Will we see something particular from the Ravens within the Bears’ playbook for subsequent season?
“Yeah,” Sewell stated, laughing. “But I don’t know if our competitors read the newspaper or not, so I can’t necessarily say.”