Jerod Mayo was running kids through a form-tackling drill. Rob Gronkowski was leading them through passing lines. Doug Flutie was teaching them how to throw. Zoltan Mesko was showing them how to punt. Mark Herzlich was showing them pass-rushing technique.
And Tedy Bruschi was running the show. What stuck out to me at the third annual SBLI Tedy Bruschi Youth Football Clinic was this: It was pretty well-organized, and the drills were real ones. It didn't look some big circus with a star's name attached.
It mattered to Bruschi that it was run this way too. He said that his goal was that each kid walk away with one fundamental football skill to take with them. The number in attendance -- 54 (Get it?) winners of an essay contests -- was low, and that was by design.
"In terms of the numbers, (the camp) hasnít (changed in its three years) and thatís sort of the way Iíve wanted it, because the smaller it is, the more individual attention we can give to the kids," Bruschi said. "And when Jerod Mayo can properly teach a kid how to tackle, one-on-one, and has the time to do it, theyíll get more out of it, rather than sort of getting lost in the shuffle of a camp that has 100 kids. The individual attention is very important to me, and the kids being active, too. Are they all gonna be professional football players? The odds are against them.
"But to come out here, learn fundamentals, be active and learn how to be active, and practicing a certain skill you can be good at, itís very important learn at this point in their lives."
Bruschi's own three sons took part also, which was interesting to watch.
"My own kids, I just want them to break a sweat Ė Thatís really it," he said with a laugh. "My oldest son is starting to discover football and he tells me he wants to be a receiver. So I hope he gets a lot out of the Gronk station at this camp. And throwing also, Iíve seen him, he can play quarterback a little bit too. So hopefully he gets it out of Dougís station."
Cool deal with the guys out there today. We'll have more from Tedy in a bit.