5373.

One of my former players, Ryan, signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent earlier this week. I can therefore now claim to have coached a professional football player. Granted, I coached his soccer team and not his football team, and it was only for his freshman year, and I didn’t “coach” that particular team so much as I “set lineups and ran subs and hoped for the best”, and he’s now a professional football player instead of a professional footballer, but still… pretty neat stuff.

He was usually the fastest kid on the field and had a rocket shot off either foot, which made him a nice complement to our other striker, who led the city in scoring that year. It was so nice, for once in my brief coaching career, to see fear and panic on the faces of so many opponents because they couldn’t afford to double-team either of our strikers. Ryan didn’t score many goals, but the plays he made and the attention he drew helped the team score exactly one hundred that year.

But handegg was his ticket, so frankly he made the right choice in sticking to football and track. He kicked for Paxon, too, and I wonder if he’ll kick in the pros. If I were his coach, I’d love to try him out at punter. Can you imagine faking a punt with a punter who actually knows how to run? And how long his net punting average might be if opponents have to guard that much more carefully against a fake? Hopefully Madden ’15 will get his kicking stats right.

Unfortunately, the Fins are scheduled to play the Bears this year. Aside from that matchup, and aside from a possible though unlikely matchup in Super Bowl XLIX, I hope he has great success as a pro.

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