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On being the first Coach of Tennessee and Redskins player Kevin Simon

Posted by John Reed on

My oldest son just sent me this. At .59 seconds into it, this Dallas Cowboys scout mentions me as an influence on his career.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFwSr6a2AJY&feature=youtu.be
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I was Kevin’s first football coach when he was 8 on the San Ramon Bears youth team. At the season-end awards dinner, I said that we had the best defensive line in the league on our 8 to 11-year old team and that it was because the 9 to 11-year olds were following the example set by 8-year-old Kevin. I also predicted we would see Kevin play in the NFL in the future. He was drafted by the Redskins, but suffered a career-ending injury in pre-season.
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I once demoted my son Dan, who later was a tailback in the Ivy League, from the free-tackler position on kickoff (free tackler just goes to the ball carrier; all others must stay in their lanes) in order to put Kevin in the position. That is mentioned on page 34 of my book Coaching Youth Football 4th edition.
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https://www.johntreed.com/…/products/coaching-youth-football
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Coaching Youth Football 4th edition book
Kevin was the starting middle linebacker and tailback on the legendary, undefeated De La Salle High School football team. They still hold the national record for consecutive wins at 151. Every game Kevin played was during that streak. Senior year, he was named the best player in the San Francisco Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle. He started at Tennessee before suffering a serious injury there as well. Before that injury, he was expected to win the national best college linebacker trophy.
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My youth defense book GAP-Air-Mirror Defense for Youth Football is about a defense that I invented. Readers have used it to win national Pop Warner championships and other championships. Among other things, it says to make your D line bear crawl for their first two steps after the snap.
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I say there might be an exception on your team and told of mine—Kevin Simon. He did not need no stinking bear crawl. That’s on page 25 of the 2nd edition of the GAM book. On that page I also tell of THE HIT.
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Once, at the end of practice when I was coaching the youngest team and my son was on the second oldest with Kevin, their coach asked me after practice if I saw The Hit.
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No. What Hit?
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Did you HEAR it?
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No. What are you talking about?
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My son Dan, the future Ivy tailback, blocked Kevin, the future NFL draftee, in the open field. It was one of those full-speed head-on collisions where on of the two players—Kevin—did not see it coming.
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At first, the coaches thought they would need two ambulances. But both players just got up and resumed practice. The talked about it for years at the San Ramon Bears always referring to it simply as The Hit.
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One final note on Kevin. I say weak players should be on offense because you can flank them out where they will draw an excellent athlete cornerback from the other team away from the play. I cannot hide them on defense because I do not know where the play is going. But the offensive coordinator insisted that the offense and defense each take half of the weak players.
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The head coach, not me, went for that for political reasons. And there wasn’t going to be anyone playing tailback on that team but the OC’s son. Not my son the future Ivy tailback or Kevin the future de La Salle tailback and Bay Area player of the year. The OC had played tailback at BYU. The OC’s son ended up struggling to stay academically eligible in high school and I suspect was too small to play college football.
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Why did the OC think Kevin was weak? He was a pudgy 8-year old on a team that went up to age 11. My coaching books rail against that “central casting” approach to making your depth chart. Do not judge by appearances. Try ’em all out. You are often surprised.
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I did not know Kevin was good when he was foisted off on me for team politics reasons. I wanted him to stay on offense because of his age. An 8-year old starting, let alone starring on an 11-year old team is all but unheard of. But it did not take me long to figure out he was first string and probably the best DL in our 32 team league.
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Stuff like this video mention of my influence is the great reward, not money, of coaching and writing books about coaching. I have readers all over the U.S. who coached their own Dan Reeds and Kevin Simons —well, maybe not that many Kevins—who will also credit their early coaches as important to their success.
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Thanks for the mention. Continued success, Kevin.


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