Exploring The Off-Season: Tony Simmons, TDEUs Free Agent

Photo: Jiuliette.c
What is "the off season"? Does it exist in football?
Yes, it does for the athletes. It is much needed vacation time for them but for upper management and coaches, not really. There is no official competition. This is the time where the team is evaluated and changes happen. Most athletes should stay in shape during the off season in preparation for the next season. 

What are the main goals coaches work towards during this time?
The main goals I have personally are self scout the entire year, see what worked and what did not work. Get cut-ups from the season and use them as a teaching tool. Get thoughts for the season and next season what we could do better and/or change. Go over depth chart. Strengths and weakness, possible position moves. Make a list of what I want to study. Who do I want to talk to and why? Find myself in some clinics and learn more. Great time to draw out new ideas, playbook creation/edits. Investigate opponent’s changes.

When do you start looking for imports? What things do you consider when sifting through options? 
I start looking for imports about a month after the season. I consider budget, football knowledge into our system, are they coachable and can they coach as well.

What things can an import do to increase their chances of gaining a teams interest? 
Be available and reasonable. Willing to do what it takes for the team. Remember coaches talk in Europe as well.

What is the worst thing an athlete can do to hurt their chances?
Being a primadonna, if you think you are better than what the system I have designed and you think, you know more than me. Then why are you here? 

Do you have any interesting off season stories? 
Some off season stories I have heard that some players don’t train which is hilarious and they don’t evaluate themselves. How can you get better if you don’t know what you did before? I remember a lot from my playing days and football is the sport of “What have you done for me lately?” They always remember your 
last play or attempt.

Once you have narrowed it down, what factors go into furthering your selection process? 
Budget, Coachable, ability to coach and if they want to be apart of the team without money being an issue.

What type of team building events do you do between seasons? 
Offensive vs defensive in paintball coaches included. Team events helping others in hospitals and a team skirts vs. skins flag football game.

Do you have any advice to players about how to approach their own off season and recruiting seasons? 
Take it serious. You are in a competition to get to a team and understand you may be worth it one team but they can not afford you. There are a few spots on the top, get in where you fit in.

Lance Kriesien
Mia Bajin
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