Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Henry (Hop) Ellard

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Henry Austin Ellard (born July 21, 1961) is a former WR who played for the Los Angeles Rams (1983–1993), Washington Redskins (1994–1998), and the New England Patriots (1998) of the NFL. 

Henry attended Hoover High School in Fresno, California. He won the CIF California State Championships in the triple jump in 1979. Henry stayed in town and attended Fresno State University from 1979 to 1982 where he set an NCAA record with 1,510 receiving yards in his final season. Henry still holds the NCAA record for yards per catch in a season, 24.4, set while playing for Fresno State in 1982. His Quarterback was current Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford.

Henry was drafted in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. In his eleven seasons with Los Angeles, he went to three Pro Bowls. At the time of his retirement, Ellard held Rams' team records for career receptions (593), receiving yards (9,761), 100-yard games (26), punt return average (11.3), and total offense (11,663).

Upon joining the Redskins, Ellard set off on a blistering pace for the 1994 season, ending it with 1,397 yards, 102 behind league-leader Jerry Rice. He had three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, giving him seven for his career (his 799 yards in the strike-shortened 1987 season was on pace for an eighth). His final 1,000-yard season came in 1996 and required a 155-yard performance against the Dallas Cowboys' second-ranked defense to push him to 1,014 yards for the season.

After his retirement, Henry became an assistant coach at Southern California Christian High School, then became an assistant track-and-field coach at Villa Park High School. In 2000, he was a coach at Fresno State before taking the receivers coaching job for the St. Louis Rams in 2001. On January 25, 2009, Henry came to the New York Jets as the wide receivers coach. He was named the wide receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints on March 14, 2012, and spent three seasons with the club before leaving after the 2014 season. He now is the head football coach at San Antonio Christian High School.

Henry Ellard is married to Lillian Ellard and they have 3 children together.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Welcome to our podcast huddle up with gusts, where we talked to guests about how sports help shape their life. I'm your host, former NFL quarterback, gusts fraud, and I'm joined by my longtime friend and coach, Dave Hagar. We are a RADIOCOM original podcast and you can find us on the new RADIOCOM APP or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. Now let's get in the huddle. In the huddle this week is one of my good friends, a guy played with for a long time with the redskins. Amazing career, amazing stats, loves the GAME OF FOOTBALL. Great family, great family person, great father, great husband, just just one of my favorite people I've ever got to enjoy this game with. You. Research, Henry. You've seen all the stats. Impressive, very impressive, big play receiver, there's no doubt. That's my memory of Henry is always a lot of arts. Tell you what, the thing I've been most jealous of of Henry is that he can do a front flip and I can't even do like front roll. I need a trampoline and I still struggle right so day. In joining us in a huddle today is Henry Ellard hop how you doing, buddy? Glad to have you on. They glad to be a doing well. So, Henry, you and I played together. I know a lot about you, but I don't know enough about you. So we're going to investigate a little bit about when you were a kid, grown up in Fresno. Yeah, and when you were that little kid, what was that as first thing that drew to the love of sport? I was just always active. I'm the youngest of nine. I five older brothers, three older sisters, so I'll just always trying to find something to get into. I remember when I think I was five years old, turning on the TV and saw this guy streaking down the sideline, had number twenty two one had the big star on the side of the him and Bob Hayes, and that's my first memory of football and that just became my team and I said that's something I love to do. Then think whatever happened, but sure enough, that was my motivation. It's bullet. Bob Has one of the fastest guys ever. Yes, I think I, Henry night, played with the guy that was probably faster older. Yeah, agree with Ye, right there with it. That's true. I saw that I saw the agreeing we were playing in New England, hop when he tracked down Curtis Martin, Wholey across the field and condiment like the ten firs only had like sixty years ago, when like a whole length of football field. That cat was fast, but he got he could never henry. Oh yeah, so, so hot. So you're this little guy growing up in Fresno. Did you have a bunch of friends, a good neighborhood where you guys used to go out, or was it basically your family? No, I mean I had a bunch of buddies that we played football in the streets, like you know everybody in the neighborhoods, and even when I went together with my friends, I would be out in the front yards kind of throwing the ball up to myself, especially when it was raining. Did something I enjoyed doing all the time. When it when it came to play the game of football and this one thing led to another. I didn't think I would ever have that opportunity. I was a little guys, and seventh grade I was five to and I remember walking home from a pop wanna practice, had a little envelope in my hand. The plane minute these two older guys sitting on the port and I heard him make a comment that I beneath the water board and it was kind of funny at the time because acted at said I would go. I didn't take it personal. I just said, you know, you did motivate that. Some approve these guys. Prang, you know, was one of my motivators that I continue to grow and developers as a player. Is Always have that back my mind and they think I would ever make it is sure enough. One thing left to another. Right. And did you play other sports when you were kids as well? Yeah, track, track, with another passion of mind and in the offine of...

...the of another way to stay in shape. You a long jump, trouble joump around on the relay teams. Just something that kept me activate in shape. Were you the youngest or oldest world? Would you fall in the line of how many kids? You say nine or eight? Yeah, I'm the baby of nine, he being nine. Did you get a lot of you know they only say stuff flows downhill. Did you get a lot of stuff your way? Yeah, ten. We got a little bit of everything at the end of it. That's the sure I learned crazy enough to play football. I had a couple of brothers assists that ran track, but I've only one crazy enough to play football, but a they coupported me all the way through. What's the key to being a great triple jumper, besides just natural ability, because there's it's a little more to it than so the other events? Yeah, balancing coordination with a big part of for me and it came from natural to me. The first time I jump, which was my junior year in high school, jump forty five feet. Didn't norm what it was, but you know the code word. What I's pretty good. You're considered the first time and Shannon, I went on and finish out the season at forty nine that year. When into my senior year, I'll started out at forty nine and I'm jumping fifty two feet my senior year in high school. Wow, was that close to that like a record, state record or anything? I just I just miss our end up want in a state, but I just meet the National Rut about quarter of an inch. Well, Dave, I think it's not only skill and talent but it's also strength. I mean, if you think about like the triple jump, like you how seemed like a lot of timing, because there's big stride, there's there's big strides, but they also can have a lot of strengths in your legs to have a lot of everything. Yeah, had that. So how what was it like? You're going through and you playing pop warner and you're trying to figure out life. Basically, we're all kids at that point. But what was that like when you made that transition from pop warner to the next level up for you remember like that step to high school? Yeah, I'll the late bloomer because my sophomore year I was on the JV team, not even letter. Yeah, probably played two games. That my giv a year just w wasn't developed yet. It had come through my coordination and income throughout that point in time. So I just kept working. It was a motivated for me my freshman year to sophomore year to prepare for a varsity that next year. I even run track my sophomore year because of the fact I was so focused on one of the make the varsity football team. I pass up on track. Train Year Round and sure enough, came my junior year I ended up starting and it was kind of history from that point. Did you have a lot of supports from your parents? Yes, I mean that was something my mom. My Dad was always on a road. My mom when always said look, don't let anybody tell you can't do it. you go out and give it a hundred, ten percent at least you give it to your best. I saw and I remember that I was a motivator for me and she was always on my side. I always pushed me to be the best I could, even when I was a little kid, and I remember that and I was my motivator and my driving force throughout my life. Did you have a coach in high school that really kind of give you little extra boost, that kind of inspired you? Yeah, it really started at my junior high level. Coach Sullivan played basketball and round track, and I just remember you always pushed me, you know, always told me I had ability, but you just had to keep pushing yourself the work get better. He was my first coach that really kind of motivated me on then when I got into the high school level, Dave Harris is my football coach and then Dave Robinson was my track coach, and both guys, you know this, believed in me, you know, and inspirement and push me to be the best that I can be and I just kept striving to do that. What's harder, Henry, of track workout or a football workout? I'll tell you what I was say football, just for the fact that in the thing I learned, and...

...this was later on in my career when I was actually with the risk and I trained with a track coach that actually coached my pile, and I'm not for the first time to work out with Mike Pile, and this amazing how and tomb track athletes are with their bodies. They are all about recovering, right, you know, as you put it, work where football, if not hurt, you do you're grinding. That's just the way. You know, we were building. I know one day the the track coach said I was running sprints. He thinking, you, can you feel that? I say feel what I mean, if there's no pain, I can't feel it. But that's how it is in track, you know, it just it's all about recovering. You putting in the work, but that you got it's a full recovery. Where football you're grinding all the time. It's nothing. If there's no pain, you don't know anything different. Right. So, Dave, I remember Henry are lockers were close right and at the redskins and and he used to bring this I don't know, it was like a magnet or something, and he put on it. Yeah, yeah, you put on his hand straight every day, like to go out and practice. Like he said, he had a pool handstring and then he had like these big like spandex divers. Shoot, he put on just because he had to keep his but what he's saying is true. Is like in football there's no day off, there's no like I think I'm filling a tweak. I'm not going to take, you know, take break. Yeah, there's none of that. you go out through everything and if it you don't feel it, you're you don't think you're working. Did that magnet held? Yeah, it worked out sickly, the bloody through the so keep the muffle loose and me having, you know, had hands and glove of the Times, I have to use these magnock so right the back football pants. It didn't take a lot of room up and shore. That's even if I got time outside the magnet it would keep on my hands from the night and so I wouldn't pull a handstright. Yeah, Henry, it just he always had something of the like. I remember the one time, I think you brought scuba gloves in and put him on from practice in like for catching. Yeah, you know, FAM'M gonna try to these if it rains and all that stuff. So Henry was always innovative about new products coming out and that's what we did. And when I put the Ram you a bit of Westcoat, Kenny. You know, when we go back to New England I'll look cold weather places. We Work School, please, and wore school of blood just to protect the hands. Come on, man, you hated a cold. Yeah, but force me to focus on a football right. So in high school, it sounds like you're a little bit of a late bloomer and drives up your success as a receiver in high school. Did that come around your junior year or when did you start getting attention from colleges? Probably the end of my junior going into my senior year, I feel Fami, the came I get an opportunity to play at the college level. Kind of when that came about. But I paid depensive back as well as receiver and I would always on the field, you know. I never came off the field for special team or anything else. So I was always back on the field and was yeah, I would play the end of my Junie. Going to Mehing you my say. Okay, made as an opportunity to play at the college level. So how many schools recruited you out of high school? I mean like, between track and football? Oregon, idahole, Arizona within the mix for little bit. One of the school Middle Tennessee state with one of the other schools, but I wasn't going to am the mom of board your stay close to. Wouldn't wanted where. Yeah, so did you think about did you run both track and play football and college? Yeah, and a great thing about that. When I signed my Letter Been Tanta Fresno State, they told me I didn't have to go through SPRINGBOK CL compete and track. Oh Man, that would have been really nice. Yeah, it's about that. Where what did you run in college? I run on the four bobum one give a long jump,...

...a high jumping, a triple jouns and that's a lot. Henry, I'm at Arizona grads hearing that. You almost were. You're thinking about Arizona as a big tea's yeah, but I don't blame you that aren't we've never, we still haven't had an Alpat twelve quarterback. Ever, how many people you think said that they had, like Arizona was one of their top fives, but they never gone there and it was just recruiting, an all pro. Well, they always liked to recruiting trips. I think that's yeah. Yeah, Arizona, I guess, is a good recruiting recruiting trip to Tucson. Yeah, it's just canniver sign that we can't ever close it. But there's I don't know why you get so close a deal. I don't. Well, helps to have a better quarterback. We just never have a quarterbacks. Yeah, maybe they should, maybe you should call him. And it didn't. It didn't stop wrong. Yeah, I didn't. Something grown right. So hop you're going through your college career. WHO's your quarterback? Hit Fresno first year, Freshman Year with Gary Kiser was a Seaty quarterback that we had in there for a little while. Then Sir jail just found on with another guy and really my junior see when they started going to tick off and offense, Jeff Kepper, who of course now the President Proso thy cold. He was my quarterback my junion team, a year. Yeah, that's that's pretty good. Yeah, the cross from it was Steph on page. You played for the campus city chief for a number years. That, you said, an afrow record till Clipper Anderson Broken. Wow, so hop you you go through your college career. What was your what's your favorite memory from Fresno State? Wow, just so many memories. Probably playing in a new stadium. My Freshman Sophomore Year we played in an older stadium. It was the end of my sophomore year, I believe we built the new boat off. Stating that for the now and going to play in that game against Montana state with a special moment, you know, and especially when you when you get a chance to score a test that in the new stadium. Very special. Right. How's it? How's the crowd supported for as now I heard it's like it's a dedicated base. Yeah, it was the settle team down it we call it. Is really been this. They've been going to big on promote me and now tell you what, we get a true fan base. Sneak and all about family, and that's a big part of a lot of the kids there, you know, recruited coming from the town walking ballen. So You keep theirsen home. Oh yeah, everybody home grown for the most part. Do you go back often? I'll try to get up there. It'side. I've been back in a couple of years, but I need to get back up the especially now a Jeff Tetford's coaches, because just to hang out with him and just talk about old memories always a good thing me. Oh Yeah, you're going to have all those kids like you and jeff will be talking and saying hey, Henry and I played together back here, and the kids will be like like they look at me now, like who are you like to take away your headset? Yeah, exactly, down the phone. Yeah, that's what you do, and I would tell Jeff I was a look, grab a couple of highlights. Let him see it. Don't, without the say anything. Let let the film speak for itself. And now understand why I think if Henry did a front, show them the videos. Henry to the front, flipp everyone will stop talking and listen to that's that's an amazing for flipping full uniforms. Show them all the records Henry has for ends it as well, or that to yeah, this is it how you should listen to right. So hope you go through your college career. You have an amazing college career you have. I mean what was the record you told me about? They have twenty four point four yards of catch. Still a record is no record? Yeah, yeah, credible. So what? You just run go routes all time. It'll tell you what my junior...

...year told Sweeney at the time. Heat doubt. We had a pro style path and attack. So we were run a twenty yard day routes. You know, on my comeback round wonder abouts, I love the run. So just one of the time everything was clicking. I had Jeff de effort back there throwing a football head Stephan page on the other side. They couldn't stop us. Everything we try kind of worked. Wow, twenty four you under the stuff age the steelers. I don't think through the ball over twenty four yards last night. You can you get add up all their catches? It was about twenty four years right. Yeah, they will let me sit route up for a further than past line of scrimmage. Yeah, you're you're a friends. Know when did you start getting inkling that you the NFL was was calling for? You would probably say my senior year, going into my senior year. We had six. We play organ my junior year at home and we beat him. We Played Oregon State, we beat them. When play their zone and be the Arizona you know wants to, success start to happen and these numbers start to build. You know, all the sudden I'm getting letters and calls and say, okay, maybe there's a an opportunity here. Still wasn't sure, but but they're definitely news opportunity. Did you go to combine? Yes, back then they had three different comboy they had one in Tampa, I think, one was up in Detroit and it was another one. I think it was in Seattle, if I'm not mistaken. And then the funny part about it is I hurt my shoulder my senior year, well even before going into my senior year, and I didn't want to miss so I played with a dislocated show to my whole senior year. Wow. And it was probably three, maybe four different games with a pop out of place. I'll run off the field, they lay me down, they're poor and pop it back and I'll go back in the game. Of almost I got it. You still were was almost like a shoe coming off. You went off to feel put it back on and go back in the game, and that's what I did my senior year. Wow, would your mom say about that? Because you know, like I tried to hide it from all you ever knew about you sure you know, but I just didn't want to rich shirt. I wanted to play out my senior year. So that's what I didn't have the surgery once this season was over. So you're a high second round pick. Did you improve your stock at the combine? I can imagine you really excel that some of this. Well, see, I was still kind of recovering from my shoulder. Yeah, when out there, let him look at it to make sure. You know, the new solid never had an issue with it. But I don't know, because I didn't do a lot. I'd get a chance to run round, which I would have loved it had that opportunity, but because of my shoulder in my surgery, I never got a chance to do that. So did you kind of have an idea that that you were going to be drafted by the rams? Know, the funny part about it is the raiders is where high I am in the first round. So I thought it's a chance I may go to the raiders in the first round. But then I guess, come to find out, Don's most bar, who this six seven to high school kid, was on a radar and that's who the raiders end up taking. But John Robinson told me with the rams, he said, if you're right, we're going to take Eric in the first if we can. If you're on in the second, will going to pick you. So all the little nervous because after the rams picked in the first round it was Washington, The New York jet is, all these coach teams right and as a West because that I didn't want to have to go to an east coast team. So I was a little nervous until a ram start to come up and that's when I got the phone call and that's you enough, gave me peace of mind about it. Would you do on draft day, like what was this scenario? The funny part about it is back then it was eight o'clock in the mornings, little five o'clock west coast time when his draft, as he happened. So, which was better for me, because I couldn't sleep anywherel so nervous. So when I'm sitting up watching, watching the watching it come along, you know, and right before they drafted me, announced it is when I got the phone call. Wow, did you ever race, Eric? No, never did.

I think there can run. I'll tell you what. He very smooth. Barry So, I remember my rookie year in Cam John Robinson's to hey, you got to run. He said, coach, I am running. He Rung with so let no effort, no guts, no going he get. That's just how he was until you put somebody up next to him and he runs away from that's only time you can tell all that he was running. A perfect example that New York jet game when he broke down the sideline and at DD try to run him down and couldn't do it. He can flat I fly for a big Guy, six to twenty. Were you guys? Are you guys friends still? Yes, yeah, we're roommates. Rookie year for a while and Jim became good friends. Yeah, that so who has more hair now? You were. Are you know the funny part about that? We both came in at the Jerry girl. Yeah, both had to Jerry Cut. The funny, but then when we came back maybe four years later, we both cut it off at the same time. Not Talking, one of those just having to happen that way. So he had more here than I did. What I would say? I remember some of these old pictures of you at three. Yes, yes, no doubt, the beard and the Jerry Girl. So what was your like? You come in, you got you got some experience. You've been running all kind of routes. You've been in a pro style system in college. You get to the rams. What was your favorite route that that you learned, that was new to you when you got to the rams? I'll tell you what, and that's a new thing about the pro style paths and take it Freslan state. It prepared me for I ran each of every route that was in the book and I loved every one of them. My padding the corps. Everybody talks about the comeback, right, it's the one route that I love to run, but the corner round that dig route. I mean I made a lot of plays. Love playing New York giants back in the day because they played cover to but they didn't have that back that ran down the middle of the field, right. So you can't four different dig route you got a hundred plush yards already. Sorry. Enjoyed the plan against the the giants all the time. Heater. You're known as one of the great route runners to ever play like to our young listeners, like what would what's the key to running a really good route? Is All about transition and your body language. That's the most important part of it. They have the ability to give the illusion you running down the field, even know you change in direction without giving anything away. So I'm always coaching that with the younger guys. Is What are your body like? What are you doing with gizes? Not learned this early on with the rams from Loot Leroy Irvin without dee, one of our defensive bats. I ran around and he kind of squatted on me and I'm you know, he said you hind. You know what? Why? SQUATT I said No. He said you looking to a spot up the field, something I was never been told, never something I would have never thought of, and little things like that make all the gifts in the world. Ever since then, always stare to the DB down, just so I didn't give anything away with my you know, you don't think about that as a receive you think about your body language, your hands, your shoulders not raising up and things like that. Are Chatting your feet. But he picked up on the fact that I was looking to a spot up a field, which is normal for receiving when you lock, when you go line up, you look into where you want to run around. He picked up on that and I was a little, very valuable lesson I learned from from Lee were irving. Yeah, I mean it's it's great when you have old players that are your peers or older than yes that will give you instruction, because I actually we were playing Tampa Bay when I was I think, I don't know if I was a rookie or my second year, and warn tap came up to me after the game. He says, guess you gotta Change Your Feet. Soday were was uping you. You got to change your feet. I knew if it was a runner pass by the way your feet were. I said, I studied you all week. So from that point on I at my feet even yeah, so that nobody could know or give away any till Elsa. He told you that after the game. Yeah, yeah, after like three sacks.

Yeah, after you I he was laying a top of me. He's laughing at me, whisper in your ear whiles. Yeah, yeah, tarp adonish was standing over me like what I do wrong? So, Henry, you you made it to the redskins after successful career with the rams. So you were there in ninety four when Gust was a rookie. Do you have like a first impression? A gust is a rookie. You're you're savvy that at that point. So you know, you're yeah, I saw him. Do you know? Gust was still up and coming and trying to learn thing. We had John Freeze, was a veteran quarterback we brought over from the San Diego and that first year with norm, I tell you what, we were lighting it up. We wouldn't win to marry. We went winn in very many games, but we would lighten it up. So we had a good thing going. And then it gets to a point throughout the sea because he's feeling without number one pick. Of course you get through halfway through the season and I win the very game. They're going to make a change and that's what they ended up doing. They made a change to John Out and brought in a heath and we struggle because he's nothing against he's but Tennessee and the way they did things. They were a little different than the way we do things at the NFL level. He he struggled, he really struggled for a while with it and then finally made the Swiss the gust and things just start to take off again. Yeah, we guess with a true passing. Well, yeah, we can't. I came from a different system than heath did, but we actually interviewed teeth Henry not too long ago. Okay, yeah, and it was a first time that he and I have ever like done an interview together, basically, but I was interviewing him. So it was kind of strange, but it went really well and no animosity towards each other, just you know, right, we played the same game. We all we did whatever we did and it was it was a great interview. So it was really nice to reconnect with them and kind of get some of those old ghosts out of the way. You always wonder, right, you always wonder what he was thinking, what I was thinking. So that was really good. But, Dave, when you talk about first impressions, so I'll never forget like throwing a comeback is, you know, there's some kind of different coverages. You got to throw it against right man off, bail, all these things. And so I had, I said, struggling. I remember I'm struggling and I said, Henry, you know, I got to get this down on I got to do this. He said, all right, here's what we're going to do, here's what I used to do with Jim Evert Right, which I'm like, Oh, here's he said, when I look back at you, I'm going to be running down aside. I'm look back at you. When I look back at you, let it rip outside. And from that point on that's how I learned to throw him come back and like all the stuff that north used to teach and put are on a picture, big target. It didn't like that. Didn't commute, compute, because I'm looking at a target, but the receiver might be not thinking the same target. Yeah, so we were all his offer. With Henry, I knew when he looked back at me, I knew right where my target was going to be. And from that point on just taught me how to throw come back and I used that philosophy who way through when I used to work with guts. But not everybody could do that. Not Everybody could be as smooth as everything while they're running and looking at the DB and go like that turn around. So and that was one of the things I just started I learned over the years. I used my advantage because when you play, when you got a guy playing a man, the man covers. I'll look back inside it at goes a whoever that quarterback may be, if he's looking together side of God, I'll never come out of the route because I don't want to give it away, you know. And it was like, I say, we gunn. I did the same thing Jim Everett. If I'm running down a field, I'm waiting for him to look at me. I said, let the ball go. That's something I'll come out of my route in the time. It always worked out very well for us. It's just, you know, getting used to the target point right. Well, Gus was telling me before the show he thinks that you guys never completed a past that was not a first down. I think that's one of our stats. Yeah, yeah, at that I would I would agree with that. Doesn't mean I didn't throw them short ones. He got blasted, but I wasn't always perfect, but Henry and I connected on I mean that twenty...

...four point one. Yeah, I'm sure we were close to that, like it was amazing. Yeah, yeah, we do it, whether it was a dig a seven come back. I mean it was just you knew when hopp was coming out of that and it to learn how to throw a ball with anticipation. You need a guy like Henry, because if you don't have a guy like Henry, it's really hard to do. I mean he hannry had a lot to do probably with your growth. I mean you might not be the same quarterback, you know, without having him as a veteran has a rookie right, and you know, and I couldn't grab a pull henry out there every second of every day, you know, because he's a little there's a VAT. You know. They just didn't do that substration to take the camp cameron out there all the time. And quarterbacks can't do that these days. They can't just go out and throw and throw and throw. They're not allowed to the offseason. The CBA's right different. But I can't tell you how many times I threw the ball with Camp Cameron telling me like okay, we're in throw, comeback, seven step drop. I don't even see seven Sep drops hardly anymore out understand my center. Yeah, that is sure. I tell you what. And just you talking about to take me back again. Your rookie year. It might have been your first start. I know we were playing Indianapolis Coachs and weird call. I think it might have been four hundred and twenty eight might have been in the other the concept was calling and you had that look in your eye. Okay, and I just want to give you a piece of micause you had enough to think about and now like that, say okay, guys, this zone coverage thor that ball three yards and stipp the numbers. I get it. It's sure enough. Push up a feel eighteen yards, turning the corner three yards inside about as the ball the balls coming for the pop up through the kitchen and making front of the bust the far from and did a great yea. We have you have to be. If you can't learn from the guys that have been there and and take coaching, you're going to be around the mean. That just how it is, you know, and you know hop amazing thing is is that you went on a coached, as they say, the greatest show. In turn, we just interviewed Isaac last week. Okay, I'll tell you what special player. Yeah, well, you mean you got just to get him and Tory? What was that like coaching those guys? I'll tell you what. They made my job easy for a guy coming into my first year as a as a young coach. You got you got, I think, brooch, you got Tori hold, you got ricky pro and you got Ousa Chem in the room with it. I'll tell you what you did get. You let him go play. They took a lot of pride in what they did, as players are to practice field and IT carried into a game environment. I tell you what it was. It was exciting to watch. Did you know towards like when did you first think about really becoming a coach, and football coach, because you you coach a while after you are you still coach, but I after you retire. No, it was. It's kind of funny because owning my last year and ninety eight, someone asked me if I was getting ready to retire. You Ever Thought About coaching? I told him I will never coach, is what I told him. I believe that a player mentality. You know, I was my thinking because I know the time and the effort that they had to put in and as a player you never go anywhere near that. So I went back. I retired. I went back to Fresno and I'm a busy body. You know, something so much gooth you can play and I was driving my wife crazy. You told me I need to do something with myself. And so one day I was working out at a y MCA, opened up a newspaper and the small Christian High School in Southern California, who would hired a coach and two weeks before they we're going to start, he walked away from my heart went out to these kids. I said, I'm a following the store if they hired and says the coach, I'm a volunteer. That's how I got into coaching. Yeah, that for two years at the high school level. So you know what, I kind of like this. So I reached down to Pat Hill, who that present state the head coach. Say You know, coach, I'm thinking about this coaching thing. I love to come up there for a year in volunteer see if it's what I wanted to do. And I was in two thousand. Went up there, fell in love with it, you...

...know, and say, okay, maybe this is something I need to do. And within I want to say two weeks at the after the season was over, when Mike Mars took over with the rams. Mike Marsh recruited me out of high school to Friends of the state. Good connection. That's a that's that knew Mike Mars. So he said, I heard you in a coach and you know what you think about coming out here and you know and see if you would like it. I said, well, let me think about it. Then, when are these amps called me and say, Henry, just a great opportunity. That's true enough. I jumped on in the rest of his history from their coach of fourteen years. Had A blast doing it so hot. When did you meet Lilian? We made it back in eighty nine, I leave. It was in southern California where I was at an event and you know, she has her story. I have mine, of course. I told us she walked by me about five different times before she got my attention. She said I was standing between where she was sitting in the bathroom. I s reason she kept passing me, but yeah, just one of those things where you never think it's going to go anywhere and one thing is and especially because I just gotten out of a previous marriage so I had put no planes on getting married again. I really didn't, but she changed my mind in a hurry. That that's for sure. Are you children athletic? Yes, I have four girls. I have one boy, Henry Jr. He played football in high school a little bit in college, but he's in a fashion and merchandising business. He lived in New York loving it for him. My daughter, Whitney, played in high school and then she had married. I have the other, Christiana. She rent track at Trinity University for a couple of years and decide to focus on her studies. The same with the one after her, Alex, played volleyball, ran track and then once she got to college, she's in her second year outside of focus on her studies. And I have a junior in high school here at San Antonio Christian, where I coach, who plays volleyball and runs track and plays basketball. See what she does, and she's continue to do that. She's probably the one that has the best chance to get a stolarship at the college level. Can any of them do a front slip like your old man? No, not always know, I not got to happen. So hope you played the game at the highest level for a long, long time. You've coached at the highest level for a long, long time. What is some of the similarities between being a player and a coach? The biggest thing for me, and even as early on as a coach, it's trying to teach guys. The thing that came natural to me cling that and even have to think about until I had to try to explain it to someone else. Then I, as are going to go back and look at the film, got to break out, okay, how can I explain this to someone? And like what IAINK and tour to great players. They both learned two different ways. So again, been at to give him information that process they can process. I think was a guy who wanted to walk out on the field and short to him. Show me, landmark, show me what I need to do. Tour, you can put it up on the on the film, all on the Board. He got. So just trying to learn those things and how I used to, you know, put it together in my mind and being, you know, convey those things through our players. It's not always easy task, you know, especially depending on who that player is. Some of them real natural, some of them to just takes time and it just really time and repetition. So, like I unders stands how you worked with me when I was a quarterback. What are some of the things that you did to help quarterbacks when you were playing and then when you were coaching? Because you can go and give a quarterback it's beneficial to hear from...

...the receivers coach as well. That was one of my favorite things. You know well term terror Bisky wasn't very quiet when he was at the redskin. So be like everybody. Right, but, but, but you do learn a lot, like because you want to be on that same page because it is right so important. Yeah, I think the biggest thing is like say what yourself, especially a young quarterback, you got enough to think about. I'm trying to keep it as simplest possible. I think that's the most important part of it. We can get so complicated when it comes to this game, especially as a coach. We try to do too much, but then letting the guy flinee and play that I think that's the bottom lines. So I'll try to simplify it as much as I could as a coach. And what was the player to know. This is the only thing you need to think about, right, you know, and that's what you need to focus on. And that said, don't worry about the rest of this is what you need to lock in off, cause you get caught up in a listening to everything and trying to figure things, especially as a young player. They hear and everything and it sounds Chinese to him. Right, for the most part, league is not used to hearing it. So I think, look, this is what you need to do and a lot of times what I would do with the younger guys I would go back and figure out what they did it their their former colleges, how they terminology and I would relating. Okay, this is what what they with. This what we mean by this. Right, it's no different you calling, you know, Gray, when we call it blue, this your gray until you learning. Yeah, eventually, the more time and repetition they start to pick up on. But I'll try to give him something they can relate to. The makes a lot easy perform, makes a lot easier. Now you now you played sixteen years as a player. You faced a lot of cornerbacks who gave you the bit hardest time as a cornerback. I think d'ell green was always one of those guys that that gave you a tough time. Again, he was fast. I just relied on my quickness more than anything else. With him, of course, Dean Sanders. Always had to play on be on top of your game when you played against a guy like that. I remember back when he was playing baseball and football. He had played one game and then next day he came in to play for the line of foul and I think it all okay, he's going to be rusty. I tell you what, you would have thought he was out there a whole year. You you was special and you had to and I love playing against guys like that because you had to be on top of your game, that's for sure. How about about a cornerback? That was a really successful corner but you had an easier time on trying to think. Here you're for face Rod Woodson. Not Very often with Pittsburgh. Got Play him once in then. I'm I think we might played a couple of times. And one thing I when I think about Rob Woodson. I was running a drag rout across the field and as I was running the ball with storn little bit behind me and sure enough he undercut me and picked it off. So I'll try to swap the ball to swat it out of his hand and ended up pointing it out of his arm and taking the ball and then running up the field with it. Wow, what I would yeah, is one of those things, but I can get a chance to play against him very often at all. Yeah, he would have played against like I remember, we used to light up sleepy sparks, but if it's bars, yeah, and with the giant. Yeah, because he used to come see horn with another one of those. Yeah, they used to come up and say like they always liked played against us because it was a battle. Yeah, it was. They knew they were going to be in for a long day they played against us. What corner was the biggest talker? You know, the funny part of you think Dan Sanda, but we had a beautiful respect for one another, so that was never issue. You know who it is, Ti mccire, that play with their forty nine all. He ran his mouth all the time and I tell you what, and I love those kind of guys because they try to get you here and every time I catch a ball, look at me, smile and go back to the hull of driving pray. Yeah, yeah, because you were getting hops head. Now that you know, I wasn't allowed to happen to a funny part about that. My last year when I went up and played in New England with Ernis and Peasy, I was brought in for a try out and I get in the band. I'm sitting in. All of a sudden I hear his boys and I turned look it's Tim Mc Cay all here. You remember those...

...old games right there. Next day we got out to the work out. It was one once made him, and I mean I ate him a lot and I at the end of it I just say yeah, just like good old days, right, you say, tell you where, but he was one of those guys you could albums l he just talked all the time. You know, hopter so many. We could go on and on with stories forever. The part of our shows about transitions that we all make from when we're kids learning this game, learning and whatever support we love and we have to go through transitions. Just like you said, you were undersize. You had to put in the work the time, but you also have to have a support, a community that wants to help you rut there, and one of the things we talked about it are all those transitions. So talk about something that happened all those transitions that really helped you get where you are today. Now they like they did. Relic structure of football just repairs, because you deal with the adversities in life, and that's a great thing about football. You know what ups in the downs and and the disappointments, and that's all on how do and that's what I like to see with my guys. You know, it's good to have success, but how do you respond when times get tough? Dropping a football as at the time, it's not a matter if, it's a matter when. How you're going to respond. Are you going to linger on it? Are you going to put it behind you, like you talk about with the defensive guys. Got To be a short term memory. You got to be at to move on from it. Some guys couldn't do some guys get caught up and in one play leads to another. Other guys they can put it behind them and they keep moving forward. You know, and that's one of the things I learned, is that you got to have a short term memory. So temporary setback, keep moving on. It helps, of course, when you get another ball put in your hand, you get a chance to make a play out. Basically, got it right, but but not always easy thing. But that prepares you for life, you know. I stopped them down in line. You know, no matter what's going into the transition. As I got rid of retire I wasn't sure, you know, what I wanted to get into. Trying to struggling with that. And then, like I said, then this cut cooking thing came in, which with a natural fit and really worked out well for and I mean I couldn't wait for Sundays. It was funny because my first experience as the NFL coach on the Sunday, I was looking at some of the other coaches and how nervously were. I was that, I mean I was ready and I guess maybe because I played on a game on Sunday, that made a difference for me and I knew what to expect and how to how to handle things. But that was a learning experience for the most part, and how to handle things and get in situation, specially when it came to the players, and how to prepare them, you know, on that Game Day and how to adjust a different situations. And I guess I had a blast, I really did. I was blessed to play the game for sixteen years to get into coach for fourteen years and then transition down to where, okay, I got to spend some time with my family and I'm didn't put enough time on the line for me. Now it's time for me to get back what I said. Okay, we made the move to San Antonio, Texas because my mother in law lives here and I had an older daughter desideical Trinity University, Right and sail to let's make the move. And I had two daughters in high school at the time and I was out on the track working out one day and the athletic director say I heard you had two daughters here. You know, we'd love you to come help out with the football program. I said, yeah, my daughter's here, why not? And so that's what I almost brought me full circle. Is What it ended up doing from when I first got into in the football at the high school level, because this is a team that had four coaches in five years. Wow, no stability whatsoever, and so my heart went out to these young and I said, long as I'm here, I'll do what I can to kind of help out. So I started as a receiver coach and then that next year the coach the hit footballers left and went back to the college ranks. He was here, I think two years. They hired themselves another coach.

He was here ten days and he went back to the college ranks. Wow, some more hard went to these kids are at Leger. As soon as I saw my phone and was Affleca, I knew what it was. A pasting right now told me it looks whatever I can do. My daughter was a freshman at the time. I said whatever I can to do do to help out this program I'm here to do it. So that's what I've been doing for the last three years. That's a wait. Wait. I heard one thing, though, that you were working out on the track. Right. How what do you really we just walking or were you actually doing free workout? I'll tell you what. They're the funny part about because I'm not I love working out. I just wanted to guy that love to work out. So about three, three years ago, before we moved here from New Orleans, was that the track. My daughter was an AU compete. So we've lived are working out. I thought this older guy pole vault. I'm like, I wander what he's up to. So when over and I start talking to this guy said together. They have a Master's program to track and feel love where they go by age groups. I'm not really so I started. I did some research, other look into it and sure enough, from like from forty to forty four, from forty five to forty nine, from fifty, they get these different age but I say, you know what, this to give me something to do. You know, I can some motivator to stay in shape. The shoot up. I start competing again. I've got a triple, dropping along jumping. What, wow, what's your distance on the triple now? But I just said, I did not just said, but from the fifty to note the fifty five to fifty nine. I said age group record, which I think is forty three feet. Dave, you not going to try that? Later you can add five of my jumps up together and maybe, maybe, maybe even break maybe you and I together we get the thirty. Wow, well, hot, that's amazing. So, and now you're nominated for a gold jacket. How you feel about that? I'll tell you what it's. You know, everybody, and I hate this time of the year when it comes up to everybody wants to start talking about it. I'm blessed the play the game for night. Sixteen years with a blessing. You're not said if this happens, I saw a cake. I'm not going to be you know, let it identify me. You know, I'm thankful for the nomination and you know, if it happens, it happened. But I'll tell you what, very fortunate the player longer that did well. I'm definitely voting for you. So for still good. I'll be there when you get it well and when you com blind. He was all pro receiver, but he coached a long time NFL too. I mean that's a lot of years devoted to the NFL. It is a lot of years and and just his stature in the NFL and the way he kind of handled himself, the way he taught others, the way he presented himself on the field and the way he played the game. If that doesn't get you to where everybody wants to get, then I don't know what will. Because, Henry, you the ultimate competitor, the ultimate friend, the ultimate player on that field. That I think that we're missing a lot today when I watch a lot of these guys play and go. I mean we know firsthand. If AB had your attitude, Oh you know what I mean, it would, you'll just be a different story and just to see that guy go, the rallies going. There's something going on there and it's sad. But I got to play with people like Henry David and there are the epitome of what a professional is. Right him in the reverend, him in the reverence, which we found out that. Well, your nicknames, hop, because we understand why now and then we talked to Isaac and his nickname is the reverend, so we asked about that story as well. So it's pretty interesting. So who gave you the nickname? Hop It came from the football players. Than at first those state they came out and watch the track me and...

I'll triple jumping. So it started with grasshopper and then it just shortened all the way down to two HAA. It would end up happening by the time I got to the NFL level. Well, it fits. It definitely fits. Grasshopper. All right, hop will appreciate the shout out and and you got to listen to us. CHECK US out on hoddle up with gusts, wherever you listen to your favorite poet. I'm apt to do that. I'm gonna definitely do that. All right. All right, hot man, thanks for joining us. Man's great seeing you. I missed you and give everybody my best and and I will be watching your high school and we're going to make sure that that WNL record gets more WS and els. We most definitely all right. Thank her. See Henry. All right, thank are but we want to thank you for listening to huddle up with gusts, a RADIOCOM original. You can find our show on RADIOCOM, the new RADIOCOM APP or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. Please leave us a review or comment if you enjoyed the show. We are on facebook, twitter, instagram and Youtube at houdle up with Guss. You can also visit us on our website, huddle up with gustscom.

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