Known for holding down one half of the Broncos defensive back-end and delivering the big hits in the 2000s, a former Broncos player began a new journey this past month towards a coaching career. Last season, Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson spent training camp as an assistant coach for the Broncos — this season, former safety Nick Ferguson had the opportunity to gain some valuable experience by coaching the defensive backs.
Ferguson recently spoke with CBS4 in Denver about what it was like being a coaching intern for the Broncos.
"You have the same responsibilities as the coaches … they’ve given me the liberty to go out, use some of my expertise, my wise that I’ve earned as a player, my experience, to talk to players," Ferguson told Vic Lombardi and went on to add, "When you’re looking at things from a coaching standpoint, you have to not only pay attention to the Xs and Os, but the fundamentals as well."
Ferguson's familiarity of the team and expectations in Dove Valley will certainly be beneficial to have on tap for the young Broncos, who were appreciative and welcoming of the advice and suggestions the former 10 year pro had to offer.
Three players in particular stuck out to Ferguson, safety T.J. Ward and versatile defensive back Omar Bolden. Ferguson took note Ward's physical presence, stating that it was a welcomed addition to Denver and had been missing in years past. Furthermore, he mentioned that Bolden showed promise as well and could very well be used at safety.
The last player identified by Ferguson was special teams ace David Bruton Jr., who he shared a similar path with on his way to becoming a starter in the NFL and offered him some sound advice.
"I know he’s predominately used as a special teams player. I talked to him in practice and I said, ‘When I came into the league, I was a special teams player. But you have to understand this, you are more than a special teams player. So when we come back to camp in preseason, you show them and you fight for that position next to T.J. Ward."
Ferguson also made acknowledged his familiarity with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and how his defensive scheme allows for all players to excel and play at a high level by stating:
"I tell (Phillips) all the time and I tell the guys, ‘Had I played in a defense that was structured like this, I don’t know how man Pro Bowls I would have gone to.' "
Here is to hoping that Ferguson's tutelage and coaching efforts by Phillips can help all members of the Broncos safety corps perform their best in 2015.
If you are interested in catching up with what Ferguson has done after his career in football, feel free to check out his YouTube channel for the Nick Ferguson Show. Posted below is a snippet of what he has to offer there.