Vincent Brown returns to what he loves best, football. At age 30 Brown's NFL career came to an abrupt end. After eight years playing inside linebacker for the Patriots he was suddenly and unexpectedly told he was finished. He had enjoyed a stellar career as one of the best inside linebackers in Patriots history.
Over the next 10 years Brown would try his hand at many different jobs including insurance sales. But when he stepped back onto the field to coach his son's youth football team he realized that was where he needed to be. That was where he was comfortable. That was, and is what he loved more than anything.
"Football surprised me," Brown said. " I resisted going into coaching for so long. I didn't want to be viewed as someone who could only do football. I guess I didn't have any respect for what coaches do."
Brown wrote to former coach Bill Parcells for a year requesting to come down and work with him. Parcells cagily made him wait a year to gauge his true interest in coaching.
Brown has enjoyed his internship working under Parcells with Dallas this summer. Although it's only a temporary position and at the end of the month Brown will return to Atlanta as a high school football coach it will be with high hopes and goals of working for the NFL again someday.
"This is the goal: the NFL," Brown said "I know the odds are long, as they were of making it here as a player, but I do have some things in my favor. Having played helps. It's easier to convey some things to the players when you've gone through what they've gone through."
Should Brown realize his goal as an NFL coach it will be the second time a dream of his has come true. However, at whatever level he coaches -- high school, college or NFL -- he will be doing what he loves.
"Coach Parcells kept asking me, 'Is this really what you want to do?'" said Brown. "It's the first time since I left football that kind of clarity is there. Whether it's at this level or the collegiate level or high school, this has brought me back to the thing I love."
This article includes excerpts from the Boston Globe article by Ron Borges.