British coach Aden Durde, who spent the summer working as an intern with the Dallas Cowboys, admits he is dreaming of becoming a full-time NFL coach in the future.
In an exclusive interview with BritViewNFL.com, the London Warriors defensive coordinator looked back at his summer with ‘America’s Team’ and revealed that he will be working with the Cowboys during the regular season ahead of their November 9 clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium.
The former Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers linebacker said: “It was an amazing experience – I didn’t want it to end. It was everything I expected and more.
“I’m going to work with them the week Dallas come to London and I want to work with them again next year as an intern and push on from there, get with a team for a whole year. My plan is to be a coach in the NFL one day – the more experience I can get, the more opportunities that will create and I can grow as a coach.”
Durde played for the Scottish Claymores and Hamburg Sea Devils in NFL Europe before playing in the NFL with the Chiefs and Panthers. But he admits life was a little easier for players during an NFL preseason, even with the physical challenges placed upon an athlete at the game’s highest level.
“I’ve been through training camps as a player but you’re not prepared for the hours that coaches go through,” Durde admits.
“As a football player, there are a lot of things put in place for you – but as a coach, you have a lot of responsibility and you just work and work.”
In addition to working with the Cowboys in training camp, Durde was on the sidelines for preseason games and enjoyed the buzz of being in the thick of the NFL action.
“It was amazing,” Durde stressed.
“That feeling you get on an NFL sideline, you can’t get that anywhere else. That’s why you see ex-players around the game. You can’t recreate that electricity and when you’re part of that, you understand it. That’s why people get into coaching because you’re there and in the moment.”
Durde was well received by the Cowboys players and coaches during his spell in the United States. Head coach Jason Garrett spoke very highly of him and Durde was also taken under the wing of a veteran defensive mind in Rod Marinelli.
“I learned from Rod Marinelli and a lot of other coaches,” Durde revealed. “He is a great leader and I learned about delivering a consistent message from him. His idea grew into a physical thing. He spoke about the same things every day in camp and you saw it go from words and an idea to a physical thing that shows up on the field. He did that through grinding a consistent message.”
As a standard-bearer for coaches from the United Kingdom, Durde is proud to fly the flag for his country in the United States and remains ambitious and determined when it comes to his own future.
“I think this game is growing – there is no doubt about that,” Durde concluded. “The perception of international people in the game is changing and that’s massive for British people. It’s not like it was when I was in NFL Europe – the players just accept it. I’m on a level where I feel I can grow as a coach.
“This is what I want to do – I want to coach in the NFL. It will be hard, but everything is hard that you want to do. I’ll just keep grinding and hopefully I can get there.”
Categories: Brits working in and around the NFL