Training Camp Confidential: Early Run-Ins With Big Names

When you look back on favorite training camp memories, it can often be the biggest guys on the field and biggest personalities in the locker room who make for some of the most interesting stories.

When I think back to my time as a coach at training camp, two of my favorite memories were created by guys people across the country knew—specifically because of their size. Those guys gave me a couple of my earliest and fondest memories in the NFL in general and then as a head coach.

In 1989, I followed Jimmy Johnson from the University of Miami to the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys. It was my first year as a coach in the league. And while we were at training camp, we ran things like we had at Miami.

It didn’t take long to get a reminder that we were in the NFL, though. One of our biggest names walked right in to Jimmy’s office one day and dropped a check on his desk. That wasn’t something I was used to seeing in the college world, and when I heard the reason why, it got even funnier.

It wasn’t long before I got one of my favorite memories as a head coach at camp, either. In fact, it ended up being my first decision I made as coach of the Chicago Bears—all about running a warm-up lap on the first day of camp, involving maybe the most famous name in the NFL at the time.

Just a couple of great stories from camp that I think back on as teams start camp every year.

Training Camp Confidential

The 33rd Team has unprecedented access to executives, coaches and players and wants to provide an in-depth, never-before-seen look into the best stories and memories from NFL Training Camps. Stay tuned to our Training Camp Page for more great stories like this one. 

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