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Friday, May 29: Scott Wachenheim On Becoming An NFL Coach

Posted by Matt Terl on May 29, 2009 – 12:54 pm

After starting with offensive assistant Chris Meidt and bouncing to the defensive side for an interview with safeties coach Steve Jackson — “strong interview,” says ESPN.com’s Matt Mosley! — it seemed right to head back to the offensive side of things next. Hence, Scott Wachenheim.

Wachenheim is something nine practices into his first NFL season — he was the offensive coordinator at Liberty University — which provided a fairly obvious entry point into the conversation.

So? How have you been enjoying the Redskins and the NFL so far?

Wachenheim: “Oh, man, I love it here. Mr. Snyder and Mr. Cerrato have just treated me first class, and I know Coach Zorn from way back and he’s been great to work with. All the coaches have just been very helpful teaching me the NFL way. I’m learning every day, and they’ve been a pleasure to work with.

“The players I work with — Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Todd Yoder — are just really good guys and good players, and they work hard. It’s been a great experience.”

You mentioned learning the ‘NFL Way’ — what are the specific differences you’ve already noticed?
Read more »

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Thursday, February 5: The New Tight Ends Coach Does NOT Balance Rocks

Posted by Matt Terl on February 5, 2009 – 11:04 am

When the team announced the hiring of Liberty University offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Scott Wachenheim as the new tight ends coach, I immediately Googled his name to see what would come up. I knew he was an old acquaintance of Coach Jim Zorn’s, so — given Zorn’s wide-ranging collection of hobbies — the possibilities seemed pretty much limitless.

And when I came across a Scott Wachenheim who considered himself a learner in the somewhat bizarre-sounding field of rock balancing, it seemed pretty much a done deal that this was the new tight ends coach. Sure, the rock-balancing picture didn’t look much like his headshot at Liberty, but I was too blinded by the vision of a 2009 full of fascinating press conferences to care.

When I got a chance to speak to Wachenheim, those specific hopes were dashed. “It’s not me,” he said. “That’s some other guy. I don’t know him, I’ve never met him, and I don’t even think we’re related.”

This was something of a disappointment to me, but the rest of what he had to say made him sound like a promising NFL assistant coach (which, if I’m being honest, is probably not a field in which rock balancing or strange hobbies play much of a role).

What was appealing about coming to the Redskins?

“First of all, NFL football is football at its highest level, and if you are a competitor you always want to compete at the highest level against the very best coaches. So, to me that is the most appealing aspect: having the opportunity to test my abilities against the very best in the business.

“I’m also very intrigued and excited about working with Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, as well as Jim Zorn, whom I’ve known for 15 years.”

I know you worked with him at Utah State. Did you know him before then?

“I met Coach Zorn at Utah State.”

Coach Zorn has quickly developed a relationship here as an interesting guy. Do you share any of his hobbies? Read more »

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