Aug. 25, 2012
By Scott Kotick, Seminoles.com
Here we go! Smart spots, one yard pad, bring pressure, let's go!
It's the first voice players hear at the beginning of practice as special teams drills begin. Eddie Gran knows how valuable every moment is, and his players have followed his lead.
"You're either going to cost your team or you're going to count, and we've really be focused on counting every single day," Gran said. "We're not going to miss one of these opportunities, and they've done that. Now like Coach (Fisher) talks about, we're not coaching effort, that's done and that's a culture here. What I get to coach is technique, the little things that help you become elite and be a champion."
It would be too simple to view Eddie Gran purely through a football lens. While he's coached some of the best running backs in the NFL, that pales in comparison to the mentor and father figure he is to each and every one of his players.
"He's more than just a coach telling you what to do, he's a father figure, friend, advisor, these different roles that he plays," Dustin Hopkins said. "I can't say enough how I respect him for his coaching ability and the amount of people he's put in the league, but the way he does it and respects his players and demands the best from them."
"I love Coach Gran, he's a coach that we can play around with but when it's time for business, it's time for business," Lonnie Pryor said. "He wants you to do nothing but succeed in life, he's really good with God and everything and he lets you know that. He's a great guy and I love him and he's one of the best coaches I've ever had."
And it shows during practice. He never stops teaching and encouraging his players.
That a way James, that a way James! Don't drift, don't drift!
"I tell them I'm going to treat them just like my kids and I hope they see who I am and the way I act," Gran said. "That's my why and why I do what I do. Obviously Saturdays and the coaching part are great, but I'm very fortunate because I'm in special teams. I get to visit with the defense, the Tyler Hunters, the Telvin Smiths, and I get to hug their necks too. That's really cool for me."
He is always the first one with a congratulatory high five, a word of encouragement, or a word of correction.
His segment of running backs know that when they suit up and represent Florida State, they need to be at their best at all times.
"He knows your potential and he knows what you can do, so when he gets onto you, it's never in a hard way," Pryor said. "When we watch film and we mess up, when you're done watching film, it's over. It's on to another day."
"As a coach, you have to have intensity and he has some fire in him," Dustin Hopkins said. "He does it in a way that respects the player, but demands the best. And he's going to uphold you to that standard."
"Just their attitude, they come to work everyday and I told them yesterday that I was so proud of them," Gran said. "I'm proud to couch you and proud of the way you compete every day."
And it's a lifelong connection Gran will have with every player he coaches. As a coach, mentor, and friend. He'll be there, no matter what.