Akili Smith was a star quarterback for the Oregon Ducks in 1998 and 1999 and he was selected third overall in the 1999 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, and he is now the QB coach at St. Augustine High School in San Diego. He joined Chad on Flight 750 Friday to talk about his decision to become a coach and Chip Kelly’s decision to become the next Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Smith insists that during his playing days, he had no idea how much work and preparation went into being a coach.
“I’ve got a different respect now for coaches and the amount of time that goes into coaching. At the college level, it was 16-17 hour days. So there’s a lot of coaches that have coached me that I’ve got to apologize to next time I see them.”
Smith also spoke to some of the most important things he’s learned in his preparation to become a coach.
“I think it’s just the preparation of the game. It’s extremely important that the guys buy into the system and buy into what you’re trying to get done each and every snap. They’ve got to understand that school is first – that you’re a student athlete and that school comes first.”
Smith also talked about Chip Kelly’s decision to leave Oregon and head to the professional ranks with the Philadelphia Eagles. There are a lot of things that he’s going to need to do if he’s going to be successful at that level. But he admits that there is one thing that Kelly must do soon.
“Because he doesn’t have any NFL experience, he’s got to hire some coaches that have NFL experience and possibly hire one or two coaches on the offensive and defensive side that were the head coach in the NFL so they can help him out and bring him along.”
Take a listen to the interview and be sure to pay attention for Smith’s players when it nears National Signing Day as St. Augustine High School in San Diego is one of the best football schools on the west coast.