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Monday, August 26, 2013

Damon Wilson Gains Valuable Experience as NFL's St. Louis Rams Intern

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ST. LOUIS, MO. – Bowie State Head Football Coach Damon Wilson recently completed a summer internship with St. Louis Rams as part of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship. The annual program is administered by the NFL Management Council and NFL Player Engagement.

The program's objective is to use NFL Clubs’ training camps, offseason workout program and minicamps to give talented minority coaches opportunities to observe, participate, gain experience and ultimately gain a full-time NFL coaching position.

“The Rams are a first class organization and Coach Fisher and his staff really continued to improve my development as a Head coach and the CEO of Bowie State University football program”, said Wilson.

During his internship with the Rams, Wilson had the opportunity to participate in all of the offensive/Defensive and Special teams meetings along with personnel meetings. Wilson primarily worked with Coach Ben Sirmans (Running Backs) and Coach Brian Schottenheimer (Offensive Coordinator).  “Coach Schottenheimer along with his offensive staff have a wealth of knowledge and have an excellent way of teaching their players”, stated Wilson.

Designed as a vocational tool to increase the number of full-time NFL minority coaches, all 32 NFL Clubs participate in the program on an annual basis. Specific aspects of the program (including hiring, salary and coaching duties) are administered on a Club-by-Club basis.  No elements of the Fellowship are mandated to the Clubs by the League office, but several “best practices” have been strongly recommended to the Club, including: Participants are hired for the duration of training camp, including all pre-season games. Clubs are encouraged to hire a minimum of four (4) participants.

As part of the programs’ evolution, in 2012 the NFL announced the formation of the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship Advisory Council, comprised of a distinguished group of NFL coaches and general managers.

“I believe this was the best possible organization for me to land an internship with because of the youth on their roster and the experience of the coaching staff, said Wilson. “The Rams have one of the youngest rosters in the NFL, which for me was great because it reminded me of a college atmosphere at practice and in meetings.  I was also afforded the opportunity to meet with the Pro and College scouting department.  This was great because it gave me the opportunity to confirm that what we are teaching and telling our student-athletes at Bowie State University is in line with what’s being taught at the highest level.  We are very fortunate with graduating our players and to have two players from BSU in the last four years remain on NFL rosters.  In order to continue to prepare our players for the possible opportunity to play at the highest level, I believe that my coaching staff and I must take advantage of every opportunity that we receive to experience an internship like this one.”

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