Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice was a guest on the XFL Weekly Podcast with Jay Nokes and Joe Scanlan. He currently works with the NFL Alumni Academy, which recently announced its partnership with the XFL.
Tice talks about how he got involved with Academy, becoming director of coaching development, and how the Academy is for players and coaches.
“What I tried to do at the NFL Alumni Academy is make sure that the program, the drills, the meetings, the film work, the corrections, and all the things that are done for the players by the coaches are done in a uniform manner, in a uniform manner that we’re being professional. We’re making sure these kids leave the NFL Alumni Academy better than they came in.”
He talks about the type of players the Academy is looking to train.
“We need players that are bubble players. We need players that just barely got cut. And for what reason? Give us the reason. Tell us the problem that you saw. We reach out to the position coaches… at least I and ask them, why did you guys cut him?
Why didn’t you keep him? Why did you keep the other guy? Then we really sit down with those players. We say, listen, I’m being told we got to get you better in this area. So what we try to do is get them better in the areas that caused them to be released and by the NFL team so we can get them back in the NFL.”
This is the third season of the Academy, and they are only looking at three positions. According to their data, running back, defensive lineman, and offensive lineman are the three positions with a high injury rate. That is the only position they cover in the Academy.
The players who are part of the Academy are only supposed to be there for three weeks to quickly move them to an NFL roster. If they are not on an NFL roster in three weeks, they can sign a contract with the XFL.
“So we’re going to get three weeks with these players. If we got the wrong players there and they’re not out of there in three weeks, they go to the next tier down… I love the XFL. I’m so happy that there are more job opportunities for football players… so the XFL then will sign this player to a contract… they didn’t get to the NFL, but now they’re going to be able to play any XFL, which I think is a great, great partnership.”
Tice also talks about the potential expansion of the Fritz Pollard Alliance to include something with the XFL. According to their website.
“The FPA exists to champion diversity in the National Football League (“NFL”) through education and providing its membership with resources that will help them succeed at every level of the game.”
He talks about the need for spring football to succeed, coaching the Minnesota Vikings, his Mike Tice Foundation, and more. Give the full episode a listen.
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