WRs quick to soak up Kirksey’s knowledge
SEATTLE – Ask any of the receivers on the Dragons’ roster about their position coach and they start running through Larry Kirksey’s resume.
“Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, Andre Johnson, those guys are the Mount Rushmore of receivers, so a lot of respect is commanded by that track record,” Keenan Reynolds said.
Over the course of 17 NFL seasons, Kirksey worked with some of the best to ever play the game during his time with the 49ers, Lions, Jaguars, Broncos and Texans.
“I’ve been very blessed and fortunate to coach Jerry and T.O., John Taylor and Andre Johnson,” Kirksey said. “DeAndre Hopkins, I had him his rookie year. I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of great football players. It’s been awesome.”
After spending most of his career working with legends, the obvious questions is – what separates stars like Rice and Johnson from others.
“They were all great competitors, fierce competitors and their work ethics were second to none,” Kirksey said.
Now sharing his expertise with the Dragons as they prepare for their inaugural season, Kirksey has been impressed with the group he is working with in Seattle so far.
“The group is good,” he said. “I tell you what, I love their work ethic, great attitude. They come out and they prepare and try to get better every day. That’s been really exciting.”
For the Dragons to be successful, it starts with a willingness to work. So far, so good.
“I’ve been surprised by the energy and the will to work,” Kirksey said. “That’s where it starts. You have to be willing to work. There’s a learning curve to start with, but at the same time, it’s football and I’m pleased with their work ethic, where they are right now.”
For players embracing a second chance to play professional football, getting to work with Kirksey is a special opportunity.
“I’m absorbing everything that he’s teaching me and I’m definitely becoming a better football player every day,” said Reuben Mwehla, a Bellevue High School product who played college football at Idaho.
Kasen Williams added, “I love working with Kirksey. You can tell he’s been around a lot of great receivers. I just want to soak up as much information from him as possible.”
For Kirksey and the Dragons, this is an opportunity to teach, learn and have a little fun along the way. The only expectation is to come to each practice with a will to catch the ball and a desire to work.
“That’s what it’s all about,” Kirksey said.
When asked how Kirksey has helped him so far, Reynolds said his position coach is working with him to “look at the game differently.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of having several different receiver coaches in my career and he’s finding new things for me to work on,” Reynolds said. “I think it’s great, stuff I never even really thought of that I needed to work on. He’s picking it out, showing me that, if you work on this, work on that, you can be so much better.”