In my previous segment, I introduced the men that will be responsible for putting up points. This time we meet the lady and gentleman tasked with prevention of those pesky points. Coach Lewis has a defensive background. He was a DB for the Pitt Panthers and Green Bay Packers in the 80s. He has spent his coaching career teaching young men how to stop offenses from scoring. He knows what elite defenses are supposed to look like. He knows what he wants from his players and coaches alike.
The Defense will be coached by longtime Cincinnati Bearcats Head Coach Rick Minter. Coach Minter has spent more than a few years in the professional ranks with his most recent stint coming in Philadelphia from 2013-2016. His coaching tree includes the likes of Brian Kelly and Butch Jones. His aggressive style of defense will offer numerous pressures and opportunities to create turnovers. With the talent Birmingham offers up front he should be able to make things difficult for teams to game plan against. Stephen Meyer will be assisting him. Meyer was a defensive assistant with the Steelers this past season.
Getting those talented men up front into form will be taken care of by a weathered veteran and a young up and comer. Ray “Sugar Bear” Hamilton and Lori Locust are worlds apart in years coached but of like minds when it comes to performance. With numerous stops over the years in the NFL Coach Hamilton has produced several defensive lines to fear. Either with the Jets or Jaguars he has kept quarterbacks uncomfortable and tailbacks in check.
Coach Locust on the other hand just completed her first internship with the Ravens in the 2018 pre-season. As a coach in many semi-pro settings and Arena teams, she pushed the envelope for equality in the sport. Though the experience isn’t there, her understanding of the game and position is far beyond her years.
The Linebackers have yet another Wiley old vet in Ted Cottrell. As a head coach for the New York Sentinels in 2009, he learned how to handle pressure. He has spent ten years in the NFL as a DC for the Bills, Jets, Vikings, and Chargers. In fact, he met Coach Hamilton while with the Jets. This group of players may not be the most talented in the Alliance but can rely on experience and wisdom across the board to get the most out of them.
In charge of what many hope becomes a “No-Fly-Zone” with numerous former SEC stars is Defensive Backs, Coach Martin Bayless. As a DB for Bowling Green in the early 80s, he played his way into a 4th round draft pick by the St. Louis Cardinals(now in Arizona). Having spent most of his coaching career as an analyst and intern, he moved on to the NFLPA for a while before coming back to coaching as a minority intern for Arizona. Now he has his shot to prove his mettle and shut down his opponents passing games.
The Iron have many stories of opportunities and redemption from players to coaches alike. That’s what this Alliance is about. With just days until the flip of the first coin, fans, and doubters, players and coaches close in on history. The nature of that history has yet to be written. Whether through success or failure the Alliance will answer the “what-if?” Tune in Saturday, February 9th, 2019 on CBS to view your piece of history. Until then #ForgeOn