10 Current NFL Players Who Could Make Great Coaches

Philip Rivers is one of many players who can transition to a different role on the sidelines

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers was recently named head coach of St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama. Rivers, who signed a one-year deal with the Colts after 16 seasons with the Chargers, will not begin his new role until his NFL career is over.

 

Given his lengthy NFL career that's included eight Pro Bowls, one would imagine that Rivers has a great deal of wisdom to impart on younger players. Here are 10 other current players (in alphabetical order) who could make great coaches.

 

Sam Acho, LB, Free Agent

Acho is a nine-year veteran who played for Tampa Bay last season. He has an MBA and is fluent in English, Spanish, and Igbo. His brainpower would benefit any NFL front office or coaching staff.

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Miami Dolphins

The Harvard graduate is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass for eight teams, meaning he has experienced all types of locker room environments and offensive and defensive schemes.

 

Blaine Gabbert, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Gabbert was Academic All-Big 12 when he was at Missouri and has spent much of his NFL career as a backup on five different teams. Many head coaches and offensive coordinators have had similar journeys.

 

Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots

Gilmore is arguably the best cornerback that Bill Belichick has ever coached. Perhaps he could be another successful member of his coaching tree too.

 

Frank Gore, RB, New York Jets

Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy designed the team's current offensive attack that has scorched defenses and his on-the-field training came partly from playing running back for nine seasons in the league. One has to wonder if Gore, third all-time in rushing yards, could follow in similar footsteps given his extensive experience finding openings in defenses.

 

Dont'a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots

Hightower has mastered his position to the point where he can play both middle and outside linebacker. The coaches he has learned from in his time at Alabama and with the Patriots include Nick Saban, Kirby Smart, Pepper Johnson, Brian Flores, and Bill Belichick.

 

Richard Sherman, CB, San Francisco 49ers

Sherman elevated both the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks secondaries with his film work and ability to cover the top receivers in the game. And just ask Erin Andrews if he knows how to fire up a team.

 

 

J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

If you watch this "Saturday Night Live" spoof of "Rudy," you can see that he clearly has the personality for it and Watt's on-the-field achievements are a testament to his understanding of the game.

 

 

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson is 5-foot-11 and is one of only two quarterbacks with a career passer rating higher than 100 (Aaron Rodgers is the other). The only way those two numbers jive is because of his innate ability to break down defenses.

 

Jason Witten, TE, Las Vegas Raiders

So, the "Monday Night Football" booth did not work out during Witten's first retirement, but he has demonstrated exceptional leadership throughout his career. He could easily transition from the broadcast booth to the coaches' meeting room.

 

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.

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