Although the players are still officially off until training camp Dre Bly, accompanied by his 4 year-old son Jordan, attended the NFL Junior Player Development Camp in Broomfield, Colorado last Friday. Braving the heat, Bly was given a quick ‘tour’ of the camp by volunteer coaches John Ayers and Wayne Voorhees and then gathered up all 180 youth football players to participate in a Q & A session with him. The only two questions that Bly said were off limits? How much money does he make and what kinds of cars does he drive. He told the kids he was sure they could come up with better questions that that. And they did.
Ignoring the scorching sun, the kids and Bly spoke for nearly 30 minutes about his childhood, his dreams, his favorite NFL players and how he achieved his goal of playing in the NFL. As rewarding as that session was, the real fun began when the players got back to practicing and Bly became their biggest cheerleader. Offering advice and yelling words of encouragement as he ran from group to group watching them play–it was very evident this is a game and a passion for Bly and he was very at home with these kids who also love football.
As he and Jordan headed out to their car, one youngster named Guy Johnson from the Denver Broncos Boys and Girls Club branch in Montbello ran up to Bly and asked him how big he had been at age 12. Johnson explained he has been constantly told how small he was and it wouldn’t be likely he would have the size for the NFL.
Bly (our roster lists him as just 5’10”) smiled and put his hand on Johnson’s shoulder and knowingly said, “The best thing about being small is you can be so much faster than the other, bigger guys. Don’t worry about what people say you can’t do. Worry about what you know you can do.”
Johnson smiled and sprinted as fast as he could back to his teammates on the field and Bly continued on his way home with his son. Here’s hoping Guy Johnson takes Dre Bly’s encouraging words to heart and is able to someday achieve all of the goals he sets for himself.