Outside linebackers coach Jason Tarver usually works with the gunners on punt team during the special teams portions of practice. Tarver will hold a blocking pad, playing the role of the opposing jammer as the gunners try to release off the line of scrimmage.
Tarver gave way though to a “special guest” as head coach Mike Singletary walked over and picked up the blocking pad to the chagrin of the gunners.
“I was scared to death,” said cornerback Shawntae Spencer. “His eyes got big with the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and everything. I’m like, ‘It’s Mike Singletary!’ And he was serious too.”
Singletary was definitely making the players work hard. In fact, some of the gunners started joking with their coach for hitting them after they were already out of bounds. During a game, such a play would result in a penalty.
“I think he hit me a little late,” said wide receiver Jason Hill. “A couple of times I was out of bounds and he hit me a little late. I told him, ‘I’m going to have to talk to the refs about that one.’”
The players don’t usually go one-on-one with their coach, so some of the players tried to take advantage of the situation. With Singletary shading towards the outside to prevent a good outside release, Spencer stepped outside before cutting back to the middle untouched, faking out his coach.
Regardless of the friendly competition or the penalties that went unnoticed (there were zero refereed on the field), the gunners enjoyed the spirited session.
“I’ll tell you what, he really got us going today,” Spencer said. It was a very, very funny moment. It was one of the funniest moments of this season. He just really showed his lighter side at the same time he gave us a good workout. He showed us that he still likes to hit!”
For Hill, it was a great opportunity to go up against one of the game’s all-time greats.
“That’s a dream come true to line up against him,” Hill said. “I’ll remember this day. Hopefully when it’s all said and done we’ll look back on it and laugh and say that he got us better.”
Tags: Jason Hill, Jason Tarver, Shawntae Spencer
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