Dolphins wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson
Miami Dolphins wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson in his own words:
“The first five minutes of classroom time I spend with my guys every day is about life skills. How are we going to attack the day? What impact are we going to leave out there today? Let’s leave a mark. Let’s not just go out there to practice. We’re going out there to practice, and we’re practicing to get better.
“I hold these guys accountable. I want them to tap in to something they don’t think they have. My job is to make things so hard that they have to tap in to that inner man. I tell those guys, your body will give you more than you think but you have to ask for it. You’ve got more in you. You’re never out of the fight. Those things I learned from coach [Bill] Parcells.
“I tell you what, I’ve had some great coaches that I played for. Coach [Bobby] Ross in San Diego. Coach Parcells. Coach Parcells, it was a life-changing experience being coached by him. A lot of the things I do I do based around him.
“Everything I put into these kids, I conjure up some of the things he told me and some of the coaching points he used on us in tight situations during games or after games when we were feeling good about ourselves. He wanted people to get right back on their details. He would make the point, ‘Hey it’s not good enough. Keep raising the bar. Keep raising the bar.’
“I love all these guys. I want these guys to live their dream. If they want to make this team and be good and play in the NFL, good, so let’s work every day we come out here. There has to be a professionalism about how we attack stuff and detail stuff. My job is to get them so detailed that when they’re doing stuff, they don’t even know they’re doing it. It’s engrained in them.
“Walk in my classroom. The first thing up in my classroom is a sign with the words, ‘This is a diva-free room.’ We got a big sign. ‘This is a diva-free room.’ I got another sign that reads, ‘Check your feelings at the door.’ I need my players to care about the guy next to them more than they care about themselves. Then we’ll have a great group. You put your personal stuff aside. It’s all about team in this room.
“We ingrain that so much into them, I want them puking it.
“To whom much is given, much is required. So my job is to make sure my guys become a better man first. I focus on the man first. Once the man is right, then the player inside the man is free to come out and do what God has blessed him to do.
“These guys are going to go as I go. I’m going to go get it so I want my group to be go-getters. They’re going to be the first ones to storm the beach. When the ship is listing they got to right the ship. So I put a lot of pressure on those guys so when we get to the game, there’s no pressure. What we want to do as a receiving group is apply pressure. We never want to feel pressure. You want to apply it.
“We want guys that attack, attack, attack!
“We’re ahead of where we should be right now. I love it. But the way we teach is we’re the ones that storm the beach first. Give it to us. We can handle it. We want to be the group the onus falls on. It falls on us. That’s what receivers are supposed to do. There’s two ways we can affect a game — by catching passes downfield and blocking our [butts] off in that run game. So I’m more a stickler on that than anything because blocking is about wanting to.
“Jarvis Landry, now he has the passion. He has the drive. His practice habits are unbelievable. And what I want out of him, he’s doing. He’s taking a leadership role. He’s leading by example. He’s unbelievable. It’s awesome when a guy like that comes out and sets the standard. It makes my job a lot easier.
“He’s a star player. When a star player is also your best worker, you don’t really have to say much.
“DeVante Parker is an unbelievable talent. Unbelievable talent. I got to get him to where he’s 100 percent healthy. And part of it is me teaching him the routine of how to do things. Get a good breakfast. Hydrate. We got a system in place now that I think is going to pay big dividends for him down the road. And that’s important because we need him.
“Last year Kenny Stills came to a different offense, now all of sudden this year he’s in another offense again. What he’s been doing this offseason, ever since I got this job in January, he’s been the first one to come into the office, the last one to leave. And I’m telling you on the field he’s taken a leadership role, too, especially the young guys.
“The rest of that room, Leonte Carroo has played in four high school championships so he knows what winning is all about. Jakeem Grant is ultra explosive. A.J. Cruz, Matt Hazel, Brandon Shippen, Griff Whalen, Rashawn Scott … you ask me who are the game breakers? The whole group. The whole group.
“If somebody goes down, somebody has to step up. That’s just the way I coach … I got a good group, man. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. The only thing that worries me is how do I get all those guys playing time. That’s the only thing that worries me.
“At the end of the season we’ll be the hardest-working receiver group in the league. People will say we were the most competitive receiver group in the league.”