Advertisement
  1. Sports

Female coach blazing a trail

Jen Welter will be with the Cardinals in training camp.
Jen Welter will be with the Cardinals in training camp.
Published Jul. 29, 2015

TEMPE, Ariz. — Jen Welter accepts the title of trailblazer, embraces the chance to be a role model for girls and, most of all, can't wait to get beyond the hype and on to work when the Cardinals open training camp this weekend.

It's only a six-week internship coaching inside linebackers, through training camp and the four preseason games. Nonetheless, it marks a barrier broken for women in sports.

Welter said she never dared entertain the thought of coaching in the NFL.

"I didn't even dream that it was possible," she said Tuesday. "I think the beauty of this is that, though it's a dream I never could have had, now it's a dream other girls can grow up and have. So I guess if that makes me a trailblazer, then."

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians finished her sentence.

"She's a trailblazer," he said.

Team president Michael Bidwill said the move has enthusiastic support within an organization long known for hiring minorities for management positions.

Welter has a PhD in psychology as well as a season as a player on a men's team, the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League.

There are a lot of people who are better than her at the X's and O's of football, she said, "but the heart factor, the intelligent player factor, the being-the-person-with-the-motor-who-won't-quit factor, those are things I know I can add to."

Freeman rejoins Dolphins: Former Bucs starting quarterback Josh Freeman re-signed with the Dolphins four days after they released him. The moves involved a contractual issue. Freeman re-joined Miami two days before camp opens. The 2009 first-round draft by Tampa Bay, released by the Bucs early in the 2013 season, has 60 career starts and last played an NFL game in October 2013.

Chiefs: Defensive tackle Dontari Poe will miss training camp and perhaps part of the season after the Pro Bowl run-stuffer had surgery last week on his back. Poe was first hurt in offseason workouts, but coach Andy Reid said Tuesday that he aggravated the injury training at home. Poe was diagnosed with a herniated disc and had surgery July 15.

Cowboys: Ryan Williams, a possible replacement for departed rushing champion DeMarco Murray, was released. Williams, 25, was a second-round pick by Arizona in 2011 but has appeared in just five games because of knee and shoulder injuries. He missed most of this offseason with knee problems. … Owner Jerry Jones had left hip replacement surgery last week but plans to be with the team when training camp starts today in California.

Packers: President Mark Murphy said the team won't sell the naming rights to Lambeau Field under his watch. He made his remarks during the franchise's annual shareholders meeting. The Packers are the NFL's only publicly-owned team. More than 5 million shares are owned by roughly 360,000 shareholders.

Saints: The team released Brodrick Bunkley, a former Chamberlain High and Florida State standout, citing a failed physical. New Orleans also put receiver Marques Colston, safety Jairus Byrd and defensive lineman Glenn Foster on the physically-unable-to-perform list. The 6-foot-2, 306-pound Bunkley has spent three seasons in New Orleans, starting all but two of his 38 games played.