There's no question that former Detroit Lions RB Barry Sanders is the greatest player in NFL history at the position that we've ever seen. Purely worth the price of admission, he'd bring fans out of their seats every week with spectacular runs that would embarrass opposing defenses.
And one player who had a first-class ticket to witness the many accolades that Sanders accomplished on the field for the first four years of his NFL career was none other than Ron Rivers.
“Barry was one of the best at it,” Rivers said. “Guys were always asking, ‘Hey, you made this cut, how’d you see it?’ To be honest with you, he pre-read it, so he had an idea that that might happen, so it wasn’t a shocker to him when he got to it.”
And now, Rivers' son Ronnie is following in the family business at Fresno State, having already broken the previous school record of 45 touchdowns in a season. And father Ron helped son Ronnie by showing him footage of Sanders - certainly the ideal candidate to learn from.
“I remember me talking to them in the front room, putting the tape on for the youth game before and I’m like, ‘Hey, why did you go here?’” Rivers said this week. “He’s like, ‘I don’t know?’ I go, ‘What do you mean, I don’t know? That’s not an answer.’ He said, ‘I don’t know Dad. I just got the ball and ran there.’ I go, ‘Well, it was a good run, but you got to know why you did that. There’s a lot of guys that can do it but to make it to the next level, you got to know why you did that.’
“And so we would go over why we did that and what he’s looking for.”
The younger Rivers, who is projected to be a Day 3 selection in this year's NFL Draft, attested to how well the preparation with his dad helped him to the position that he's currently in.
“It was definitely a big help with my development as a player,” Rivers said Thursday at the NFL combine. “All throughout youth and high school he’s always been there coaching me, so I think it’s helped a lot.”
- - Quotes via The Detroit Free Press Link - -