Three Ohio State defensive players interviewed at the NFL Combine said the Titans are getting a real fireball in secondary coach Kerry Coombs. But they’re also getting a good teacher, and coach, they said.
INDIANAPOLIS – Buckle up, Titans.Hurricane Kerry – new secondary coach Kerry Coombs – will bring some unmatched energy to practices in Tennessee.
At least that’s the forecast from three of his former pupils at Ohio State from the NFL Combine.
“Every day you might think it is off coffee, but it is just natural juice,” Ohio State linebacker Jerome Baker said of Coombs. “It really is unmatched. Every day he just brings it. You see a guy with so much juice, you can’t help but feed off of it. So it is definitely going to help the Titans. He is definitely a good one.”
And this from Ohio State defensive lineman Jalyn Holmes:
“He is that coach who doesn’t wear sleeves when it is two degrees outside,” Holmes said. “He is real energetic, he is a man of faith and he helped me a lot. He brings a lot of energy no matter what day it is or how bad practice is going. Coach Coombs is the one who is going to bring the juice.”
Coombs was hired by head coach Mike Vrabel as the team’s secondary coach.An assistant at Ohio State from 2012-17, Coombs was promoted to the position of Assistant Coordinator/Defense by head coach Urban Meyer in June 2017. He also worked with the Ohio State cornerbacks and as special team’s coordinator. Vrabel and Coombs spent two years together at Ohio State.
“I love his energy, and his passion for the game,” Vrabel said of Coombs. “He’s a great teacher. He’s a great evaluator.”
During Coombs’ tenure at Ohio State, three cornerbacks were taken in the first round of the past two NFL Drafts.
Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley, both of his starting cornerbacks in 2016, were selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Lattimore went No. 11 to the New Orleans Saints and Conley went to Oakland with the 24th pick. Eli Apple was a first-round NFL Draft pick in 2016, taken with the 10th overall pick by the New York Giants. Another player, Bradley Roby, was a first-round NFL Draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2014.
Coombs said in an interview after being hired has no plans to change his approach with older, more mature players in the NFL.
“I love what I do, and I am passionate about it,” Coombs said. “I enjoy every minute of every day, and I don’t expect that to change. Guys have asked me: In the NFL are you going to coach differently? I don’t intend to coach a bit differently. I have learned that’s me, that’s who I am. And I believe that is what these players want and I think that is what they deserve.”
Ohio State defensive lineman Sam Hubbard thinks Coombs, who also coached at the University of Cincinnati and prior to that spent 24 years coaching at the high school level, will be a great fit in the NFL.
“He recruited me,” Hubbard said. “He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around. He brings a passion and love for the game that is infectious to everyone around him. He energizes just by his presence. I loved getting coached by him and I’m really excited he’s got an opportunity at the next level.
“I feel like if you’re a football player, you can’t not appreciate how he goes about his business. At the next level, he’ll be just as energized and passionate as he was in college.”