Eddie George’s advice to NFL rookies: ‘Begin this journey with the end in mind’

Eddie George wants young players to appreciate the moment, but also look to what is next after the NFL.

Four-time Pro Bowler Eddie George isn’t one to put his eggs in one basket, and he hopes that players entering the league take the same approach.

It’s not that George wants players to shirk their responsibilities on the field and take up basketweaving in the middle of the season, but having hobbies and passions outside of just being a professional football player will help once the game is over.

“Learn another skillset that is transferable, because football isn’t transferable to the regular work life,” George said to FanSided’s Mark Carman. “This is just a foundation and you have to use that foundation for greater purposes and a better enterprise that can be more lucrative and successful than your playing days. You can’t think of [football] as the end all be all.”

For George, who played a grueling nine years in the league, starting in 136 of 141 games throughout his career, having those interests outside of football helped him ease into his post-NFL career.

After finishing his career with over 10,000 rushing yards and being named to the College Football Hall of Fame, George is now exploring other avenues that are far from the gridiron. Since retiring, George has taken up an acting career, appearing in television shows and in movies.

Most recently George will share the screen with Lawrence Fishburne in Brother’s Keeper, a true story about the 2009 Abiliene High School football team and how they became unlikely state champions in Texas.

Although acting was never something that was on George’s mind during his playing days, it’s something that he hopes he can continue into his old age.

“This is a profession that if you’re lucky enough and good enough that you can do until you’re 90 years old,” George said. “There’s always a role for somebody and that’s why I chose to do it. I do it through theater, writing on television and I’m going to continue to do so.”

While George has put his playing days behind him, he still offers advice to younger players who seek him out asking for help in their careers. Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry has formed a bond with George through the advice George has given him on how to attack the game as a larger running back.

“[Derrick] reached out, asked me what I thought about his game and I was really honest with him and told him that he was running soft,” George said. “To be that big he needed to impose his will with his size. Maybe he can hit the home run with the speed, but being consistent in this league you have to impose your will on defenders.”

Henry definitely took that to heart, because in his third year in the league he rushed for over 1,000 yards and became a regular down back for the Titans, carrying more responsibility as the season went on.

Although George isn’t involved in the day-to-day of football anymore, you can still find him in Nashville appearing at Titans or Predators NHL games, or at the 2019 NFL Draft where, in a partnership with Tostitos, surprised a lucky fan with two VIP tickets to watch the draft live with him. George may be done playing the game, but he’s still very much engrained in the Nashville community.

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