Pretty good article on these guys. It had me sipping the Kool-Aid by the end of it. I get tired of all the doom and gloom here, so this article was refreshing:
Al Miller's mind never left the strength and conditioning field, and now his body is coming back.
Miller, who spent 21 seasons as an NFL strength and conditioning coach, accepted that position with the Oakland Raiders and will fly to Oakland on Wednesday.
Miller worked with the Denver Broncos (1985-92), the New York Giants (1993-96) and Atlanta Falcons (1997-05), and he interviewed with John Elway and the Broncos during the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., this past weekend.
But he heard then-Denver defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, whom he knew from his Atlanta days, could be getting a head coaching job.
"It's been really something," Miller said of the interview process. "I received a call from John Elway, who I coached for eight years, to come down to Mobile and interview.
"But (Allen) started interviewing for head coaching jobs ... and I called (Elway) back but he didn't answer. That's when Allen and I talked over an oyster dinner. He got a second interview with the Raiders and thought he would get the job, so he started recruiting me."
Allen accepted the Raiders' job the next day, and Miller said he decided on Oakland.
Miller, a member of the inaugural hall of fame class in USA Strength and Conditioning in 2003, left the profession after the 2005 season.
His wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in December of 2004, and he said he wanted to spend more time at home.
"Whatever time we had left together, our dreams and our plans, had to be done at a fast pace," Miller said. "We moved back to Monroe and did as much as we could ... I had to move her into Stony Brook in October so she gets the care she needs.
"I had never wanted to get out of it ... but now the good Lord opened the doors."
Miller, a Northeast Louisiana University graduate, volunteered with ULM during his time back in Monroe. He hired ULM strength coach John Grieco as Oakland's assistant strength coach.
Grieco, who spent two seasons at ULM, said he enjoyed "talking shop" with Miller.
"He was a great resource for me, and when we got together, we would always try to figure out a better way to do things," Grieco said. "We are strength coaches at heart.
"I think what (ULM coach Todd Berry) and the staff has put together is phenomenal ... and there is no question where they are headed."
Miller has been part of four Super Bowl appearances, and he wants to help the Raiders return to that level.
"There's not a finer young man in football than (Dennis Allen) ... and I'm not saying that just because he's my boss." Miller said. "If you watch in the next 20 years, he will rise to be in that top group.
"Grieco also has a bright future. He has great communication with the kids and has a great passion for it. He also has a great work ethic and is an honest family man."