Q&A with Coach Mike Teel

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Former Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel is back home to work with the Kyle Flood offense as a graduate assistant. The former Seattle Seahawk and 2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl MVP sat down with ScarletReport.com for a conversation about his return to Rutgers.

ScarletReport.com publisher Sam Hellman -- How are you liking the new job?

Graduate assistant Mike Teel -- “It’s doing what I love to do. It’s coaching football. It’s exciting to be coaching football, but it’s even more exciting to be back at Rutgers coaching football.”

SH -- What did you miss more do you think – Rutgers or coaching?

MT: -- “Coaching. I wanted to be a coach wherever it was going to be. I wanted to coach football. I was extremely fortunate that it worked out in a way that I was able to do it right here for now. It’s exciting to be back here. It’s exciting to be coaching football.”

SH -- How did you react to the phone call when coach [Kyle] Flood asks you to come back?

MT: -- “It was exciting. I had some conversations with him throughout the past about coaching and about coming back here. It just kind of seemed like the time was never right for whatever reason on either side. When I left Wall Street, he was one of the first guys I called to really ask for advice. Coach, how do I go about it? What do I do? What do I need to have ready? Ultimately, I came down and got to talk to him in his office for a little bit and he offered me a position. When he offered me a position, I said ‘let’s go.’ I started that day.”

SH -- Outside of Rutgers, who else do you look to for coaching advice?

MT: -- “I talk to coach [Greg] Schiano obviously. That’s probably the token – your old head coach. He’s been a great head coach. He’s helped me a ton. I think the coach that I’ve stayed the closest with from my time since I’ve left here is [Tennessee Titans quarterback coach] John McNulty. He’s always been there to help me out, answer questions, make phone calls for me, whatever I needed. It’s neat because we had such a good relationship as player and coach. Now that I’m not playing for him anymore, we still have that good of a relationship.

“Then there’s guys I know from the NFL -- Greg Knapp, who was an offensive coordinator, quarterback coach for the Broncos now. Also Bill Lazor helped me. He’s the offensive coordinator for the Dolphins now. I’ve stayed in touch with all of those guys.”

SH -- Within the program, I would guess that Ben McDaniels and Ralph Friedgen have been pretty helpful for you.

MT: -- “Yeah definitely. I think working with those guys and working for those guys is great. In helping them with what they need, I learn. It’s been fun to learn from coach Friedgen because he’s one of the smartest football guys I’ve ever been around. I’m learning the receivers position from Ben because I’ve never been in a receiver room before. I’m learning the intricacies and the details of the position.”

SH -- What do you think about these receivers?

MT: -- “We have some very talented players. I think we have a young group, but they’re really talented. I think Leonte [Carroo] stacks up with any of the other receivers that I’ve ever played with or seen. He’s continued to get better, and he works really hard at his craft. All of the young guys have developed from the spring time to now. Andre Patton, Janarion Grant, Vance Matthews – there isn’t one guy that hasn’t gotten better. Andrew Turzilli is an older guy that brings a lot. It’s a fun room to be a part of.”

SH -- Are they tiring out the old arm in practices?

MT: -- “The first day, I was feeling it. I haven’t thrown a ball in a while. Now it’s back. I’m ready for whatever.”

SH -- How would you describe your relationship with Gary?

MT: -- “You know, I never really had a big relationship with him. I knew who he was because we played at the same high school. I worked out once or twice at Bosco when he was still there and I was playing. I never really got to know him. But I know plenty of guys that had been around him – Anthony and Nunzio Campanile, coach [Greg] Toal. Now that I’ve been able to be around him and talk to him, ask questions back and forth, it’s been fun to get to know him. From the stuff that I’ve read or might have thought, he’s serious about the game of football. He cares about it. He’s done a great job taking what coach Friedgen has given him. He’s grown a lot from the spring time.”

SH -- You’re a receivers coach, but what are you able to do with Gary?

MT: -- “I do whatever needs to be done. If it’s a question during a team period and coach Friedgen is out on the field, I’m there to answer it. If they have questions off the field and they want to come to the office and talk football, I’m there. Coach Friedgen runs the show with the quarterbacks and he’s done a great job with those guys. I’m always there to help in any way I can. If it’s with those guys, great.”

SH -- You can’t go off-campus in recruiting, but you do have a role and a lot of relationships in the state. How is it going?

MT: -- “It’s changed a lot. It’s a lot different than when I was in high school. You used to get a phone call once or twice a week and you’d get some hand-written letters. Now it’s a 24-hour job with social media and the Scout.com and the Rivals and ESPN. It’s a full-time job to find players and develop relationships with them. Ultimately it’s their decision, which is a little bit of the frustrating part. You don’t have control over that, but it’s fun developing relationships with young people. That’s why I’m coaching.”

SH -- Are you looking forward to taking the field in Seattle again?

MT: -- “I’m excited to go out there. I haven’t been out there since I got cut. I got cut on a Wednesday. I packed up my stuff. I got a call Thursday and got signed by New England. I got on a plane that Friday morning and I never came back. I left my apartment as it is. I’m excited to go back. I’m hoping to see some friends before the game and see the place where I spent a year and a half.”

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