Rock Gullickson reflects on good, bad of NFL

"Cutdown Day" is a trying time for professional athletes. See what Rock Gullickson said about being done with that aspect of his career as a strength and conditioning coach.

Rock Gullickson estimates the number at 140,000.

That's snaps in 7-on-7 action, drillwork and practices that the strength and conditioning coach took part in instead of standing around amidst 14 years working in the National Football League.

“I think I had two that weren’t very good,” Gullickson said.

Of the 30 or so pro quarterbacks Gullickson snapped for, Hall of Famer Brett Favre is the most well known. "After every practice Brett said, 'Thanks.'"

Those were the good times. "Cutdown Day" was a different story altogether.

As coaching staffs and front offices trim their rosters in July, August and September to get to the 53-man cap, dozens of conversations have to take place — many signaling the end of a love affair with football.

Gullickson, who Tennessee officially named Tuesday as its director of strength and conditioning, was tasked with showing players the end of the line, informing them that it was time to meet with coaches and personnel about their time with the Los Angeles Rams coming to an end.

“I’m glad to be done with it,” Gullickson told InsideTennessee. “I think the philosophy was that, ‘Who knows the kids better than the strength coach?’ We spend more time with the guys than anybody else and we know the whole team. So, who better to go up to a young man and say, ‘We need to go see coach.’ And the emotions ran the gamut. Some of the guys knew. ‘It’s been great…appreciate it…it’s been fun…hope to see you again.’ And that type of thing. Whereas other kids broke down on the way to see coach that this is the end of the road and you try to explain to them that the NFL is a very small fraternity and perhaps with the good work that they’ve done with the Rams, perhaps they had a chance with another team and not to give up on that dream.”

Hear more from Gullickson regarding his time in the NFL by watching the InsideTennessee video above.


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