News about the latest addition to the coaching staff at the world-famous Denver Broncos even crossed the Atlantic and made headlines here in Italy because their new special teams coach is Brock Olivo, former HC of the Italian national team and a great friend and supporter of American football in Italy. With help from the Broncos communications staff we contacted Brock recently to ask him a few questions, which he happily answered in his legendary good-natured way. Enjoy!
Everyone in Italy has great memories of your time here so we were thrilled to hear the news about your appointment to the Denver Broncos coaching staff. How are you getting on in this new adventure?
“So far, everything is going well. I like everyone I’ve met and I’m excited about working with this coaching staff and our roster. I’m looking forward to the Combine and the Draft!”.
Coaching special teams for an NFL team is tough and requires a great deal of organization. In Italy these units often don’t get the attention they need. Have you got any tips for Italian coaches to help them ensure their specialists get the best possible coaching?
“It’s like anything in life; if you make something a priority, it will receive the attention it needs. If coaches understand the importance of field position, they will make Special Teams a priority. I always tell coaches to consider a “one down” mindset, where they start gameplanning to make big plays on Special Teams. We’re talking about 25-35 plays a game; that is a lot of opportunities to make an impact on the result of a game”.
Having won the Qualifying Tournament in Lignano Sabbiadoro last September, Italy’s national team, the Blue Team, is playing Denmark in the European Championship Group A qualifier. Do you still keep up with what’s going on in Italian football? What do you think of this result?
“I do try to follow Italian football as much as I can. I have so many dear friends in the Italian football circle; former colleagues and players, so, I try to support them from afar. Regarding the Blue Team, I hope Italian football realizes how fortunate the movement is to have a leader like Davide Giuliano at the helm. He and his staff are very talented, organized and determined football coaches. Davide has raised the level of the national team to international prowess and I am certain he will have Italy ready to go against Denmark. FORZA BLUE!”
Another question: do you have any words for all the coaches with Italian roots working in the USA? How do you think they could help develop football in Italy?
“First, I think we Italian-American coaches need to become more aware of the simple fact that Football exists in Italy. Unfortunately, few people here in the U.S. know the sport is played outside of our borders. I am a strong believer in giving back to my roots – never forgetting about the sacrifices my Italian great-grandfather made to give our family the opportunity to grow up in the U.S. Which is why every time I return to Italy, I do clinics or camps without asking for money. Italian-American coaches could offer their time and knowledge in this capacity, while at the same time getting closer to their Italian roots. At the end of the day, it’s a question of awareness. As I continue to climb the coaching ranks, I will continue to be a dogged ambassador for football in Italy”.
You’ve just reached a major new milestone. As a coach, have you accomplished everything you dreamed of doing or do you still have any unfulfilled dreams?
“Honestly, my goals are more daily-oriented. I try to win the day, win the meeting, win the practice, etc. If you do that, before you know it, you’ll end up in a good place. If I think about it, I’m one step away from being a head coach in the NFL and that is exciting. Today, I’m gonna meet with my Special Teams staff… the only thing I’m thinking about is winning that meeting!”