It’s about life lessons and sacrifice as well as football for Maryland Sting and Baltimore Mariner coach Ron Meehan. And it doesn’t matter if he’s working with players from Pop Warner, high school, college or semi-professional football, he expects “every ounce of energy” they have. Every ounce.
He has worked with players at all levels and in more than just football. Last year he coached his daughter in AAU basketball. And Meehan’s experience on the field transcends the whistle and clipboard. He has been a player at many levels as well. In fact, Meehan was an All-American quarterback at Towson University.
He has an unbelievable story about his first experience in professional football. He was an NFL prospect being looked at by the Oakland Raiders and the Baltimore Colts.
Meehan wound up in Oakland and it didn’t end well. “I was the last cut in 1981. At 11:45 I got a tap on my shoulder, 15- minutes before you make full roster.” Meehan said, noting that the Raiders chose to keep an extra wide receiver instead of an extra quarterback, “I made it through the night.” So he thought he was safe. “But,” he added “I went a lot of further than whole lot of guys.”
Meehan likes to root for the Raiders, even though his favorite team is the Baltimore Ravens. (Brendon Ireton!) His football days were not over after that fateful tap. He played approximately 17 years of semi-pro ball and won a national title with the Frederick Falcons (CIFL).
Meehan has turned his love for the gridiron into an even greater calling, teaching. He went back to his alma mater and coached with his all-time favorite coach, Phil Albert. Why is Albert his favorite? “His motivational ability and trust and love for his players.” Occassionally, Meehan and Albert are in contact with each other.
As a coach, Meehan knows that the ultimate goal is to get players to perform to the best of their abilities. “If the coach likes to run sweeps and the player doesn’t,” how far is that going to take the team?
This was one thing that Meehan enjoyed watching with the Ravens this past season in rookie quarterback Joe Flacco and new offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron. “He did [an] excellent job with Flacco, managed the game didn’t ask Flacco to do anything out of character. Good coaches like him will use the weapons they have to take them to the next level.”
But still this Perry Hall coach knows there can be a fine line between having control and getting played. It is his job to “have control and make them believe in you. If you can get guys believeing in you and the system, I mean- and [the system] works, they’ll do anything for you.”
It appears that this All-American QB has a soft spot in his heart for other quarterbacks. Not only is he a natural fit as the quarterback coach for the Sting and Mariners but his favorite player is Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath. Namath played for the New York Jets. According to Meehan, “he never threw a pretty ball, he just won the big game. You know it’s tough playing in New York. He could’ve been the goat or the hero and I liked his style.”
So let’s talk style then, skill too. Would Meehan rather have a player with heart or a player with pure, raw talent to coach? “I’d rather have a kid with heart and drive and will. I think a lot of times, the more talent the individual has the more he has to be passified. Look at New York, it’s tough up there with the Yankees,” he said.
That’s right, he is also an Orioles fan. A homer to the core. However, he did note that he likes to root for the Cubs also, “it’s a growing up thing” and/or a Wrigley Field thing something he didn’t really put his finger on.
Meehan is a man on the go. He has six kids and three grandchildren. In addition to coaching the Sting and the Mariners he is a high-school basketball referee and maintains the same workout schedule as he always has. That’s right, same routine as he did back in his playing days! Sweet.
No wonder he demands every ounce! That’d be almost equal to what he gives.
For more information on the Maryland Sting visit there website here.
To check out the Baltimore Mariners schedule go here.