SAN DIEGO — The made-for-Hollywood story of Eric Weddle reaches its conclusion Sunday when his Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.
It’s amazing to think the Rams safety gets to play in his first Super Bowl considering that five weeks ago, the 37-year-old former Charger was driving carpool for his four kids in Poway in the second year of his retirement from the NFL and coaching youth football.
Now those kids who played for Coach Weddle will watch him play in the biggest game of the year.
“When he first arrived, he was treating all these 12-year-olds like they were adults,” 12&U Rancho Bernardo Broncos football coach Don Jorgenson said. “Me and some of the other coaches had to have a lot of talks with him. ‘Hey, ease it up. They’re 12-year-olds.'”
From playing in the NFL to coaching kids on the gridiron, the transition doesn’t sound like it would be easy for anybody. But Weddle found a way to do it.
“With all that experience, he had so much to give,” player Luke Jorgenson said. “He really expected a lot out of us. I didn’t know we could be that good. He just expected a lot of us and in return, we just gave him the best we could.”
“He brought in this playbook that was straight from the NFL,” Don Jorgenson said. “Our offensive plays, our defensive plays and, you know — I’m not as experienced as some of the other coaches, but they were all saying, ‘This is never gonna work. Never gonna work.’ He proved everyone wrong.”
Rumor has it, Weddle had hundreds of plays set up for his team, staying up late into the night in an effort to get things right for these Broncos. And it paid off, bringing home his first-ever championship ring.
“When we played our last game, he gave a little speech and then he told everyone that that was his first ring,” Luke Jorgenson said. “It made me really happy that I was on his first ring football team.
“Now seeing that he’s going to the Super Bowl and he can get a really cool diamond ring, that’s just so exciting.”
While Weddle never gave his team any hint he’d be returning to the NFL, they’re now ready to be his biggest cheerleaders.”
“We watched him and kind of got all crazy when they won that first playoff game,” player Blake Jurges said. “I think it was great to just see him back out there.”
“Not only is it good for him personally because he gets to achieve his ultimate goal he never got to achieve, he spent the year in the community,” Don Jorgenson said. “The entire community now can rally around their coach and their guy. It’s just really exciting for him and his family, the community, all these kids out here.”
Luke Jorgenson also had some words of advice for Coach Weddle: “Go get ’em. Be great.”