When the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) launches next month,
it will serve as an unofficial developmental league for the NFL. It
will give players who have been released from NFL clubs an opportunity
to play a six-game season which could potentially be a bridge to their
return to the NFL.
But the FXFL isn’t just a league of opportunity for players. It’s
also a chance for coaches to make a name for themselves. Locally, the Brooklyn Bolts have assembled a coaching staff that will feature a few familiar names to local football fans.
The Bolts have named former Jets offensive lineman John Bock as their
head coach. Bock played six seasons in the NFL for the Jets and
Dolphins after playing college football at Louisville and Indiana State.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am,” said Bock. “It’s a chance to go
back and coach professionally, and at the same time I really went out
and found some good coaches that really deserve a chance to be noticed.
It’s an opportunity of a lifetime.”
After retiring as a player, Bock entered the world of coaching when
he was hired by Howard Schnellenberger to be the offensive-line coach at
Florida Atlantic University. After three seasons, Bock left coaching
to raise his family.
Bock stayed active in football by coaching in nine college All-Star
Games and winning seven of them. He also coached youth football for the
last six or seven years, while also guiding a very successful Pop
Warner team which lost just three games in two years.
“I kept my hand in the game, but at the same time I just wanted to raise my family,” said Bock.
At one point, Bock turned down a coaching opportunity with the
Oakland Raiders so that he could spend more time with his family. Then,
last year, he was coaching in a college bowl game when he was noticed
by the FXFL.
“The people that are running the FXFL really liked what I did,” said Bock, who was officially named the Brooklyn Bolts’ head coach last week.
Bock has brought in two of his former Jets teammates as assistant
coaches. Former Jets first-round pick Marvin Jones will serve as
linebackers coach and former Jets starting right tackle James Brown will
serve as offensive-line coach.
Jones has put off coaching for many years, but decided that it was time to return to the game that he loves.
“It’s in my blood, I guess,” said Jones, who was taken by the Jets
with the fourth overall pick in 1993. “I just felt the need to go where
my heart has been.”
Ironically, Jones was attending the Jets-Raiders game at MetLife Stadium last week when he got the call from Bock about the job.
It didn’t take him long to give Bock an answer.
“I guess after being at a Jets game and feeling the energy and how
New Yorkers are great folks, I said yes,” said Jones, who played all
11 of his NFL seasons with the Jets.
Jones played in 142 regular-season games, racking up 1,021 tackles.