You might have seen the story on the Arizona Cardinals team site on safety Rashad Johnson and his desire to coach after his NFL career is over. It makes sense. He is the guy his teammates go to for information about schemes, formations, plays and responsibilities.
Before reading too far into the article, I thought of a comparison to a current coach -- Todd Bowles. Bruce Arians knew from the time Bowles was at Temple he would be a coach one day. He was talented, but he was one of the smartest players he ever coached. Bowles played safety.
Johnson, like Bowles, is extremely smart on the football field. Alabama head coach once called Johnson the smartest player he ever coached. He sees what plays are coming before they happen.
However, as noted in the article, Johnson seems to be leaning towards the high school level, where he can also make an impact on players' lives as young men becoming men.
Very notable is one quote -- it shows how self aware he is. He knows what he offers is special on the field -- every bit as special as the athleticism and sheer talent Patrick Peterson has. He refers to himself as a special player, just in a different way.
"It's something that makes me who I am," Johnson said. "It makes me that special player that's vital even if he's not a Patrick Peterson-type of athlete. Vital because he can help the defense as a whole because he knows the plays. He can help everyone play faster."
Johnson as a Todd Bowles-type coach makes sense, no matter the level he does it.
Johnson is intelligent, he is a good player, he coaches on the field and he has the moral principles to make an impact on players beyond the football field.
While we don't know how much longer Johnson has in the league, it wouldn't be at all surprising to see him on the sideline coaching in the future.