The defensive end also is thinking long term, specifically beyond his playing career, and that’s also been part of his offseason.
Fede is spending time at the University of Maryland these days working in their athletic department as part of the third annual NFLPA Externship.
“I just want to know the ins and outs of an athletic department because as a player I haven’t really been on that side of the scales because I’m always out there practicing and playing,” Fede said during an interview with The Finsiders. “I want to learn what else goes on to make the things that we do possible. I want to be a part of that when I’m done playing. I want to be able to figure out my role in that type of atmosphere. It’s just something that I’m trying to learn and it’s something that if I get to that experience, it’ll be something that can help me in the long run.”
Fede will spending the next couple of weeks in Maryland as part of the program, which allows selected players to gain business experience in the offseason.
A total of 26 players are working this offseason with 10 different organizations, ranging from the Arizona State and University of Maryland athletic departments, to Comcast SportsNet, to Panini and Under Armour.
Fede is one of two players working for the University of Maryland athletic department along with Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell.
Fede said his involvement in the program began with a conversation with Dolphins Director of Player Engagement Kaleb Thornhill.
“One day I went into Kaleb Thornhill’s office and we had like a little conversation and it ended up being like an hour about life, my future, what’s in store for the future,” Fede said. “He had mentioned that the NFLPA offers several programs during the offseason for us players to take advantage of to set up our future. Working with the University of Maryland athletic department was something I was more than interested in.
“It’s a field that I may want to get into when I’m done playing the game. I applied, sent in my resume and shortly after I was selected to be part of this program. I’ve been there for about a couple of days and I’m enjoying it. I’m learning from a lot of good people at the University of Maryland. It’s a blast right now and I look forward to being here for a couple more weeks.”
Fede’s visit to Maryland came after he spent some time in his native New York, where he saw family and friends while also finding time to work out.
Since the main focus of the offseason is to stay in shape, there are more workouts after his workdays at Maryland are done.
“I do my internship during the day and at the end of the day I start working out,” Fede said. “Football is always on my mind at the end of the day. Cam (Wake) went down last year unfortunately. I got to increase my role on the defense. Last year I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be, but I’m looking forward to coming back out strong this year bigger, better, faster, stronger, trying to help this team win. We all know that we have the talent in this locker room to get to the next level. We’ve just got to put it all together. That’s something that we’re all going to work on and I’m pretty sure everybody else on the roster is putting in work and grinding so we reach that ultimate level.”
Fede indicated he’s gotten some tips about the University of Maryland and its surroundings from former Dolphins defensive tackle and Maryland alum A.J. Francis, who’s at the school these days working on his master’s degree.
While he can appreciate the opportunity he’s getting this month, Fede wants it perfectly clear that Marist, his alma mater, always will come before Maryland.
“I’m a Red Fox till I die,” he said. “But I’m thankful to the University of Maryland for letting me use their facilities to work out and teaching me the ropes in the athletic department. But I’m always going to be a Marist Red Fox. That’s just how it’s going to go.”