If you weren’t coaching, what would you be doing right now?
Darren Krein: “I’d probably be a high school teacher. I’ve always enjoyed the fact that I still know and still talk to a lot of my high school coaches. I think that you can play a very positive role in kids’ lives in terms of setting them in the right direction. I’ve always thought that would be a good place for me. I think that coaching kind of leads into teaching. You look back at a lot of guys that have gone from teaching into coaching and there’s a lot of carryover. I’d like to go back to high school and not coach football but just teach weightlifting and give them a general understanding of what they should have and be able to do in order to be able to perform at a higher level and more than anything probably for injury prevention.”
What’s something you’ve learned about one of your players this past season?
Krein: “I didn’t know that
What’s the favorite part of your job?
Krein: “I just like the interaction with all the players on the team as opposed to just getting to work with just one position group. I think being able to be involved with all the guys and develop a relationship with them really is kind of different from Dan Campbell, who coaches three or four guys during the season, or Zac (Taylor), who coaches two or three. We coach them all. We know them all and we understand them probably better than a lot of the other coaches do because, let’s be honest, if you play defense you don’t necessarily know who the offensive coaches are and an offensive coach doesn’t necessarily know the personality of all the defensive players. That’s one of the things that I really enjoy about it is when we get down to 53 guys or even when we’re at 85 or 90 guys, I know each one of those guys and I know what motivates them, what they’re good at and what they’re not.”
What were your favorite team and player growing up?
Krein: “My favorite team obviously growing up in Denver was always the Broncos and I always enjoyed watching them. I always got disappointed, though, because we went to four Super Bowls and lost all four of them until they went in the ’90s again. My favorite players were like Randy Gradishar, Karl Mecklenburg, Rulon Jones and Dennis Smith and all those guys that were on that defense. I was always kind of more of a defense guy. I really liked John Elway, but I really kind of gravitated more towards the defensive guys.”
Which coach has had the biggest influence on your career?
Krein: “I’ll say that my high school track coach at Smokey Hill High School in Aurora, Colo., Mike Renes, would probably be a better example of somebody that I was around enough who played a big part in my career. I was playing baseball and football was kind of the thing I was going to do and I wasn’t getting as much out of baseball and he said, ‘Hey, why don’t you come run track.’ Ever since then I’ve always told high school athletes and college guys, ‘Hey, when you’re in college or when you’re high school, if you’re not doing anything in the spring go run track.’ The fundamentals behind running can always be taught and always be amenable to help yourself be faster and you’re always going to have to run in every sport you play, so why not do that type of stuff? It helps to drill over and over with the arms and the hands and the eyes and I still talk to him. He’s a good guy.”