The information shared, and wisdom provided, is what stands out for New Orleans Saints receivers coach Ronald Curry.
Curry was one of three dozen coaches selected to participate in the third annual Quarterback Coaching Summit, sponsored by the NFL in partnership with the Black College Hall of Fame. And what the former high school and college quarterback, and NFL receiver, found was that the summit continues to be invaluable not just for young coaches, but, perhaps especially, for young Black coaches.
"You just understand that there's a lot of different ways to skin a cat," Curry said. "These guys, their journey to get to where they are today, just know that it's persistence. Especially when you're talking to young guys, that started like me in a quality control position, feel like you were ready and are getting passed over for position coaching jobs, and then finally getting one.
"A lot of these guys, that door was shut for them a long time and they were just ready for the moment and took advantage of it. They sat back, they learned, their ears were open and mouths were closed, and they were sponges and mastered their craft, continued to learn, continued to better themselves as coaches. Reaching out to players, changing with the times – everything as far as trying to become a good coach, these guys have done it, and they had to break down walls to do it.
"So it was positive, to sit back and listen to a lot of these guys present and talk about the commitment to a team, the commitment to others besides yourself, just worrying about your job and being the best at your job. You've got to worry about the now and prepare yourself for tomorrow."
Preparing for tomorrow also entails having patience. Curry, who's entering his second season as receivers coach, after serving two years as assistant receivers coach. He was a Saints offensive assistant in 2016, and was receivers coach for the 49ers in 2015 and an offensive assistant working with Niners receivers from 2013-14.
"It's great for young coaches to hear that it doesn't happen overnight," he said. "For a lot of guys, it's a marathon. I know there's a phase on hiring young coaches – (Rams coach Sean) McVay and those guys that seem like they had success overnight. But to see guys that are 50, 60 years old up here and just talking about their journey, how they started in college and how they got to quality control coach.
"And they were in that position six, seven, eight years and they were finally able to crack the door open and once they got the job, they were more than prepared. I think when you're young and you're in your first and second year – you see all the hires. Even on your staff, when someone gets hired on your staff and you feel like you were ready for it and you don't get it, you feel a certain kind of way.
"But it was just, you're just preparing yourself and see all the work that a lot of these guys put in and continue to put in, it just gives you that extra motivation when those times come up to where you feel like you're not getting hired for whatever reason. You just continue to put your head down, you work, you be accountable and you do what you've got to, and you feel like eventually, that door will open."
Curry said this year's summit, which was conducted virtually June 22-23, shifted more toward speaking about various experiences and coaching points, as opposed to last year when the emphasis more was on various systems that teams use.
"This time, it was really (about) building your foundation, teamwork, holding guys accountable, the lessons you've learned coaching, how to build an offense, how to communicate with the coordinator, if you're the coordinator how to communicate with the head coach, if you're the head coach how do you communicate with your players and coaches," he said.
"So it was really built on how you communicate and how you build and how you hold guys accountable, how you build for success and how you work through handling success. It took on a different tone – this one was more on being able to really relate and learn and when you're learning, how do you bring something you learn from over there and present it to the Saint coaches and put it in a way that it makes sense to all of us."
From that standpoint, Curry said, the conversation wasn't about reinventing the wheel. More, it was about using the parts that already are available.
"I wouldn't say it was new information," he said. "I would say it's information that's been tried and tested, and now is being delivered as far as guys trying to help other guys get into different positions.
"I think that when it comes to the hiring process, depending on what level you are – I haven't reached the level of trying to interview for a head coach, which a lot of that talk was, or a coordinator. But when you're going in for an interview for a position, it's totally different. You do have to be a good communicator, and I think as a head coach you have to be a good communicator, and you also have to be able run the team and make tough decisions and take on tough conversations.
"Being able to communicate with your players, diving into their lives, knowing that you've got to get to know these guys and once you get to know these guys, they'll do whatever it takes for you. And at the assistant role, that's kind of what it's all about because you deal with these guys more that the head coach, more than the coordinator, more than the owner. So just handling your position, a lot of guys just talked about that, just handling your position and doing your job. When you're interviewing, you've got to interview for that job, knowing that's what you're trying to do and that's what you're bringing."