From the Professional Ranks to the Media: An E-mail Interview with NFL Analyst Field Yates
He played college football, was part of both the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs’ coaching staff and is now in the media as a writer cover the Patriots and NFL for ESPNBoston.com and ESPN.
Yates is someone that knows the game of football inside and out, works incredibly hard to convey that to his readers and is also someone who uses the experience he has in the league to cover the game in a unique way.
Yates was kind enough to take time out of his hectic schedule to tell us about how he got into football, how he got into the coaching side of the game, how he transitioned to the media side as well as this thoughts on the current season.
PH: How did you get into the game of football?
FY: I grew up around the game, playing it from a young age and craving to learn more about it for as long as I can remember. I went on to play at the college level for Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where I was a safety.
My family doesn't have an extensive history of playing the game, though I can't remember ever not wanting to play football and eventually work in it. My first team was a Pop Warner league composed of other children my age in surrounding towns. I can remember my first season very vividly!
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team? How about favorite player?
FY: Growing up, I followed the Patriots closely because I am a native of Massachusetts, but I did not have a favorite team that I consistently rooted for. As it turns out, the team I followed closest was actually Ohio State, due to my mother's roots in Columbus, Ohio.
Because of my affinity for the Buckeyes, who my grandfather was a longtime season ticket holder of, I always enjoyed watching running back Eddie George and offensive tackle Orlando Pace, one of the finest offensive linemen of my lifetime.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to work in the game of football?
FY: I suppose I can't pinpoint a specific moment, but I have always wanted to work in football. I don't recall wanting to follow any other career path -- fireman, teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc. -- like some of my friends.
It was always the opportunity to work in football, and while it was clear pretty early on that playing in the NFL wasn't in my future, I developed a desire to coach in it at a young age.
PH: Tell us about your experience working with both the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs.
FY: I began interning for the Patriots before my senior year of high school, attending training camp that summer and each summer after that for several years. Essentially, my job was to learn the system -- how the team scouted, how the term phrased certain aspects of the playbook, formations, personnel, all the nitty gritty.