On any NFL field, star quarterback Drew Brees is clearly in command; he can diagnose defenses, audibly change plays at the line of scrimmage and mobilize his players to where he needs them to be.
Trying to coach the flag football teams of his 5-, 7- and 9-year-old sons is a different matter.
"It’s like herding cats sometimes," Brees laughs. "All the parents around, they know what I’m talking about!"
Brees, who has an off-season home in San Diego, and Encinitas sports marketer Chris Stuart started a co-ed, no-contact flag football league called Football ‘N America that will be played at the Del Mar Polo Fields.
Brees created the league to give parents and their children a fun, safe option to tackle football.
Coaching the team of sons -- Baylen, Bowen and Callen -- has given the future Hall-of-Famer new respect for coaching. T
Watching practice, the younger players sometimes run in the wrong direction; other times Coach Brees patiently watches as his son Baylen and other teammates break into dance moves before completing a practice drill.
And then there is the task of keeping calm in front of the children if a game referee doesn’t make a great call.
"It’s the wide range of emotions," Brees says with a smile. "You have to develop patience and you are talking to a guy who is hyper-competitive. At times, you have to just get it in check and realize that this is all about having fun."
Football ‘N America started in Louisiana where Brees plays for the New Orleans Saints. By fall, the league will spread to three states with plans to take the league nationwide.