Get Authentic with Marques Ogden
Get Authentic with Marques Ogden

Episode 22 · 1 month ago

Get Authentic with Marques Ogden - Elite episode # 2 Ken Anderson

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Marques sits down with Ken Anderson, former 3rd round draft choice to The Cincinnati Bengals, to talk about his authentic journey from being a 7th string QB his freshman year in college, to being inducted into The Bengals ring of honor in 2021!  This is an inspiring episode you will definitely want to listen to!

Yeah, hellow everyone, and welcome to elite episode number two of the get optick with Marcus show. I'm your host, Marcus Ogden, and on this episode, elite episode number two, we're joined by former Bengals quarterback Cincinnati ring up honor inductee, my old coach Ken Anderson. But before we bring up coach Ason to the stage, I want to thank one of our amazing sponsors, head start equity, owned by Brian Head. They are a multiply real estate investment firm in San Antonio Texas, and why they are the sole sponsor. Brian is one of the biggest Bengal fans I know and he loves coach Anderson and he this is so excited to sponsors episode. So thank you, Brian for that. Now, coach Awre you doing today, sir? I'm doing pretty dug on good. Thank you, good, good. So, coach, before we get started, I asked every guest the same question. What does authentic slash authenticity mean to Ken Anderson? Wow, uh, I guess the first thing that comes to mind is, uh, the NFL in the in the early seventies when I started in uh, you know, I think that was real football. It was different back then. I love the game now. I wish I were playing now, but uh, you know, just breaking in and the days, you know, playing against Uh Dick Butkus, uh, play against Ray Nich key, uh, you know some of those guys. You know, rest in peace, Lenny Dawson, I got to play against him. I got to play against Johnny Unitas Um so that was kind of a fun period of football in my life. I'll stand a coach. So, coach, you're telling me about your background, where you're from, education, your journey through college and, of course, how you got to Cincinnati Bengals and became a phenomenal quarterback in the national football league. Well, I went to a small high school in Batavia, Illinois. I think my graduating class was a hundred and twenty five. And you know, back then, I mean you played every sport that was was in season. And when I got to high school, uh, most of the coaches coached multiple sports and uh, for example, if you wanted to play basketball or Russell, you had to go out for the football team or the cross country team. If you wanted to play baseball run track, you had to go off for baseball or you had to go out for a cross for track. Um, you know. So they made it so we had the numbers to go ahead and play. So I played all sports. I thought baseball was my my best sport. Basketball was my second best sport. Uh. And then football, and I wasn't recruited by anybody. Uh Big. Uh. And then so I went to Augustana College in Rock Isllan, Illinois. I knew a lot of kids from my hometown that went there. I went there to play basketball and baseball and my high school football coach told me at the end of June, before I started, coach, you know, you haven't tried for the football team. And so I wrote coach to Renko a letter. I asked you if I could try it out. And you know division three in those days you take any warm body that you can get. and Uh so I went there and by the by the third game, I was the starting quarterback on the varsity and played four years. And after my...

...freshman year on a football I was a month later for basketball practices, but by Christmas I was a starting guard on the Varsity and then when that ended, the baseball coach called and said, uh, you know, we're we're hitting down to the bus bar and I was a little bit tired by that point. And so I never did play baseball. Uh, you know, I was a catcher and I always kidded Johnny Bench when I would would talk to him on on some of my shows that, you know, if I had gone and played baseball as a Catcher, they may never have heard of him. But uh, you know. So that was and then I got I got lucky. The the bengals drafted me in the third round in nineteen seventy one and that was a great year for the year of the quarterback. It was Jim Plunckett one, number one, then archie manning number two, then uh Dan Pass Storini number three. Lynn dickey from Kansas state went right before me in the third round. High school was right after that. Scott Hunter from Alabama came after that and uh, there was a big article at Sports Illustrat a couple of years ago when the homes and Trabisky, all those guys were coming. We're coming out. You know, it's just the year the quarterback and it was about the year of nineteen seventy one and and Jim Pluckett said of all the guys, Kenny was the lucky one. He got to go to Cincinnati with Paul Brown and Bill Wall I really do think that was a blessing. You know, coach, let's get real four seconds. So you said that baseball, basketball where you're better sports in football. Then you got to college and they wanted a warm body to go out there in the football field and then you next to you know, you're starting quarterback on Varsity. I tell people all the time you don't have to be the best to do your best. Can you explain to people what it was life for you going from being an athlete doing a sport of baseball and basketball and then transition into playing football and not just playing right coach, becoming a starter and being draft in the third round? You talk about some great guys. You know him, pluckt arch manning yourself, Joe thighs man like those are quarterback legends of the National Football League. Talk about how you went from going to school to play one sport and then excelling at another sport. Well, you know, I went to Augustana and they won the conference the year before and the starter and the backup were returning and they were only juniors and they had actually recruited about Stevens Freshman quarterbacks. And so we were about a weekend of practice and I just saw all these the number of quarterbacks that they had and and I asked the coach if I could go play safety because I was an all conference safety. I couldn't make all conference and football as a quarterback, but I made all conference as a safety. And they said no, go ahead and and and stick it out Ken and you know, I worked real hard at it. Luckily I had a coach, you know, and that time I think we only had about four coaches on the staff, but you know, Charlie emery was working with the quarterbacks. You really kind of helped work with me and give me the basis is of playing with it and just kind of working hard. And by the by the start of the season I was number three and uh, in the first game are starting quarterback didn't play well and they put the backup in. And so for the next week when this code, there is a rotation. So now the backup is the starter. I'm number two and the other guy went down to number three and we went out to play Augustana, Sioux falls and sue fall, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a ten hour bus ride uh division three. In those days we took one bust for the team and we put folding chairs in the aisle. You couldn't get away with that today, but we traveled ten hours like that and got there and UH in the first quarter. The starter wasn't playing and I started the second quarter and the first pass I threw to was uh, to a junior defense or junior and Paul Ander, who became a great friend of mine, Sixty five yard post pattern for a touchdown. I became the quarterback for the rest of the year and to get me experience, uh...

I would play the Varsity game on Saturday and I would play the JV game on Monday. So I was getting a lot of football for the first month. Uh So, but it was just like I said, I was lucky. I had coaches that believed in me and there was a lot of hard work that went into it as well. Coach, really quickly, before I get into your amazing NFL career, talk to our audience about how important it is to take advantage of opportunities. Again, like you said, you came in and had other quarterbacks ahead of you. They had it where you start off the season, as you know, number three on the roster and then you went to number two, and then you got to number one and then, like you said, you took full advantage of that opportunity in which it was drafted the third round to the Cincinnati Bengals as a quarterback. Talk about how important is people to take advantage, coach, of opportunities. Well, you know, the only way that you can take advantage of an opportunity is to be ready for the opportunity and you know, so there's a lot of work that goes in behind the scenes, you know, to to get ready to play, you know, to get ready up, you know, for when your moment comes. So but, like I say, it's, you know, everybody's gonna get an opportunity at some point in life and something and that's whether you're, you know, ready and prepared to take advantage of that opportunity. M Now, coach, let's transition third round draft choice to the Cincinnati bengals. What was it like? Who was the quarterbacks on your roster? Talk about, you know, what was it like coming to Cincinnati, you know, going from division three to the biggest show on turf amount and say that really regard biggest show in the earlin comes the NFL, right, and talk about the transition you had to go through mentally because, like when I was drafted out of Hollow University in the sixth round in two thousand three, I went from an Hbcu to the NFL and for me I had to get adjustment too. Coach, I want to love to hear your explanation as especially as a quarterback, was the speed of the game, like you were my coach with my rookie year. We had guys like Hugh Douglas and Stroud and Henderson and brackens and all these monsters that were big and fast and I didn't have that play against a corner. The machine was a corner. I mean we just had all kinds of great alf and Byron at quarterback was my draft class. So and again, HBCU football is amazing, right, great and I loved it, Howard, but you didn't get the kind of size and speed on the d line, especially when I was playing in college. So for me that was my big adjustment. What was it like for you, coach? What was your adjustment playing in the National Football League? And then kind of tell everybody a little bit more about that in your journey there. But, you know, I think Paul Brown described the best for the quality of competition I put into college. Was Not even a good high school in Cincinnati. UH So. But but I had wanted bandage then because the rules were different. The draft was in January and I got to move to Cincinnati the first week of February and spent that off season working with Bill Walsh on my own. There were no off season programs, uh in those days, because guys when the season ended, guys went to work. We had a three day minicamp in May, but there was no offseason program so so bill and I got a chance to just you know, I was kind of a running option quarterback in college and we worked on the drop and it was just number one standing in place, moving my feet, and then the next week it was just walking back and then jogging being ready to throw and a lot of film, you know, learning defenses, learning you know, the offense. And so I remember, uh if training camp started July seven, my rookie year. Uh So, I was driving on the fourth of July down interstate eighty from rock island towards Cincinnati with fireworks going off, you know,...

...in the sky and some of these small towns that to get ready for training camp. But, you know, training camp was our offseason program. We were there nine weeks, we were there a month before we played a preseason game and then we played six of them. So there was a lot of opportunities for me, as a young quarterback, to be ready. Virgil Carter was the starter. Uh, you know, they had they had gone to the playoffs in nineteen seventy. They got on the roll at the end of the year and it got beat by the coats, you know, in the playoffs. So I was kind of coming in but you know, the advantage I had at that point in time is we only had two quarterbacks in camp, me and him, and so I got to take half the reps, I got half the playing time in the preseason. Uh. So that was really, you know, an advantage, you know, for me and and I had a lot of great mentors. You know now Bill Washing Again, the coaching staffs were a lot different in those days. We only had three on offense and three on defense. So Bill Wallace coached the quarterbacks, the wide receivers in the tight ends. So when you go out to practice, you know we're all together and you can't really work on quarterback mechanics. But you know, as soon as we would have lunch, because every day was the two day and every day was in pads. So as soon as we finished lunch, the quarterbacks went over and we got dressed and we went out and we did our individual work with him before the afternoon practice. So it was again, you know, going into a place where, uh, you know, I had one of the great coaches of all time, Bill Wallace, working with me, giving the fundamentals which became the basis for my coaching career as well, you know, because those fundamentals of playing the position, you know, held up even to this day. So I was very lucky with with my situation and, like I said, that to be able to go in and, you know, played half of every preseason game and, like I said, there were six of them. I don't know if the players today could handle it, you know, reporting the camp, but July, uh, seven, breaking camp, September, fift not playing the first league game to the last Sunday in September. Yeah, and, like I said before, every day was the two a day and every day was the pass. Oh well, you know what, coach, when I played with the Jaguars when I'm back when I played, but we were passed. I mean, you know, Jack was out there, has out the double pass and practices like it. Wasn't a lot of these rules that we have today, you know, a certain amount of padded practices. You can't do double. So we went through a lot, not to the same thing you all went through because again, we didn't start camping in and break camp then and all that, but still a lot of the same hitting, I feel we kind of did, but you all were a lot more warrior life and what you did in your time. So now that's my next question. Coach, for people that are listening right, you know there are big fans of the game, especially he mentioned some phenomenal names. Dick Buckets, uh Ray Knitski, you know, uh Johnny United, is Lynn Dawson, you know all these. You know legends. Gail Sayers, just to go down and listen. You played against them. Talk to our audience about what was it like playing against the legends of the game, because without you all, right, coach, you and Jim Plunkett, to all the guys you mentioned right, without you all setting the stage for US former players to come along where we're at today. Football is not what it is without you all setting the stage. So what was it like in that environment, playing against those legends of the game? Well, you know, that's what you didn't know. Somebody was a legend because they were still played. You know they were good players, but they were, they were legends. Yet you don't become a legendary. We retired at some point in time. But you know, I I knew Buckus was a good player and and UH. In fact, we were playing to my my rookie year. We were playing the Green Bay packers and uh, and so that the head and in the Cincinnati paper there are...

...two pictures of his secret Kowski and there was me, and the capture was that the packers or the bengals are gonna play Anderson to see if he's got anything and the packers are gonna play Bratkowski to see if he's got anything left. And when I when I was playing niche was still playing and and I dropped back the pass and nobody was open. I scrambled and made a few yards. I slid and he fell on top of me and his first words were another chicken bleak quarterback comes into the league. Okay, and then, uh, I said, this is this is a little bit different. And then we were finding the St Louis Cardinals and they had a great safety named Larry Wilson, and he came on a safety blitz and his eyes were wide open and he had this look on his spacious mouthed on and he had no teeth. He was the ugliest person I've ever seen without his teeth. I said, Oh my God, what am I getting myself into? I should have taken the teaching job at new triers. He so coach. Talk a little bit more about that. Like you said, like you played against those guys. Their eyes wrapped, Babe, all that kind of good stuff. For somebody that's listening right that works in the entrepreneurial space, works, you know, coaching or trying to go in the corporate career, right, their eyes could get big going onto their playing field of work in the corporate space, kind of like your eyes when you were on the football field with the banks of the Nineties Seventies. What can you tell somebody that they can implement? That you were able to implement a great character trade like discipline, focus, uh, you know, hard work, dependability, like what's a trade that coach Anderson implemented into playing in the national football league, that he could tell Usbody's listening in the corporate space. Do this. It can help you on your big stage. Well, I think you mentioned a lot of them, you know, hard work, discipline, you know. I think one that that I really always took the heart, whether I was playing or coaching, is learned from your mistakes, and everybody's gonna make mistakes, uh, you know, learn from them and don't make the same mistake twice. You know, I think you know when you look at a coaches, you know, coaching football, that's one of the things. All right, you know you're a young player, you know they're gonna make a mistake, but don't keep making the second, the same mistake, you know, a second the third or fourth time, because you know that we can't use you. So I think that's one of the big things that I took out of playing football. You know, coach, I have a saying. If you make a mistake, own it, fix it. Move on now, coach. Let's move on transit to in transition to your amazing coaching career. You coach the National Football League. You know, you were my coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars under Jack del Rio and Bill Muskrat was the O C and you know we had some carrot, we had Ray Hamilton's on the other side. Every one was in that or in that for I mean I think the one the customer out of Rais mouth. He was very rarely saying but talk to our audience about your transition from the Nash Cobbagy as a player into then coaching in the national football well, for the first six years out of the League I did not coach. Uh. You know, I went to college. I wanted to be a high school math teacher and a football and basketball coach. Um, coaching was always kind of in my blood. And but you know, when I retired, you know, because you want to coach, man, you know the sacrifice you gotta make, the hours of you guys working and you're stupid. I want to do that, but I didn't want to be stupid. So I ended up working for a radio and television station in Cincinnati for six years and then realized that I wasn't gonna go anywhere. I didn't have the talent. Uh, that you know Chris Collinsworth, and some of the was great analysts that you see in the booth, you know, happing...

...to the Frank Gifford's and the Dandy Knight. That wasn't that wasn't me. And so I talked to Dave Shula, who was the head coach at that time, and said I'm really interested getting into coaching and he was gonna let his quarterback coach and he said, all right, go when he says, come on in and interview tomorrow. And so I wanted and he gave me a chance to coach. and Uh so that that was kind of how I got into it. And you know, and I think that the thing that helped me from a player to a coach. You know, for for me as a player, you know, Sundays were almost anticlimactic. I mean I enjoyed the process of getting there. I enjoyed practice, I I enjoyed okay, how are we going to attack a defense on third down? What are we gonna do in the regime? I enjoyed that whole process of getting there. So, you know, playing in the crowds kind of was not what drove me. You know, winning a football game and being a good teammate and being a leader. That kind of motivated me. So when I went into coaching, and I think that's the tough thing for for guys when they when they get into it. It's just the hours that you work. I mean I got up at six o'clock in the morning. During the season, I'm in the office by six thirty and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, you know, I'm not leaving until midnight. Um, you know, Thursday I'm done about nine. Friday, you know, depending if we had a home game or away game, it was, you know, about three o'clock in the afternoon. Um. So I remember when I have a house, if we had a home game, I could mow the grass on Saturdays because I had a little time between had between practice and when we had to go to the hotel. And if we had a road game, I had to mow it on Friday when I got home, so my wife and I couldn't go out to dinner. But so, you know, I really enjoyed yes, you know, I enjoyed the long game planning days. I enjoyed working with quarterbacks trying to make them better. I think that the tough thing for me was almost sometimes on game days because I had no control over the situation. You know, you're relying at your quarterback prepared to do what he needs to do on the field, and uh, and and so that, like I said, that was sometimes I almost got a little bit more nervous about that. You know, is you're ready to go. And Uh, it wasn't the game itself, but you know, hopefully I had my guys prepared to ready to go. Oh, let's get real for a second. I heard a lot about sacrifice, I heard a lot about putting in the time, but I also heard you say somebody that you knew gave you an opportunity, and I'm real big coach, on creating your network of empowerment. That's how you are on our show right now. We're both members of the NFL alumni ventures podcast group. We were in a group. Call me you Anthony Moonyels Leroy, whore thus for Rye, you know, talking about how to help each other, and that's when I feel as a main your part of success is having a strong network. So, coach, as we go your wrap up, talk to our lines about what are you doing today? You have a podcast which is going very, very well. You have some other things going on. Talk about what you're doing today in your life after football as an amazing player, after coaching in the National Football League. What is Ken Anderson Up to today? Well, you know, you almost have no life when you're an NFL coach. You know, you you probably get a couple of weeks off, maybe three off, you know, between the end of mini camps and o t s and the start of training camp. But once I retired, Um, you know, what am I gonna do? And UH, my wife had a nephew that's severely autistic and you know God's He's thirty now. And and so, I mean he was eighteen at the time and he could have bounds of violence. And I would this one with his five other and and you know, said you better leave Kenny. And why,...

I couldn't take anymore. I come back in while the father's shirt is ripped off and there's blood. And and then when he went after his mom one morning, luck with, the father was still there. Uh, he just couldn't live at home anymore and they put him in a facility at Pedro Ohio, and it was ten cabins, ten boys in each cabin. And you know, he was there. You could stay there until he's twenty two and then you transition out into a whole another system and with thought what what can I do to make a difference in his life, you know, for those with developmental disabilities, to let them live life in their fullest? We started the Kenny Anderson Foundation raising money and we wanted to build you know, we go down to visit him and he was happy down there. There were a lot of people like him around there and he's not playing basketball and going on walks. You go there, the first person he had to introduce us to us the cook in his cabin because he really liked the cook. As we let's say, we can't build a community like that. And so we we started our foundation. We're having fundraisers, raising money with that goal in the back of our mind and it was a long up killed process, but about three years in the Mayor Cincinnati calls to be what I met with several times. It was very supportive. There's a group of down syndrome parents trying to do something very simpler. You know what. So that we got it. We we had a lot of synergies. We formed the Ken Anderson Alliance with our goal is still to build a community. Well, in the meantime we've got a nice corporate building. Uh. There we have a coffee shop just brewed that we've opened that employees fourteen adults with disabilities. We've had that going for a couple of years. We've just opened up two more with plans for another two in the future. We serve us a hundred adults a day in adult daycare service with the music is a big part of a part of that and to go there and to see these some of them may not be verbal, UH, some of them may not be able to play an interests, but to see the just the the the unadulterated joy that they have making music and being a part of music. We also have over twenty what we call engage outings a month where we go out of groups of six to eight that may be going to put Putt, going to movie, going out to dinner, maybe volunteering at another nonprofit. Um. So we serviced over two hundred adults a month in that program. We have property. We have a community that's designed, it's laid out that will house about a hundred and fifty with a beautiful community center on amphitheater for music, a lot of things where the public could come in and be a part of us as well. Um. So now the big thing now is to get our capital campaid up and going to raise the money to get this started. So that is something I take a lot of pride in and a lot of work in and of course I'm involved in a lot of the fundraising aspect of it. So uh, that's uh that. That is something that really, you know, fills my time and UM, luckily I'm back to playing golf a little bit again. I had back surgery in January, so I just started playing golf again and so that's that's been fun. I get to go up to New Jersey to an NFL alumni ventures outing up in New Jersey in October. So up there and UH, an old buddy mine, Jim Hart, called me. I got a chance to what the Pebble Beach for three days in November for another NFL UH golf outing. So you know, I do that and chase it around six grandkids. Never gets old. Uh, you know, watching them play. I've got an elebrity of granddaughter that Plays Competitive Volleyball. Nobody can handle or serve in the last match and her younger sisters in the horseback riding. Uh, I got grandsons that played basketball, flag, football, baseball. Uh, so it's uh, this is pretty exciting time in my life.

Fantastic. And coach, before we uh in one thing, tell people the name of your podcast and what it's about, because I know you have that going on and it's gonna make sure you touched on that before we close out. What it's called Stars in Stripes and uh, and I do with the Anthony Munos, our hall of Famer, Uh left tackle, is with us. The bengals all time leading score Jimmy reach, our kicker, is with me on it, and then Dave Lapham, who has been, gosh, he's been the bengals radio analyst for close to thirty years now. So we we he kind of, you know, we got a lot of inside with what's going on with the bengals and but we're just in fact, we just taped ours today, all right, before I came on with you. And then we have kind of four segments. You know, the first segment breaking down what happened in the last week. You know it was the rams game last week. You know what's gonna happen with the cuts coming up. The second one. We second say we have a guest today. Our guest was Isaac Curtis. I was going into the bengals ring of honor in September and our favorite segment is the third steven where we tell stories. So I got, you know, we all told stories about, you know, our opening days, uh, since that's coming up with the bengals and steelers. Stories mixed in there as well a since they're opening up with the steelers. And then, you know, the last segment kind of preview what's gonna Happen in the next week. So it stars and Stripes and usually its UH, it gets dropped on Wednesdays around six o'clock. Fantastic. Ladies and gentlemen, my good friend, former coach in the National Football League, two thousand twenty one, ring of honor and Ductive, the Cincinnati Bengals, coach Ken Anderson, phenomenal man. Great story again, you heard it, and that's the authentic tip of the day. It doesn't matter how you start, it matters how you finish. He was able to to go to college for another sport, played football. Took advantity, Opportunity, third round draft choice, amazing quarterback class seventy one, and he went out there. He crushed it and he's now in the ring of honor because a lot of things for the bengals and he's a great community guy and I love the work he's doing to help people who can't help themselves. And that's why coach Anderson is a great man and we appreciate him coming on again. This was elite episode number two. Like to get over the market show with Ken Anderson, but we all enjoy have a great day.

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