In this multi-part series, we get a glimpse into Jim Tomsula's life as one of the best position coaches in the NFL, via his daughter, Britney. She spoke with our Tre9er on a special episode of the Niners Nation Podcast and gave us a look into her Dad's life.
You may or may not know who the man in the picture is. Some, in fact, confuse him for adult film-star Ron Jeremy when they see him patrolling the 49ers sideline during games. His players know who he is, though, and they love him. Most of the NFL is also well-aware of Jim Tomsula, as a result of the amazing players he's developed and coached over his numerous seasons with the 49ers.
Those of us who are familiar with "Jimmy T" think fondly of him. He's passionate, energetic, and you can see in his eyes just how much he cares about the game and his players. The energy is contagious, but he's so much more than an excitable veteran coach in the NFL.
I had the honor of being able to speak with Tomsula's daughter, Britney, on a special episode of the Niners Nation podcast a few weeks back. There were so many great things she had to say about her father, I thought I'd put some of them into article-form.
This post, the first in a multi-part series about Tomsula, focuses on what it's like to coach All-Pro defensive tackleJustin Smith.
Justin Smith has been in the league for a long time, played for the 49ers for a long time. What's that relationship like between coach and player?
My dad just really connected with him. He has told me about many players, that they teach him more than he teaches them. I definitely could see that with guys like Bryant Young and Justin Smith. Justin just continues to teach [my dad] and show him boundaries being shot down. He's an incredible player and he's very smart, too. My dad says that about him a lot.
He's considered to be one of the best players at his position. Is it just keeping him motivated, or just let him go out and be the beast that he is?
I think you said it perfectly with "let him be the beast that he is". Sometimes they just get to the point that they know what to do. The trust that my dad has with his players is very important to him. They're on the same page. He trusts Justin out on the field. He knows that Justin will know what to do when the time comes.
On Smith's injury in 2012, which held him out of a few games:
My Dad tries to pay special attention to that kind of stuff. When he was kept out for a couple of games because his elbow was tweaked out (triceps), there was a whole strategic plan for that, giving him enough time but not keeping him out for too much time.
The picture Britney paints of her dad is remarkable. He's a man who genuinely cares about his players as men, inside and outside the confines of the football world. We'll have more on that in upcoming parts of this series.
You can listen to the whole interview with Britney Tomsula below: