2023 Football

Eddie George building a culture of tough love at Tennessee State

Eddie George was known for his tough running style in his days with the Tennessee Titans. Now, he’s using that same toughness to create a winning culture at Tennessee State.

Eddie George was known for his tough, smashmouth running style during his playing days in college with Ohio State, and then in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. That toughness commanded respect from his team as a leader and the entire league as a running back. Two decades later, he brings that same toughness with him to Nashville as he continues to build the football culture at Tennessee State in his own likeness.

George chops it up with HBCU Gameday to break down the culture he has built heading into his third year at Tennessee State.

“Preaching the culture that’s going to be established here at Tennessee State, that’s the main thing,” George said before explaining the type of players that he needs to fit the culture.“That make up that hey, I’m coming with a chip on my shoulder, I have something to prove, I can work with that, and I can help you reach your goals. Really dig in and motivate, mold you to what you wanna be and ultimately what I need you to be,”

George wants to help his players reach their goals and the goals of the team. He has to mold them to have the tough and resilient mentality he had as a player.

“We’ll deal with the mistakes. There’ll be some adversity that hits but how we handle it, that’s what I wanna see. How do you respond to adversity? Are you going to shutter and run? Or are you going to run toward it?”

In his third year, his team has bought in and they are running towards it. George explains that his team will buy into the culture by focusing on three things.

Tennessee State

“I’m focused on three ships before winning a championship and that was relationship and that’s understanding one another; understanding someone’s back story; understanding what they had to go through to get to this place. The second ship is ownership. It’s buying into what we’re doing here at Tennessee State, that level of commitment and excellence in the classroom and society. The third ship is leadership and taking that standard and leading and living on a daily basis, and holding the next man accountable in a real, honest and loving way. Come from a place that lead with love and not a fluffy love that’s gonna be very direct, hold you accountable, be compassionate but challenge you. It’s iron sharpening iron,”

The culture that Eddie George has established is all about tough love and it’s paying off as Tennessee State is coming off a 24-14 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the Southern Heritage Classic. Tennessee State will continue to bring their tough mentality when they play a top notch FCS team in Gardner-Webb at Nissan Stadium on September 16th.

Eddie George building a culture of tough love at Tennessee State
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