Ellis to intern with Buffalo Bills

Part of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Fellowship Program

July 27, 2010 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Steve Ellis, who coaches the cornerbacks and coordinates special teams for the Middle Tennessee football team, will take part in the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Fellowship Program as an intern with the Buffalo Bills beginning July 28th. The program lasts for a full week.

This will be the second such internship for Ellis, who spent a week with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008.

"This will be great experience for me," said Ellis. "I'll get a chance to work with the best athletes in football today at that highest level. I will have the opportunity to work with Bills defensive coordinator George Edwards who I got a chance to meet at OTA (organized team activities) about three weeks ago.

"He is very knowledgeable and I learned a tremendous amount about football in the four days during the OTA.

"Coach (Chan) Gailey is a very good head coach, and I know I am going to pick up a lot of tips, a lot of pointers from him. Their secondary coach is George Catavolos. This will be his 27th year in the NFL, so just the coaching points, just the interaction with those guys will help me out with my coaching experience as I progress in the business," pointed out Ellis.

Catavolos began his collegiate coaching career here at Middle Tennnessee, joining the staff in 1969 after serving as a graduate assistant at Purdue, where he played in the 1967 Rose Bowl in Purdue's win over Southern Cal.

"Catavolos coaches the whole secondary, and that is very unusual in the NFL," added Ellis. "Most teams have two guys splitting up the secondary coaching duties, but he does it all. He is a great teacher, so I am going to learn a lot from him. Anything that I can learn and bring back to help our team is going to be a benefit."

Ellis indicated that, at some point in the future, he too might like to wind up coaching in the NFL.

"I think it would be a great opportunity," said Ellis. "I love the college game, and I love interacting with these young men. But getting involved at the highest level of football would be great. There is a hunger inside me to compete at the highest level because of my competitive nature. You always want to strive to the highest level."

Ellis' Blue Raider cornerbacks had 152 tackles, nine interceptions, a dozen tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 21 pass breakups on their way to leading the Sun Belt Conference in pass defense and interceptions last year. Seniors Marcus Udell and Alex Suber were tabbed First Team All-Conference. Udell led the league in interceptions with seven, and Suber had 12 pass breakups, while ranking 28th nationally in passes defended.

Special teams also excelled under Ellis. They had eight blocked kicks, hit 18 of 22 field goal attempts, had 1,119 yards in kick returns, downed 22 punts inside the 20, and had seven punts of 50 yards or more.

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