players attend falcons university this offseason

As the Atlanta Falcons begin laying the groundwork for the 2019 season, players have been finding time between workouts and training to gain experience off the field in preparation for future endeavors after their playing careers.

Falcons players Wes Schweitzer, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Ricardo Allen, Justin Zimmer, Michael Bennett and Jeremy Langford, all participated in various Career Development Programs this offseason through Falcons University.

The Atlanta Falcons Player Affairs Department provides awareness of comprehensive Career Development Programs that the league provides to help players make smooth transitions into and out of their professional career.

In addition, Falcons University Career Development Programs provide opportunities for current and former NFL players to gain exposure and experience in a variety of industries that may be of interest to them, and serves to support their personal, professional, educational and financial goals.


The Player Affairs Department creates and designs individualized professional development programs that include both job shadow and internship opportunities. These programs are designed to provide ongoing support and target each individual’s specific business interests, while providing the opportunity to push their boundaries, build relevant skills and expand their professional networks.

schweitzer tours plant vogtle

Falcons G Wes Schweitzer visited Plant Vogtle at Georgia Power in March to experience day-to-day operations. During his time spent at the plant, Schweitzer was given an all-access tour to learn about the plant operations and the overall business of Georgia Power. It was the second time the chemistry major out of San Jose State toured a Georgia Power plant. In 2018, Schweitzer visited Plant Wansley for a similar tour and experience.

“I'm thankful to Georgia Power for allowing me to visit Plant Vogtle. I was very impressed by the technology and prowess on display in Burke County, and can’t wait to see the finished product in the upcoming years.”

Plant Vogtle is a two unit nuclear power plant located near Waynesboro, Georgia and it is one of Georgia Power's two nuclear facilities. Approximately 900 people - engineers, mechanics, control room operators, lab technicians, instrument and control technicians, electricians, security officers and others - oversee the plant's operations 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Schweitzer will continue his offseason learning experience as he plans to participate in Georgia Power's ‘Thank A Lineman’ campaign. Throughout the month of April, Georgia Power is leading a campaign to thank thousands of lineworkers across the state for keeping the lights on in Georgia 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Schweitzer will get the opportunity to ride in the cab of a truck with a crew member as they go out to their first job of the day.

blidi joins harvard

This past February, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson joined the Crossover Into Business program at Harvard Business School. The program, taught by Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse, is built to help professional athletes be better prepared for business activities during and after their active sports careers. Other notable athletes who have attended the program include NBA players Kyrie Irving and Chris Bosh, former NFL TE Martellus Bennett, among other professional athletes.

“To be a fly on the wall at such a prestigious institution was a really neat experience, one that will help me succeed in the future.”

Wreh-Wilson, a former economics major at the University of Connecticut, is going into his seventh year playing in the NFL and fourth with the Falcons.

rico goes to boot camp

S Ricardo Allen spent a weekend in February in Tampa, Florida, at the NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy. The 'boot camp' is designed to provide attendees with the opportunity to gain knowledge and insight into the world of coaching. Former Falcons S Keith Tandy, was also in attendance for the weekend.

"The coaching academy was great. As a current player, it’s awesome to see and hear the questions and hardships that ex-NFL players are having who are trying to get into coaching now. I personally think this experience will catapult this next phase of my career, as I have been given the steps and knowledge I need to be able to truly be successful later down the line as a future coach or general manger."

The program trains and educates coaches and coaching prospects in a variety of areas that encourage effective coaching and improve student-athlete well-being at all levels. Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and Assistant General Manager Scott Pioli were both in attendance, speaking to current and former players during a panel discussion.

zimmer visits gssi

DT Justin Zimmer was one of 66 players to participate in the NFLPA Externship Program this offseason, spending time at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute learning about sports science research, education and testing of athletes to help them get the most out of their bodies.

“Thank you, Gatorade Sports Science Institute, for providing me with insight, knowledge and an unforgettable experience that I will be able to use after my football career.”

In its sixth year, the NFLPA Externship has 66 players working with 27 organizations. The players get the opportunity to work with businesses ranging from startups to established industry leaders while learning about the legislative process, the financial literacy space and media skills.

falcons flippers

Later in March, DT Michael Bennett and RB Jeremy Langford participated in a one-day job shadow opportunity at Harry Norman, REALTORS ® to learn more about the real estate company and their operations. The day consisted of learning about the logistics of planning, contract negotiations, and evaluating properties.

“The job shadow with Harry Norman was helpful and a great learning experience. I learned a lot about the process of the real estate business from great people, and I feel way more prepared, excited and motivated about getting started after leaving today.” - Jeremy Langford

Majority of the players that are participating in offseason activities, such as this one, are doing so because they haven’t had opportunities in the past to learn about other professional ventures that interest them. The Players Affairs Department's mission is to help provide these opportunities to players to help expand their professional knowledge.

“I’m coming away from this experience really enthusiastic about business ventures I can pursue in the offseason and post football. It’s exciting to feel like you’re being given the tools and guidance to succeed off the field.” - Michael Bennett

In addition to the Career Development Programs, the Atlanta Falcons Player Affairs Department serves as a central figure to provide support services for players and their families and leads the Falcons University Rookie Transition and Success Programs and oversees the Falcons Alumni Legends Community - both programs helping to serve current and former players in their personal and professional development.

For more information on the Atlanta Falcons Player Affairs Department, be sure to follow them on Twitter below.

Created By
Alexandra Aiello


Atlanta Falcons, Georgia Power

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.