by Kent Sterling
Rick Venturi coached football for 41 years, and learned the game at a level few can. He slip seamlessly into media, where he explained complex elements of the game in simple and easily understood term.
Knowing something, and being able to get others to understand are different things, and requires a very specific skill set. Rick Venturi has it.
People can talk to me about three technique guys, and I have no idea what the hell they are talking about. Rick tells me how a cornerback needs to position his hands to gain leverage in jamming a receiver, and I feel like I can do it.
Venturi is the son of a hall of fame high school coach from downstate Illinois, became a quarterback good enough to earn a scholarship to Northwestern, earned the position of youngest head coach in the Big Ten at his alma mater, and graduated to the NFL where he was one of the most respected defensive coaches in the history of the NFL.
He worked for Bill Belichick and Mike Ditka among other head coaches, and then turned to the media to spread his gospel on how the great American game is played.
101ESPN in St. Louis hired Venturi to be a co-host with Zach McCrite and serve as analyst during the pregame and halftime coverage of St. Louis Rams games. Rick worked tirelessly to prepare and made every show he touched must listening for NFL fans around the country.
The same work ethic that made Venturi so valuable on every staff for which he coached gives his analysis depth and makes it unique – which is the name of the game in media. If the same old uninformed crap is all there is, informed exploration will win.
Venturi moved with his wife to a house near family in Noblesville in December, leaving 101ESPN as a full-time contributor. He will be a part of the Rams pregame in 2013, but is anxious to continue his media career in Indiana.
When I wanted some great lunch conversation and insight on the 2013 NFL Draft, I called Rick. We met at Wolfie’s in Noblesville, and I shot nine videos on the Colts, Rams, Andrew Luck, and many more topics about which Rick is uniquely conversant.
Here is a sample of what makes Rick the best at what he does as he talks about the special talent of Andrew Luck: