Former NFL running back Reuben Droughns is heading overseas, to Central Europe to be exact, to continue his football career. Droughns will be joining the Belgrade Vukovi (in Serbia) of the Central European Football League but surprisingly won’t be playing, he’ll be a coach. It’s a relatively surprising mood when you consider Droughns, is still only 31, that is until you remember he hasn’t had a single carry since the 2007 season.
“It was my first opportunity. Me and Goran (Nišavić, the Vukovi president) we talked about it for a while through a website. He asked what i was interested in and it seemed like a great situtation. Obviously a couple of American guys were already on the team, I already met them, coach Harper is great. He was familiar with who I was and it was a great opportunity for me to get into coaching”, said Droughns upon arriving to Belgrade.
While reading about this move my main thought was that he’s damaged goods, but not just because of an eroding skill set.
In the 2008 season, Droughns didn’t even attempt a single rush while playing with the New York Giants. A telling sign when you consider he stole most of Brandon Jacobs’ short yardage carries in 2007. He was strictly a special teams player and no NFL team would even give him a workout after his release.
Droughns was wise then and saw his playing days were over and probably made the decision then that he’d like to coach and stay in the game he loves. Common thought with most athletes right? Yep, so why not make the move to coach in the NFL or at the collegiate level?
That’s where the damaged goods comes into play. He’s not damaged because he can’t play, he’s damaged because of his off the field activities. Droughns was (and possibly still is) under investigation by the DEA for growing marijuana in his home, there was even a search performed a few months ago on his residence.
SO the move overseas tells me that no NFL team would even give him a shot at coaching. In a way its kind of surprising with how many chances some organizations are giving to players who have actually committed far worse crimes but then we do have to remember, Droughns can’t play anymore those guys can.
For Reuben this could be a life changing experience, hopefully he doesn’t take it for granted. The Vukovi coaching staff is pretty excited about the mood and who can blame them, they’ve now got some NFL knowledge teaching their players.
“Everybody coming from the NFL is basically like a professor. He’ll automatically help especially with the offense and help me with running backs. I’m willing to take anybody that’s willing to work. What’s for sure is that he’ll give some knowledge. That’s the minimal”, said John D. Harper.
The real question all this thou is Droughns running because an indictment is near? And if not, would he return to the states promptly if charges were filed?