Rutgers football alum Michael Burton talks impact of Andy Reid and Greg Schiano
The influence of two head coaches looms large in the career of Michael Burton, the Kansas City Chiefs fullback who re-signed with the team last month. A former All-Big East selection at Rutgers, Burton credits his current head coach as well as his former college head coach in shaping him into one of the top players at his position in the NFL.
Burton talked glowingly about the impact of his current head coach, Andy Reid. He also spoke about the role that Greg Schiano played in giving him a shot to play college football.
Burton has become a big part of the Chiefs both on offense but also on special teams. He talked about how the Chiefs are being shaped by its leadership:
“I think it’s the players that are brought into the program. [Head coach] Andy Reid and general manager [Brett] Veach do a great job of not just getting top players who are great, but players who also are good people,” Burton told ‘Rutgers Wire.’
“Not just hard-working but also talented players. It makes for a competitive locker room. Coach doesn’t have to scream and yell, the players take control of that. It is a player-driven locker room and team. KC has that for sure. I think really stood out to me last year and is part of the reason I wanted to come back.”
He said that coach Reid is a “strong voice who gives the players a voice in the locker room.”
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Burton also looks back at his first coach in college, the aforementioned Schiano.
It was Schiano who recruited Burton as a walk-on, giving the New Jersey high school football standout the opportunity to join the then Big East program. One of the best players to come out of Morris County the past decade.
“I think having coach Schiano in the program a few years, he’s building that culture that is similar to what I played in years before. Rutgers is winning games, getting to a bowl game. He’s getting the recruits. It is building back up, getting the recruits that are his standard, getting the recruits that can help in the Big Ten,” Burton said.
“In today’s world, everyone wants instant gratification. But to build things the right way, it takes time. To do it the right way, you need to have patience.”
Keeping an eye on the rebuild at his alma mater, Burton sees Rutgers heading in the right direction.
“There is a no-nonsense toughness about him that helps prepare you not just for football but for real life. The way he runs the program, he treats you like a pro. He demands a lot,” Burton said.
“But the way he does it, I’m so thankful to have gone through it. I don’t think I realized it at 18, 19 [years old] but everything I’ve learned from him is transferrable to real life. He’s growing boys into men. It’s something that he is the best at. While he demands a lot, he’s very personable. I can attest to that – I was a walk-on who was treated like a five-star recruit.”