GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When Tim Brown, the soon-to-be Hall of Fame receiver who’s now the general manager of the Texas Revolution, first heard from Jen Welter, he was skeptical.
The Arizona Cardinals coaching intern first reached out to Brown two years ago, he said on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" Tuesday morning. She wanted to play for the men's indoor football team. Brown wasn’t so sure.
“We’re like, ‘C’mon Jen,’” Brown said. “She’s only 5-1, 5-2 ... 115 pounds soaking wet. She wanted a shot, so we figured we would give her a shot and put her in some preseason stuff, and she did OK so we put the pads on her.”
Brown recalled Welter getting knocked around pretty good, but what impressed the former Oakland Raiders receiver was how quickly she bounced back up every time.
“We kept thinking, ‘After this hit, she’ll be done,’” Brown said. “But she kept getting up.”
Welter, who played running back and on special teams, earned a spot on the Revolution’s roster. Brown said she “played a lot” that season and Welter’s toughest challenge was getting in the end zone.
“The big linebackers, they wouldn’t have it,” Brown said. “They kept knocking her five yards back, but she’s a very tough woman.”
After she played for the Revolution in 2014, Brown hired Welter as an assistant coach for the 2015 season.
The Cardinals announced Welter’s hiring last Monday, and she was introduced last Tuesday in front of a media contingent that included a couple of major networks.
Speaking a few days before his Hall of Fame enshrinement, Brown believes Welter will “do the Cardinals very well.”
She’s “very intelligent, obviously,” he said. “She’s very passionate about the game.
“Hopefully, she’ll be a groundbreaker here and be able to open the door for more women who want to get involved.”