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      Father's Day in the NFL, a league full of family men By Justin ForsettThe Sporting News Contributor @JForsett RSSLast updated on June 12, 2014 8:06pm EDT The biggest responsibility a man can have is being a father. It's a powerful position of impact and something that should be cherished. As a player in the NFL, I constantly see the media expose the small percentage of athletes who get caught up in doing the wrong things. With Father’s Day right around the corner, I want to expose some players and staff who are doing the right things by being great fathers.dad_zpsbc178098.pngMatt Hasselbeck and his children (AP Photo)In seven years, I have come across some amazing men who treasure their roles as fathers and, I believe, are great examples of what fatherhood should look like. These men carry themselves in such a way that they not only impact me, but others inside their locker rooms and facilities. In today’s day and age, more children grow up in homes where the father is not present and it leaves a huge void. Sometimes the father is in the home but only a father by title, not by function, which can lead to some consequences. I see girls growing up without fathers, and they don’t know what it's like for a man to treat them with respect because they don’t have an example at home. I see boys growing up in fatherless homes, and they don’t know what it's like to be a strong, caring leader who respects women and himself.There is a passage in Proverbs 20:7 that reads, “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” All the men I spotlight in this article are men of great character and integrity, and I know their children are blessed as a result. The first individual I'll highlight is my former Seahawks teammate, cornerback Kelly Jennings. I believe a father is a leader, and in order to be a great leader you must serve. Kelly showed me early in my career that this trait is a necessity in fatherhood. He was a man of few words, but you could tell Kelly embraced his role as a father. I would watch him work hard at practice, then go home to his family and help his homeschooled kids with their homework, hold reading time and, sometimes, prepare meals. The next individual I would like to point out is also a former Seahawks teammate, Matt Hasselbeck. Matt is an amazing quarterback and person. He's somebody who I was able to build a strong bond with during my time in Seattle. Quarterbacks must be great communicators, and Matt showed me communication was not only important on the field, but in the home, as well. I believe to be an effective father, a man must be able to communicate with his kids. Please don’t misunderstand: When I say communicate, I mean talk as well as listen. I would see Matt bring his kids to the facility to hang out and play all the time. What stood out to me was when his kids started running around or started to do something they weren’t supposed to, he had an uncanny ability to get down on their level and have a conversation with them that would cease all mayhem before it began. He was careful with his words and sensitive to their needs. As a young player, this was new to me. Where I grew up, sometimes a belt would do the talking first and everything else would get hashed out later. I had a brief stint with the Colts during my career. While I was there, I had the privilege of being coached by the great Tony Dungy, a man who's as good as advertised; a man of virtue and honor. As a leader and a father I learned a lot from him even in my short time in Indianapolis. The main thing I took from Tony on the issue of fatherhood is transparency. I believe transparency is a key to having a lasting impact as a father/leader. I just remember his openness and sincerity — a breath of fresh air. You could tell he loved his family and genuinely cared for his players because he wasn’t afraid to share his heart. When you see somebody as open and accessible as Tony, it inspires you to be a better player and person. So when leading a family, it’s crucial to be transparent because that openness will inspire and encourage those around you. Finally, this last person has made a substantial impact in my life, and his name is Sherman Smith. Coach Sherman was my running backs coach for two years in Seattle, and he taught me some valuable lessons on life and football. He was a great coach and an even better man. Whenever I was around him I always seemed to learn something new. So when it comes to fatherhood, I learned a lot just by listening and being a sponge. Coach Sherman taught me that fatherhood is a lifelong mission. He's in his 50s and his kids are older than me, but every time he would talk about them his face would light up as if they were newborns. For instance, I can remember sitting in his office and listening to him on the phone giving advice to his adult children. He was consistent and intentional in building up his kids even though they were grown. The man was full of wisdom and knowledge, and I was blessed to be around him. There’s a passage in the Bible that states, “One waters, one plants, but God gives the increase." I believe that, as fathers, our role is to plant such love into our kids' lives that, as they grow older, they won’t depart from it. After we have done that, let God do the rest. As a father, I hold this position in high regard and I’m determined to be that example in which my son and future kids can look up to. Being in the NFl, I’ve seen some great examples of what a good father looks like. I was also blessed to have an awesome example of what a father looks like at home with my dad. He was a major influence in my life, so I know how important it is to have that father figure there to guide and instruct you. I once heard somebody say, “A leader knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way.” As fathers and leaders, let's lead with integrity, instruct with transparency and live in humility. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, and happy Father’s Day to my dad, Rodney Forsett Sr.Justin Forsett is a running back for the Baltimore Ravens and contributor for Sporting News. He writes on religion, faith and family, and how each fits in his sport. Follow Justin Forsett on Twitter: @JForsettCelebrating NFL fathers and sons dad1_zpsae37d980.pngThe ManningsFather Archie and sons Peyton and Eli: From New Orleans to New York, Indianapolis to Denver, Mississippi to Tennessee, they’re the beloved unofficial first family of the NFL. They stick together through everything, including funny rap videos. (Reed Saxon/AP)dad2_zpse87f82d8.pngThe MatthewsesFather Bruce and son Jake Matthews: If Jake, the Falcons’ first-round rookie left tackle, can have half the career of his legendary Oilers/Titans lineman father, it would be pretty darn good. He may get company in the NFL next year from brother Mike, Texas A&M’s center. (Jason Getz/AP)dad3_zps00c26d2c.pngThe Matthewses 2Father Clay Jr. and sons Clay III and Casey: This side of the Matthews clan is going on three generations. Before Clay Jr. starred for the Browns and Clay III became a top Packer, Clay Sr. played tackle for the Niners. Casey plays outside linebacker for the Eagles. (Paul Sancya/AP)dad4_zps6bc9578a.jpgThe LongsFather Howie and sons Chris and Kyle: Howie, a Hall of Fame defensive end and well-known TV (and movie) personality, has passed along his intimidating but sweet star power to his sons. While Chris is a scary pass rusher for the Rams, Kyle will build on his blocking for the Bears. (Jason DeCrow/AP)dad5_zps5dc78587.pngThe RyansFather Buddy and sons Rob and Rex: From 46 to 3-4, these big guys have formed quite a 1-2-3 punch of attack-mode defensive Xs and Os over the years. Rob (Saints) and Rex (Jets) continue to make Buddy proud, three decades after his exceptional work with the Bears and Eagles. (Bill Kostroun/AP) dad6_zps2f96da47.pngThe LucksFather Oliver and son Andrew: Long before he returned to West Virginia as AD, Oliver was drafted to QB the Houston Oilers in the 1980s. Looking at his smarts and athletic prowess, Andrew inherited some great genes as the new face of the Colts’ franchise. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)dad7_zps1fb24674.jpgThe HochulisFather Ed and son Shawn: NFL officiating is also a family affair in 2014, as Shawn steps up to the big leagues to join the big guns of Ed. It will be fun when they get to work on the same crew. dad8_zps99b29d44.pngThe SlatersFather Jackie and son Matthew: Jackie was a two-decade fixture on the Rams offensive line (259 games) on his way to the Hall of Fame. A wide receiver and special teams ace for the Patriots, Matthew has gone to three consecutive Pro Bowls. (AP Photos)dad9_zps6d2f5f47.pngThe ShulasFather Don and son Mike: Don has the most wins (349) in NFL history and coached in six Super Bowls. Mike gets to work with Cam Newton as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator. Brother Dave ended his run as Bengals head coach in 1996. (Mark Duncan/AP)dad10_zps28d66232.pngThe ShanahansFather Mike and son Kyle: Mike won a couple of Super Bowls in Denver, and is taking a break after not having that kind of success in Washington. Kyle’s moved on from Robert Griffin III and the Redskins to Johnny Manziel and the Browns. (Alex Brandon/AP)dad11_zps0ecc270e.pngThe SchottenheimersFather Marty and son Brian: The signature of Marty ball, through coaching four teams, was power running, defense and a whole lot of wins. Brian is trying to get more pop out of the Rams’ offense. Brother Kurt coaches the UFL’s Virginia Destroyers. (AP Photos)dad12_zpse5070bf7.pngThe HasselbecksFather Don and son Matt: Don was a tight end who played for four teams, including the Patriots. Matt gets to backup another NFL son, Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. Retired QB brother Tim works as an ESPN analyst. (AP Photos)dad13_zpsd401def2.jpgThe SimmsFather Phil and son Matt: Before teaming with Jim Nantz, Phil was the heart of the Giants’ Super Bowl power in the 1980s. For now, Matt passes for the crosstown Jets. Chris, the family’s other former NFL QB, will, like Phil, step into the broadcast booth for CBS this fall. (AP Photos)dad14_zpsd8de2064.jpgThe CasonsFather Wendell and son Antoine: Wendell, who played for the Falcons in the mid-1980s, has seen Antoine follow his footsteps as an NFL defensive back for on the Cardinals. (Rick Scuteri/AP)dad15_zps278d475a.jpgThe WinslowsFather Kellen and son Kellen II: The elder Kellen was a revolutionary pass-catching tight end in his Hall of Fame career with the Chargers. Kellen II, a one-time Pro Bowler with the Browns, is hoping to find his fifth NFL team in 2014. (AP Photos)dad16_zpscf742974.jpgBrowner and StarksFather Ross and son Max: The Bengals made Browner, a defensive end, the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL draft out of Notre Dame. Starks, the former long-time Steeler, should get more looks as a free agent. (AP Photos)dad17_zpsff643ad6.jpgThe DeOssiesFather Steve and son Zak: Steve played linebacker for four teams, including winning a Super Bowl with the Giants in 1991. Zak, linebacker, long snapper and two-time Pro Bowl special teams captain for the Giants, has helped them win a pair of rings (‘07, ‘11). (AP Photos)dad18_zps8e3ca4f0.jpgThe WhitehurstsFather David and son Charlie: David quarterbacked the Packers and Chiefs in his NFL career (1977-‘84). Charlie, born in Green Bay and a former top backup for San Diego and Seattle, will begin his first season with Tennessee. (Mark Humphrey/AP)dad19_zps30291b2e.jpgThe WilsonsFather Tim and son Josh: Tim played running back for the Oilers and Saints (1977-‘84). Josh, a second-round pick of the Seahawks in ‘07, plays for the Redskins. (Ted S. Warren/AP)dad20_zpsb8f77bac.jpgBrooks and BarrFather Tony and son Anthony: The Vikings hope Anthony Barr, a rookie first-round outside linebacker, will have an immediate impact as a pass rusher. His first name was the middle name of his father, Tony Brooks, a former Eagles running back (1992-93). (AP Photos)dad21_zpsc43d88d8.pngThe SuttonsFather Mickey and son Will: The Bears drafted Will in the third round of the 2014 draft to address their defensive tackle needs. Before Mickey played for four NFL teams from ‘86-‘90, he spent time in both the CFL and now defunct USFL. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)dad22_zpsdc63d31d.jpgThe KennardsFather Derek and son Devon: The Giants just took Devon, a rookie linebacker from USC, with a fifth-round pick in ’14. Derek, a former USFL and NFL guard and center, won a Super Bowl with the Cowboys in ’95. (AP Photos)dad23_zps652e136f.jpgThe JeffcoatsFather Jim and son Jackson: Jim got some Hall of Fame consideration at defensive end on the strength of his 102-1/2 sacks over 15 seasons, helping the Cowboys win two Super Bowls during their early ‘90s dynasty. The Seahawks have given Jackson, an undrafted rookie end, his chance to stick with the reigning champs in ’14. (AP Photos)dad24_zps64038a7f.pngThe WildersFather James Sr. and son James Jr.: James Sr. had some productive years as a Buccaneers running back (1981-’89), going to one Pro Bowl. James Jr., fresh off a national title with Florida State, was signed to the Bengals backfield as an undrafted rookie. (AP Photos)dad25_zps83b34aa0.pngThe RicesFather Jerry Sr. and son Jerry Jr.: Jerry Sr. is the most prolific, accomplished and revered wide receiver in NFL history, arguably the best player at any position. Jerry Jr. is trying to make a name for himself as an undrafted rookie, most recently at the 49ers’ rookie minicamp. (AP Photos)

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    • Anonymous

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      great article

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 10626

      great article

      +1Much better than his God cares about football or whatever the hell it was.

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