Leandro Veal, former defensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans is moving to Sweden this spring to serve as the defensive line coach for the Tyresö Royal Crowns.
While on a visit to Sweden last summer, Veal ran into Andrew Preston who played for the Royal Crowns at the time. Preston showed him around Stockholm and convinced him to come to a practice. He was hooked. He had no idea that not only was football being played in Sweden, but that it was thriving.
“I had no previous knowledge of football even existing in Sweden, but on a random visit to see the country I stumbled upon the Tyresö Royal Crowns. After meeting the team, coaches, and seeing the genuine love of the game from everyone, there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to be a part of this energy.
After playing football 7 years professionally in the NFL, with the Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, and Tennessee Titans, I realized quickly what the defensive line was lacking on this team. It was not heart or enthusiasm, but coachable run-stop techniques and pass-rushing skills, which were my favorites as a player. So I think the players and I will have a great time exploring those fundamentals of the game.
Recently, I was in my native country of Brazil, coaching the game there. We have a growing love for American football as Sweden does. In the same way, I’m excited to assist in growing interest in the game in this great country, and throughout Europe.
So, going forward into the 2015 season, I believe the defensive line play will be something to watch. Explosiveness, sound technique, and getting off the ball with bad intentions. That´s what I like to play and like to see. I wouldn’t have my players do anything I haven’t done on the field, so my knowledge is all battle tested. Nos somos “Tyreso Royal Crowns” vai vai vai porra”
Since defensive line coach Jörgen Lejon was moving on to do other things within the club anyway, Leandro was a wonderful replacement.
Tyresö’s assistant director of football operations, Philip Minja:
“Leandro left a powerful impression by so generously sharing his thoughts on techniques, game understanding and his ability to analyze the game. This kind of knowledge and leadership will help change and improve the attitude and play of our defense giving us a new standard to reach for.”
When the Brazilian native finished his football career in 2011, he tried his hand at MMA fighting. At 6’4″ and 290 lbs, he is an imposing figure. Veal was drafted in the 7th round of the NFL Draft by Atlanta after an outstanding college career at Tennessee. While with the Broncos he started 31 games amassing 39 tackles in 2005 and 2006.
Royal Crowns head coach Andreas Ehrenreich is convinced this will help the entire defensive culture of the team:
“Through intensive, hands-on coaching there is no question what a unique resource Leandro represents for our defensive linemen this season. His years in the NFL and his passion for the sport and its international development coupled with his committed nature make him the perfect role model for us and all that we want to achieve. Our defensive linemen will have an unforgettable year. They will learn new techniques and improve their fundamentals which will help them for the rest of their careers.”