Jeff Anderson knew the opportunity was coming at some point.
He just needed to continue to be patient and prove he was ready.
Anderson, who was recently named a defensive quality control coach for the Browns, spent eight years coaching at the college level before he received the full-time promotion to the NFL. Starting at Contra Costa College, his alma mater, and moving up the ranks through jobs at San Jose State and Cal Poly, Anderson has long been working at his coaching craft to one day crack a gig in the NFL.
He earned his first taste of it last summer, when he was in Cleveland as a Bill Walsh Diversity Fellow. Anderson worked with Browns coaches throughout the team's minicamp workouts before returning to Cal Poly to be the cornerbacks coach.
Now, he's back with the Browns for good and ready to chip in wherever he's needed to help the defense.
"Every morning when I grab that coffee, I'm pinching myself," Anderson said. "It's a dream to be able to work in this organization and work on this stage."
The Browns kept tabs on Anderson after his time with the team over the summer, where he primarily worked with the linebackers and special teams unit. His work will tap into all areas of the defense in his new role, which includes building PowerPoints for defensive meetings, constructing game plan notes and more of the behind-the-scenes work. He'll also have a core focus on coaching nickel defensive backs.
Anderson was only with the Browns for 11 days when he was a part of the fellowship, but that short time provided a master class toward learning how NFL coaches operate team meetings, build trust and rapport and effectively communicate their teachings and strategies to players.
It also made the interview and acclimation process easier for Anderson when he was in the process of being selected.
"There was an easy component to it because I knew who I was interviewing with," Anderson said, "but then I was also thinking about how this was the opportunity I was waiting for for a long time. But then once I got into the interview, it was just like talking ball. All that stuff helped me smooth out the process."
One of the messages head coach Kevin Stefanski relayed to Anderson after he was hired was that he was still here to develop and grow, just as he was doing for the fellowship. The Browns brought Anderson back not only to contribute to their defensive coaching staff, but to continue garnering the skills and knowledge necessary to climb the coaching ranks.
"He said, 'This is just me opening the door for you,'" Anderson said. "Just knowing that those are the people behind you is a blessed feeling. It's an honor working with great people and a great organization that truly cares for you to develop, and to just be selected in the framework is just a blessing.
"But it's also something where I can't just sit back. I have to continue to go, work and fit into the culture here."