MISSOULA – NFL coaches get very little time off. But even in his free time, you can find Marty Mornhinweg on the football field. Tuesday the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator provided a rare opportunity for Missoula high school quarterbacks.
Twenty-two consecutive years coaching in the NFL and four children will keep you plenty busy, so Mornhinweg, a four-year starter at quarterback for the Montana Grizzlies from 1981-84, had not returned to Missoula in a long time.
“My wife and I counted it up, I think it was 16-18 years we didn’t get back here,” he said. “So we finally got back, and stayed at our dear friends’. And on the plane ride home, my wife said, ‘That’s where I want to be when you’re done.'”
So the Mornhinwegs built a place, and have lived in Missoula during the past three offseaons. Then the coach thought up a way to bring his experience and his new home together: Camp Marty, a small, un-advertised clinic for local high school quarterbacks.
“I hope it’s a little bit unique,” said Mornhinweg. “That was my thought. A small group, and I could do much of the coaching.”
“Oh, this is really nice, because he knows what he is talking about,” said Big Sky senior Levi Janacaro, last year’s starter for the Eagles who put up outstanding rushing numbers in 2016 but admitted he’s trying to speed up his throwing motion. “His experience is super nice. It’s kind of like one-on-one, too. It’s nice. We learn a lot.”
A total of 10 QBs ranging from incoming freshmen to seniors spent the better part of the morning and afternoon learning from Mornhinweg. The coach who has instructed the likes of Brett Favre, Steve Young, and most recently Joe Flacco has plenty to share.
“It’s a lot of little things you don’t typically go over in practice,” said Brandon Morley, a senior at Sentinel who plays linebacker but could fill in at quarterback for the Spartans. “But when you get in here and he teaches you so many little things that you’ve never really thought about, it just helps your overall game. It’s not as much about where you are putting the ball, it’s how you get in position to put the ball.”
Mornhinweg made sure everyone knew this was just the start for the campers.
“Now they are going to have to take this and go work on it,” he said. “And it’s kind of lonely sometimes being a quarterback, because you’ve got to get your extra work in.”
Mornhinweg wants Camp Marty to become an annual event. They could expand to more quarterbacks next summer. He thanked the sponsors that helped the event become a reality.
Adidas provided gear for the athletes, and many local sponsors chipped in: Stockman’s Bar; The Press Box; The Missoula Club; Paradise Falls; Red’s Bar; Athletes First; First Interstate Bank; Axmen; Beach Transportation; Christian, Samson & Jones, PLLC; Brian Salonen; and Brad Dantic.
The former Grizzly and new Montanan hopes we’ll see the day of instruction pay off this fall.
“I’m happy that I’m able to do it,” said Mornhinweg. “And hopefully it will give the kids one, two or three things to take with them and help them this next year.”
Mornhinweg’s sons helped him coach the camp, and Joe Flacco’s cousin, a talented high school senior, flew out to Missoula to join quarterbacks from Big Sky, Sentinel, Hellgate and Loyola on the field.