Jan. 9, 2012
Are you a Florida State fan whose favorite NFL team didn’t make the playoffs or has already been eliminated? Well, if you need a team to root for this postseason and are looking for any sort of FSU connection (other than the five former FSU players that are still in the mix for a championship) the San Francisco 49ers are a good pick.
San Francisco doesn’t have any former FSU players on its roster but there is a former ‘Nole behind the scenes.
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
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In his first season as the Video Operations Manager for the 49ers, Michael Bracken got his start in Tallahassee where he served as a student assistant in the coaches video department for five years before being promoted to Assistant Video Coordinator of the football team in January of 2008.
The 49ers were off this past weekend — that’s what happens when you finish with the No. 2 seed in the NFC — and Bracken took the time to talk with Seminoles.com about his new job and provides an inside look at what he must do to help the 49ers prepare for their playoff game.
Seminoles.com: What’s been the biggest difference for you going from working in a BCS-level football program to the NFL?
Bracken: The biggest difference has been the length of football season. At FSU, fall camp starts in August and goes through the first weekend in December — then after taking a break for finals — kicks up for three weeks to include the bowl game. Here, we have had the pedal to the medal since the end of July. I didn’t have the luxury of having a “spring practice” to get accustomed to how the staff works and the structure of what we were doing. As soon as the lockout was lifted, it was go.
Seminoles.com: How did your job at FSU prepare you for that transition into your new role in the NFL?
Bracken: FSU prepared me because it gave me the opportunity to work with so many different staffs, and get a grasp of high volume requests from multiple users. At FSU, I had the great opportunity to work with football, baseball, volleyball, soccer, and tennis staffs, just to name a few, and each presented their own way of wanting things. The same can be said here. From our coaching staff, to our scouting department, and to the players there are a lot of end-users who need their content now, and meeting all expectations in a limited time frame was something I definitely learned while working with college athletics.
Seminoles.com: How has your workload changed in the playoffs as you prepare for different teams? (Note: this interview was conducted before New Orleans beat Detroit to set up a 49ers-Saints matchup this Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on FOX.)
Bracken: Not knowing the opponent means I just need to better organize how the coaches can scout the upcoming opponents. We have to be ready for any possibility. What supersedes all of that is the fact that for the coaches, they need to look for the film in the same areas they’ve been looking for the last five months. It all just needs to fall in sequential order. Fortunately, our coaching analysis system allows us to work in a “gameplan” type environment, so our possible playoff teams show up right in order, after the last regular season game we played. Just pull the next binder off the shelf, and after you get done watching New Orleans and the New York Giants, you can take a took at Atlanta.
Seminoles.com: Your schedule and geography probably prevented you from watching too many FSU games live this past season but did you get to keep tabs on the Seminoles at all?
Bracken: I did get to watch a few games. I was even able to make it back for the Maryland game. It was tough to catch most of them, as often we’d have practice, meetings, or travel on Saturdays. DVR was quite helpful keeping up with the Seminoles! It also helps being three hours behind. It was a little crazy to catch the 9 a.m. kickoff for the NC State game, but even the night kickoffs are over by 9 p.m. Keeping close with some of the coaches still there, or some of the staff members, helped me to stay connected throughout the season.