MADISON, Ala. -- The relationship between a football coach and his quarterback is a special one. But what if your coach has another title, like, Dad?
"Everybody asks, 'Is it weird having him out there?'” said Bob Jones Junior Quarterback Caden Rose. "I’m like, when we’re at practice he’s just another coach. You are obviously going to get the people (who say), 'oh your playing daddy’s ball, that’s the only reason you get to play.' (That's why) you always have to go out there and prove to people you're not just playing because your dad’s the coach."
So far, Caden’s managed to do just that. As a sophomore, he earned the starting job and finished the season with 2,346 passing yards and 16 touchdowns. He also picked up 485 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns.
"Even as a first grader, second grader, third grader," said Caden's father, Bob Jones Head Coach Kevin Rose. "He (would) see me watching film at home and he (would) come sit beside me and ask, 'hey dad, why did you run that play on 3rd and 8?' Or, 'Why did you do an on-side kick right there?' He’s asking me hundreds of questions to the point that my brain hurts. When it came his time (to play) he (was) kind of a year or two ahead of the game mentally," Rose said.
You could say that for Caden, being a competitor just comes naturally.
"I mean his first word was, 'ball," his father said. "I can remember him out in the backyard with a little plastic golf club and his face was just blood-red. It’s 100 degrees and he's just hitting it and going to get it then hitting it again. He’s just always been wired that way. When a lot of kids are sitting at home playing Fortnite it’s 9 o’clock he’s going to the YMCA."
For a kid that grew up as the ball boy on the sidelines, getting to suit up while his dad calls the shots is a dream come true.
"Playing a game on Friday night means so much more to you because you’ve been out there for so long and you know what it means,:" Caden said. "You know it’s not just a game to you and to your family."
But it’s not all serious either, there’s also some light-hearted as well.
"Oh, it’s so much fun! I always laugh whenever I hear his pregame speeches or his speeches at practice because I’ve already heard them before," Caden said while laughing. "I’m like yep. I remember hearing that 5 years ago."
As important as the wins and losses are to the Rose family, at the end of the day family comes first – not football - and that makes playing that much better.
"You know, if he goes 0-for-4, I love him. If he goes 4-for-4 I, love him. If he throws 3 touchdown passes, I love him. If he throws 3 interceptions, I love him," Kevin said. "That performance or that outcome-based situation is separate from our relationship as a father and son."
Because when the title of dad is greater than that of a coach, then having your father beside you on you the field just makes you that much better.