Jen Welter accepts the title of trailblazer, embraces the chance to be a role model for girls and, perhaps most of all, can't wait to get beyond the hype and on to work when the Arizona Cardinals open training camp this weekend.
It's only a six-week internship coaching inside linebackers for the Cardinals, through training camp and the four preseason games. Nonetheless, it marks another barrier broken for women in sports.
Welter, 37, appeared at a news conference at Cardinals headquarters Tuesday and gave all the credit for her hiring to Bruce Arians, saying the coach's "heart made this happen."
Known as Dr. Jen back in Texas, Welter has a Ph.D. in psychology as well as a season as a player on a men's team, the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League.
There are a lot of people who are better than her at the X's and O's of football, she said, "but the heart factor, the intelligent player factor, the being-the-person-with-the-motor-who-won't-quit factor, those are things I know I can add to."
Welter is the latest woman to enter what had been a men-only position. In April, the NFL announced that Sarah Thomas would be the league's first full-time female official. The NBA long has had a female official. And Becky Hammon is an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs and recently was head coach of the Spurs team that won the Las Vegas Summer League championship.
Welter said that for too long girls have been given the wrong message, that it's so important to be pretty.
"We show them as accessories, for no other better way to put it," she said. "We teach them very early on to be pretty, marry well and then act badly and you'll get on TV, and that's what they grow up thinking what fame is or success is.
"I want little girls to grow up knowing that when they put their minds to something, when they work hard, they can do anything."
•The NFL reduced Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell's suspension from three games on two. The league initially suspended Bell three games in April following his arrest in August 2014 on drunken driving and drug charges.
•The Dolphins re-signed quarterback Josh Freeman on Tuesday, four days after they cut him. Freeman, a long shot to make the roster, will battle to become the backup to starter Ryan Tannehill. Matt Moore is the front-runner for that job.
•Chiefs Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dontari Poe will miss camp and likely part of the season after undergoing surgery last week on a herniated disk.
•Oft-injured running back Ryan Williams, was released by the Cowboys.
•The Saints released veteran defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley.