Greg Blache considers himself a teacher, first and foremost.
So when the Redskins' defensive coordinator had the opportunity to speak to 300 students at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday, he was in his element.
Blache's speech, which included a question-and-answer session, was part of the Redskins' partnership with the National Guard. A Natioal Guard recruiter was on hand to answer questions from students.
Blache, of course, is known for colorful anecdotes when he holds court with the media at Redskins Park. At T.C. Williams High School, Blache took a more serious tone.
He encouraged students to set goals, overcome obstacles, maintain a positive attitude and accept responsibility.
These are all topics that Blache uses in the classroom with his football players.
"I coach football players who make millions of dollars, but in their everyday lives that's not what they're thinking about," Blache said. "They are thinking about their goals and how to attain them."
He added: "London Fletcher is 34 years old, and everyday he goes out on the football field and tries to get a little bit better."
It was part of a message that encouraged students to find a passion in life and avoid putting limitations on success.
"Don't be afraid to shoot for the stars," Blache said. "Expand yourself and be more than you want to be. I have come a long way because I would not let people put a ceiling on me.
"I tell my football players all the time, 'I don't want you to try your hardest, I want you to do your best," Blache said.
Blache was an appropriate speaker for an event designed in part to educate students about the National Guard.
As a 15-year-old boy growing up in New Orleans, Blache and his family survived Hurricane Betsy, which caused extensive flooding in the city and, ultimately, more than $1 billion in damage.
Blache and his family relied on the National Guard to rescue them from their flooded home.
Blache said he refused to let the devastation deter him from achievement.
"A positive attitude can help get you through the toughest of times and help you work through the setbacks in life," he said.
Growing up, Blache wanted to be a high school social studies teacher and football coach. Instead, he attended Notre Dame and tried his hand at coaching college football.
Eventually, he found his way to the NFL, coaching with the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts. He joined the Redskins in 2004.
The National Guard will be present at the Redskins Draft Day Party on Saturday, April 25 at FedExField. For more information about the National Guard, visit www.NATIONALGUARD.com.