It’s 2015. What took so long for there to be a female NFL coach?
It really has been that last bastion of “women don’t go there.”
Why do you think NFL players will listen to you?
I’m patient. I think that’s what these guys will respond to. I’m not going to jump up in anybody’s face and make them try and listen to me.
What do you anticipate being the toughest part of the job?
Guys knowing how they can act around me. Yesterday somebody said, “Come on, gentlemen, let’s go.” And they were like, “Oh my gosh, Jen, we’re so sorry.” And I said, “Just say guys. It works for everybody.”
What do you think about the Tom Brady suspension?
Hopefully people will forget about Tom Brady’s balls long before they’ll forget that a girl is coaching in the NFL.
Between yourself, the U.S. soccer team and Serena Williams, are women and sports having a huge moment?
What’s changing now is that people are getting excited about women in sports. They realize that for our girls to grow up into very strong, successful women, they need positive role models. Not just Instagram pictures.
This appears in the August 17, 2015 issue of TIME.