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Welter: I didn't think it was possible to coach in NFL

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The Arizona Cardinals made history on Monday by making Jen Welter the first female to hold a coaching position in the NFL.

On Tuesday, Welter acknowledged that she never expected to smash the league's glass ceiling when she began her 14-year playing career in the Women's Football Alliance.

"I could not have dreamed big enough to imagine this day could ever come," Welter said during her introductory press conference.

Welter credited Cardinals coach Bruce Arians for her role as a training camp and preseason intern coaching inside linebackers, saying the hire never would have happened without "the foresight of somebody like Bruce" and "the strength of his will."

The 37-year-old Welter recounted how Arians initially reached out to her, saying: "I want you to know it's in my heart to offer you this internship. I don't know yet if I can make it happen."

Arians, though, was met with enthusiastic support from the Bidwill family and Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, clearing the way to make Welter a part of the team.

"It's really no different than anybody else," Arians said. "Do you really truly have the passion for this job, and she obviously has the background and the experience that we're looking for as a player and a coach."

"I knew as soon as I started playing football that (it) was my destiny," said Welter, who told reporters that she still keeps her first game check -- a $12 payday for an entire season -- in her purse. "... I remember friends of mine always wanted me to be a cheerleader with them, and I was like, 'Heck no, I'm too busy watching the game, I would drop you!'"

Arians suggested way back in April that a female coach might soon be a reality in the NFL. Players sound open to it, with one AFC player telling Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman that Welter "has more playing experience" than some of the coaches he currently works under.

"And I think the beauty of this is that, though it's a dream I never had, now it's a dream other girls can grow up and have," Welter said. "And so I guess if that makes me a trailblazer --"

"-- she's a trailblazer," Arians cut in.

Welter on Tuesday called the media attention "insane," but her hire brings us closer to a new normal in the NFL, where the elevation of a female coach is just another news story. We're long overdue.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses which coaches are on the hot seat heading into 2015.

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