INDIANAPOLIS — Back in 2004, Ran Carthon, who had just been signed to the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad, was staying at his dad, Maurice's, home, when he decided to kick his feet up and watch some TV.
But Maurice — then the Cowboys' offensive coordinator — apparently wasn't having any of that.
"He would come in and push me in the head and tell me, 'Hey, you need to be studying your playbook,'" Ran recalled in a 2005 Indianapolis Star article.
Perhaps that push from his father has stayed with Ran Carthon ever since.
Carthon, now the San Francisco 49ers' Director of Pro Personnel, is one of two former Indianapolis Colts players who recently were hired to new NFL personnel jobs, joining former wide receiver Lake Dawson, who joined the Buffalo Bills as their Assistant Director of College Scouting.
Carthon was a standout running back at the University of Florida from 1999 to 2003. Though he went undrafted, he would play in parts of two seasons — 2005 and 2006— with the Indianapolis Colts as a running back and as a kick returner.
In all, his NFL career spanned nine games, and he ran the ball 16 times for 22 yards and two touchdowns. He also had seven kick returns for 113 yards.
Carthon quickly jumped into a personnel role after his playing days were over, spending four seasons as a pro scout with the Atlanta Falcons. His career got a huge boost in 2013, when he was selected to participate in the NFL Career Development Symposium at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia.
Carthon then moved on to the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, where he spent five seasons as their Director of Pro Personnel. He was hired by the 49ers to the same role on May 19.
His father, Maurice, is also a former NFL fullback, having played eight seasons with the New York Giants and the Colts, where he wrapped up his playing career in 1992. He has since been a coach with the New England Patriots, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs.
And maybe a little tough love helped Maurice show his son what it takes to carve out such a long career in the NFL — on or off the field.
"If you ask anybody who's ever played for my dad, he demands the best, and he expects the same from me," Ran told The Indianapolis Star. "I expect the constant criticism."Dawson to Buffalo
At 6 foot 2, 207 pounds, Lake Dawson was a big target for his quarterbacks to find down the field.
And in February 1999, the Colts hoped he could provide just that for a young Peyton Manning, signing the Notre Dame product to a two-year contract.
Unfortunately, Dawson's chronic knee problems, as well as an ankle injury, would prevent him from ever playing a single game in Indy.
But that didn't mean his time with the Colts was for naught, however.
The team's future Hall of Fame general manager, Bill Polian, couldn't help but notice Dawson's meticulous note-taking skills as a player, and recommended he transition to a career in player personnel once his playing days were over.
Just two years later, Dawson was hired as a pro personnel assistant with the Seattle Seahawks. And he has spent the last 15-plus years moving up the ladder.
After eventually being promoted as the Seahawks' Assistant Director of Pro Personnel, Dawson moved on to the Tennessee Titans, where he would spend nine years as the team's Director of Pro Personnel, Vice President of Operations and, finally, Vice President of Player Personnel.
After a quick stint as a national scout with the Cleveland Browns last year, he was hired on by the Bills on May 18 as Assistant Director of College Scouting.
"He's had a heck of a career," Bills general manager Brandon Beane said, via BuffaloBills.com. "He rose to a level of VP of Player Personnel. He's interviewed for multiple GM positions. To have a guy with his experience and leadership… it's a strong addition."
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