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View Full Version : Posnanski explains what Herm meant by making things "more simple"...


DaWolf
02-01-2007, 01:42 AM
SIMPLE PLAN WORKS FOR SUPER COACHES

MIAMI | There is subtle wordplay constantly happening in football. Everybody understands this. Some players are called “athletic” while others are called “intelligent.” You know what those two words mean. Some are “possession receivers” (translation: slow) while others are “deep threats” (translation: can’t catch).

Some players have “intangibles,” while others have “natural gifts.” Some players are “leaders,” while others are “fun-loving.” A “fearless” player is usually the quarterback who throws into double coverage or the corner who gets burned deep. A “solid” player might be the linebacker who always jumps on the pile when the runner is pretty much down.

There are so many words used for football players and each of them will spark some image in your mind: Controversial, disciplined, team player, articulate, instinctive, impulsive, strong-willed, on and on. Take a word like, say, “gamer.” You see that word and you probably picture a very specific player in your mind. I’m guessing, if you’ve been brainwashed properly by John Madden, that person is Brett Favre.

That’s the power of words.

This week, Super Bowl week, you may notice how often Indianapolis’ Tony Dungy and Chicago’s Lovie Smith are called “motivators.” Or “men of faith.” Or “players’ coaches.” Or something else that describes them as generally solid men. There is nothing at all wrong with these words — I imagine Smith and Dungy cherish those descriptions.

But Bill Belichick and Mike Shanahan were called “geniuses.”

This is not a black and white thing. Bill Cowher was a motivator, while Mike Martz was a genius. Chuck Noll, motivator. Tom Landry, genius. Marty Schottenheimer, motivator. Jon Gruden, genius. Bill Parcells, motivator. Bill Walsh, genius. Mike Ditka, motivator. Buddy Ryan, genius. And so on.

No, the difference between “motivator” and “genius” goes deeper than color, deeper than coaching philosophy, deeper than a love of offense or defense. I think it cuts to the very core of what a coach believes in. The geniuses, I think, have this strong sense that, in the end, they can win or lose the game. And the motivators believe, just as strongly, that players win and lose the game.

And that’s why I like motivators a lot more.

“The idea is to keep it simple,” Dungy says. He comes straight from the school of Noll, the Pittsburgh Steelers coach who always had a three-word answer when his teams struggled: “Let’s do less.” He figured that the Steelers would play their best football when the game plan was stripped down to a Maxim cover. That way his talented players were given the freedom to just play the game with abandon.

This is football gospel to Tony Dungy. It took him a long time to become a head football coach. He says this is simply because owners and general managers had a picture in their mind of what a football coach looked like — and Dungy did not fit that picture. In 1993, the Minnesota Vikings gave up the fewest yards in the NFL. Dungy was the defensive coordinator. Seven head-coaching jobs came open, if you include two expansion teams. Dungy did not get an interview for any of the seven (and the seven included some real geniuses like Pete Carroll, Buddy Ryan and June Jones, who lasted one, two and three years, respectively).

The long wait gave Dungy a chance to decide exactly what he believed in. And he believed in simplicity. When he went to Tampa Bay in 1995, he took over a team coming off of 13 consecutive losing seasons. In his second year, the Bucs won 10 games. In his fourth, Tampa Bay came within a few big plays of reaching the Super Bowl. This would be considered genius stuff, except that Dungy was — and remains — an antigenius.

“With Tony, the challenge always was ‘How can we make this simpler?’ ” says Chiefs coach Herm Edwards, who was on Dungy’s staff. “We all believed in that. This isn’t chess, man. We wanted our guys to play faster. So how do you do that? You don’t give them too many things to think about. You don’t let them hesitate. It’s just, ‘Let’s go boys. Let’s go play some football.’ That’s what Tony believes. That’s what I believe. That’s what Lovie believes, too.”

Ah yes, Lovie Smith was on that Buccaneers staff too. He had been a lifelong college coach — Tulsa, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio State, whew — when Dungy hired him at age 37 to coach linebackers in Tampa Bay. Right away, those two coaches realized they had the same values. They were both spiritual Christian men. They were both humble. They were both quiet. And they both believed deeply that you don’t win football games by outsmarting the other coach. You win football games by preparing your players to be their very best (and it doesn’t hurt to have good players).

“It works, man,” Edwards says. “People love talking about schemes and ‘how big is your playbook’ and all that jazz. But look at what Lovie did when he went to St. Louis. He didn’t make things complicated. He made them play.”

In 2001, Smith took over the worst defense in the NFL — a defense that had allowed about 30 points per game. That season, the Rams allowed 200 fewer points and went to the Super Bowl. It’s one of the great coaching jobs in the history of the NFL. And it was NGOP — No Genius or Preservatives.

“It’s the simple approach that we take,” he says now about his team’s success in Chicago. “We talk hard about our players playing hard every down. We preach it over and over. … We have a simple approach to winning football. Offensively, run the football. Defensively, play hard. That’s it.”

This, to me, is the most refreshing part of this year’s Super Bowl. The head coaches are always such a big story here. And sure, it can be fun to try and dissect the genius coaches — see what makes Bill Belichick tick (and wear awful clothes), try and figure out the play-calling mind of Mike Holmgren, challenge Andy Reid to a quick game of Trivial Pursuit and so on. Those guys are sometimes bigger than the game.

That’s why it’s great for once to be around two good football coaches who are not bigger than the game, coaches who remember that the Super Bowl won’t be won on the chalkboard, and it won’t be won in the film room, and it won’t be won in the middle of the night when a coach jolts awake with some inspired play in his mind. Smith and Dungy understand that the players will win or lose the Super Bowl.

A coach told me once, “A genius is not the guy who wears headsets. A genius is the guy who invented headsets.”

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/columnists/16592555.htm

Douche Baggins
02-01-2007, 01:48 AM
HERM RULES!

Bill Parcells
02-01-2007, 01:54 AM
HERM RULES!
“It works, man,” Edwards says. “People love talking about schemes and ‘how big is your playbook’ and all that jazz. But look at what Lovie did when he went to St. Louis. He didn’t make things complicated. He made them play.”
AH Yes..good ole Lovie put the Rams defense in prevent mode on the final drive in the Super Bowl against the Pats...IT DIDN'T WORK!

el borracho
02-01-2007, 02:15 AM
Less pre-snap shifting, less routes based on timing. More blocking.

Halfcan
02-01-2007, 02:20 AM
run run pass punt- Super Genius

Otter
02-01-2007, 05:49 AM
Hope in Herm fading, fading, fading...

Chiefs_Fan
02-01-2007, 05:52 AM
I'm giving him anouther year before I call for his head!

InChiefsHell
02-01-2007, 06:16 AM
It makes sense to dumb down the gameplan...if you are coaching a bunch of 10-12 year olds.

Heh. But seriously. Our problem is, we had so much fun watching our Chiefs offense be one of the best in the league for 4 seasons. Now those days are gone and we are going smashmouth. Fine. But it still requires some brain power. When smashmouth doesn't work, you have to have a backup plan. Let's just HOPE that next year Herm learns that. Run Run Pass Punt sucks...

the Talking Can
02-01-2007, 06:32 AM
uh, the Colt's offense is complex...and they do act like they're playing chess against the defense....

someone is full of shit

King_Chief_Fan
02-01-2007, 06:36 AM
Big difference between Dungy simple and Edwards simple.

You can't tell me that Indy's playbook is a dumb down run run pass punt playbook.

Herm looks for every opportunity to justify his simple simon approach.

siberian khatru
02-01-2007, 07:33 AM
Heh. But seriously. Our problem is, we had so much fun watching our Chiefs offense be one of the best in the league for 4 seasons. Now those days are gone and we are going smashmouth. Fine. But it still requires some brain power. When smashmouth doesn't work, you have to have a backup plan. Let's just HOPE that next year Herm learns that. Run Run Pass Punt sucks...

Exactly. Pass when the D expects run, run when the D expects pass. Don't just send your RB into the middle of the line 500 times a season against 11-man fronts.

Be smashmouth like the Cowboys of the 90s. They had a huge OL and a stud RB they leaned on -- but they also could burn you with Irvin, Harper and Novacek.

Now, if we could just get a huge OL and an Irvin and Harper ...

DaKCMan AP
02-01-2007, 07:35 AM
You can't tell me that Indy's playbook is a dumb down run run pass punt playbook.


No, it's not. But Tampa under Dungy was.

tyton75
02-01-2007, 07:38 AM
While I agree with dumbing down the Defense playbook and just letting them attack the ball
example: Grob-complicated Gun-Kill the ballcarrier

but on offense, you have to have a diverse playbook.. not necessarily complicated, but enough change to keep the defense off-guard

Thats just the way I see it

HonestChieffan
02-01-2007, 07:42 AM
Keeping it simple is code for a scheme the coach can understand.

Chiefnj
02-01-2007, 07:57 AM
uh, the Colt's offense is complex...and they do act like they're playing chess against the defense....

someone is full of shit

To Dungy the offense is simple. It consists of one play: "Peyton call what you want."

HMc
02-01-2007, 08:17 AM
scoring 17 points a game might be a sweet plan when your D doesn't resemble a busted up colander (HELLO TAMPA) but when your corners are walking around in olive oil before the kickoff, your safeties are getting burnt deep despite playing prevent on every down and you signed your DTs at The Longest Yard's casting session then you need some MORE FCKEN POINTS Hermie

Chief Roundup
02-01-2007, 08:19 AM
There was a nice article on espn about Tom Moore and Peyton. It basicly said that they have one of the simpliest offenses in the league. It is just Peyton that makes the defense think too much.
And that Peyton calls all of the plays on the field.

IMO Dungy was brought in there and basicly was told you do something with this defense while Moore and Manning take care of the offense.
Dungy never has had an offense that he designed or implimented that wasn't bottum of the league.

'Hamas' Jenkins
02-01-2007, 08:23 AM
There was a nice article on espn about Tom Moore and Peyton. It basicly said that they have one of the simpliest offenses in the league. It is just Peyton that makes the defense think too much.
And that Peyton calls all of the plays on the field.

IMO Dungy was brought in there and basicly was told you do something with this defense while Moore and Manning take care of the offense.
Dungy never has had an offense that he designed or implimented that wasn't bottum of the league.

Funny how JoPo doesn't mention what a certain defensive genius has done to win 3 Super Bowls this decade.

HMc
02-01-2007, 08:24 AM
Manning has patience. He can dink, dunk and chew (no sean, not jew) but then you play up and he cooks you deep. Hard to defend against. Oh and he throws the ball to the reciever (as long as they turn in the right direction) and mostly they catch the thing. that helps aswell

StcChief
02-01-2007, 08:30 AM
AH Yes..good ole Lovie put the Rams defense in prevent mode on the final drive in the Super Bowl against the Pats...IT DIDN'T WORK!

and almost didn't work against the Titans. :banghead:

jAZ
02-01-2007, 08:42 AM
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/6289610

Why isn't Lovie Smith a genius?
Michael David Smith / FootballOutsiders.com
Posted: 40 days ago

Lovie Smith is a genius.

The word "genius" may be overused when discussing football coaches, but there's not a better word to describe Smith, the Chicago Bears' head coach, who has a masterful ability to improve any defense he coaches.

The "genius" tag for football coaches goes at least as far back as Paul Brown, founder and coach of the Cleveland Browns, and it was routinely affixed to Bill Walsh in the 1980s when he coached the San Francisco 49ers. Walsh was one of two coaching geniuses of the 1980s; the word also was used to describe Joe Gibbs when he won Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins.

More recently, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been described as a genius, and he earned that label when his defense shut down the offense of another so-called genius, former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz, in the Super Bowl.

But why wouldn't the label also apply to Smith? Smith has built the best defense in the league in Chicago. Last year it was so good that the Bears were the second seed in the NFC despite spending most of the season with a quarterback, Kyle Orton, who looked like he'd have trouble cracking the starting lineup on most good college teams. This year the defense is even better, and the Bears are the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

This is Smith's first head coaching job, but it isn't the first time he has taken over a defense and yielded immediate results. In 2001, Smith became the defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams. Before Smith arrived, the Rams had allowed a league-worst 471 points. In Smith's first season, the Rams allowed 273, seventh-best in the league. In 2002 and 2003, the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" offense began to decline, and it was the defense that kept St. Louis competitive. The Rams' defense collapsed in 2004, when Smith left for Chicago.

One reason Smith isn't credited as a genius is that he isn't the inventor of a specific Xs-and-Os system. Smith runs the so-called Tampa 2 defense that goes back to his time as linebackers coach for Tony Dungy with the Buccaneers from 1996 to 2000. But the two coaches who most often get the credit for that defense — Dungy and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin — have had significantly less impressive defenses than Smith has recently. Smith, Dungy and Kiffin all arrived in Tampa Bay at the same time, and although Smith had left for St. Louis before the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, Smith's role in developing the Tampa Bay defense shouldn't be overlooked.

Smith has one truly innovative approach to defense: his obsession with eliminating "loafs." A loaf is any play in which a player isn't giving his full effort at any point between the snap and the whistle. Smith and his staff review game film and watch every player on every defensive play. When a player doesn't hustle — say, a pass-rushing lineman stops after the throw rather than turning around and running downfield — he gets a check by his name on Smith's loaf chart. Smith makes it clear to his players that the more checks they have by their names, the less they'll enjoy the following week's practices.

It sounds simple — hardly the stuff of genius — but it works. Smith's linemen try to make the tackle after complete passes. Smith's defensive backs sprint to the line of scrimmage on runs. Watching the Bears' defense is watching something that should be commonplace but isn't: 11 players playing to their full potential.

Aside from Smith, here are the half-dozen coaches who deserve the genius label for their defensive systems.


Greasy Neale, the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1940s, whose Eagle Defense was the first to move the middle guard off the line of scrimmage in passing situations, paving the way for today's middle linebackers.

Tom Landry, who as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants in the 1950s built off some of Neale's schemes in pioneering the 4-3 defense. Landry was also one of the first defensive coaches to put a fifth defensive back on the field in passing situations, what has since been

Hank Stram, the coach of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1960s, who created both the Triple Stack defense (which aligned the defensive tackles over the opposing center, helping the Chiefs control the middle of the line), and many of the first zone defenses in the 1960s (which were a response to the pass-first offenses in the American Football League and were an early predecessor of today's Cover 2).

Bill Arnsparger, who spent 18 seasons as Don Shula's primary defensive assistant with both the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins. In drawing up a game plan to frustrate New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath, Arnsparger created what he called the 53 defense, featuring five linemen, with one or two moving into linebacker-like positions before the snap. That defense is the forbearer to today's 3-4 defenses.

Buddy Ryan, the defensive coordinator of the Bears in the 1980s and later head coach of the Eagles and Cardinals, who created the 46 defense, which stacked linebackers and defensive backs near the line of scrimmage to shut down opposing running attacks and force quarterbacks to pass quickly rather than read through their progressions.

Bill Belichick, whose 3-4 defense with the New England Patriots won three Super Bowls this decade.
Why isn't Smith yet listed among this group of innovators? Why haven't Smith's "loafs" caught on as an NFL buzzword the way the 46 defense or the Cover 2 did? Perhaps it's because it sounds simple, not strategic. Just making sure you try hard on every play is the stuff of Pop Warner coaches.

But more likely, the reason Smith hasn't yet gotten the credit he deserves is that he hasn't yet made an impact on the postseason. The worst game of Smith's coaching career came 11 months ago at Soldier Field, when Chicago was eliminated from the playoffs. On that day the Bears' game plan against the Carolina Panthers was too rigid, failing to account for the Panthers' tendency to run their offense through one player, wide receiver Steve Smith. In the Bears' 29-21 loss to the Panthers, Smith torched Chicago's secondary for 12 catches and 218 yards.

Next month Smith will get another chance to show what his defense can do in the playoffs. If he succeeds, football fans will begin to recognize him for what he is: one of the best defensive minds in the game.

crazycoffey
02-01-2007, 08:48 AM
I'm giving him anouther year before I call for his head!


I'm giving him another year before I make a decisiontoo, lets see how he does this year and changes he makes.

Mr. Laz
02-01-2007, 09:29 AM
actually it is a chess match ...


priest holmes used to talk about it exactly like chess. Every team has great athletes in the NFL.

The key is who can train, motivate and utilize their great athletes better than the other guy.

utilize = chess

each chess piece has it's own particular strength and it's up to the Chess player to make the most out of those strengths.

herm is looking more and more retarded everytime he opens his mouth.

CrazyHorse
02-01-2007, 10:31 AM
actually it is a chess match ...


priest holmes used to talk about it exactly like chess. Every team has great athletes in the NFL.

The key is who can train, motivate and utilize their great athletes better than the other guy.

utilize = chess

each chess piece has it's own particular strength and it's up to the Chess player to make the most out of those strengths.

herm is looking more and more retarded everytime he opens his mouth.

Though you wont find me trying to argue that Herm Edwrads is the sharpest tool in the drawer, I will say that a defensive coach is better off taking the position he does. An offensive minded caoch is more the Chess player in that he is looking for matchups. On the defense, you are basically lining up and playing the scheme.

The only time you have an advantage in chess, is on offense.

Chiefnj
02-01-2007, 10:44 AM
On the defense, you are basically lining up and playing the scheme.



Not true. Isn't blitzing a chess match? Where is it coming from, how many guys, what down?? Switching between zone and man coverage, stunts, etc.

Baby Lee
02-01-2007, 10:50 AM
and almost didn't work against the Titans. :banghead:
Well, to be fair, Lovie's 1999 Rams defense had to face a rejuvenated Todd Blackledge, finally out from under the yoke of Carl Peterson, who drafted, but never believed in, him.

Calcountry
02-01-2007, 10:52 AM
Big difference between Dungy simple and Edwards simple.

You can't tell me that Indy's playbook is a dumb down run run pass punt playbook.

Herm looks for every opportunity to justify his simple simon approach.Pure Genious.

Redrum_69
02-01-2007, 10:56 AM
each chess piece has it's own particular strength and it's up to the Chess player to make the most out of those strengths.




If this is the case...then herm needs to do the Blitzkrieg every time!!!

DaWolf
02-01-2007, 03:51 PM
Of course the Colts offense isn't complex. They have a HOF QB, a HOF WR, and another excellent WR opposite him, with a very competent TE and a serviceable OL. It's old school football: line up and get the ball to your playmakers. Peyton changes the play at the line to get the best matchup. And lo and behold, that is exactly what Herm wants to allow his QB's to do, be able to audible and change plays at the point of attack more often when situations call for it.

I guarantee you if the Chiefs find a very good No 1 WR and block better for Green, we're going to be a much better offense because all of a sudden, putting 8 men in the box isn't going to be as effective...

Chiefnj
02-01-2007, 03:58 PM
... And lo and behold, that is exactly what Herm wants to allow his QB's to do, be able to audible and change plays at the point of attack more often when situations call for it....


What stopped Herm from doing it this year?

penguinz
02-01-2007, 04:07 PM
What stopped Herm from doing it this year?
With all the stupid shifts when do you have time to audible?

DaWolf
02-01-2007, 06:32 PM
What stopped Herm from doing it this year?
Well according to him, we were using the same system and playbook, just the plays were called differently. And the system did not have an audible system in it because Saunders didn't want his QB's to audible.

Of course that is assuming you believe Herm...

ChiefsLV
02-01-2007, 07:34 PM
I'm giving him another year before I make a decisiontoo, lets see how he does this year and changes he makes.

I'm not giving him any more time. But what the **** does it matter anyway? He's probably going to be here at least two more seasons.

He lost me after the playoff game. Someone had to be fired for a performance that inept.

milkman
02-01-2007, 08:00 PM
I'm not giving him any more time. But what the **** does it matter anyway? He's probably going to be here at least two more seasons.

He lost me after the playoff game. Someone had to be fired for a performance that inept.

I never wanted Herman ****ing Edwards as the Chiefs coach, but was remaining quiet about my dissatisfaction with his hire.

But that playoff game was an absolute joke.

Herman ****ing Edwards sucks ass, and the Chiefs will continue to be mired in mediocrity until he, Carl, and everyone associated with those two useless ****ers are gone.