01-27-2013, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
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There's so much interesting shit in here.
The head coach must pull back even a step further than the coordinators. You must have the encompassing perspective of all. It is your responsibility to make sure the
offense, defense and special teams interact together to maintain the balance that is needed to achieve any type of sustained success in the NFL.
On occasion, you may have to constantly remind your coordinators that, in and of itself, finishing high in the league statistical standings has little or no value except as it
pertains to the overall goal of winning and losing. The proper distance you need to accomplish this task is wholly subjective and hard to quantify.
It is also important that you keep things in perspective when considering whether to accept the advice and input of your assistant coaches. For example, if, for
whatever reason, you are overanxious, desperate or not thinking calmly or clearly, you may be unduly susceptible to taking advice or directions from assistant coaches
who are in a similar emotional upheaval as you.
The problem arises from the fact that your assistant coaches don't have anything to lose, relatively speaking. As the head coach, you are rightfully responsible and
accountable for all decisions. You must answer to the owner of the team, to the media, and to your staff. Most of all, however, you must answer to the team.
Successful coaches realize that a winning team is not run by a single individual who dominates the work environment and reduces the rest of the group to marionettes.
Winning teams are more like open forums in which everyone participates in the decisionmaking
process — coaches and players alike — until a decision is made.
Although everyone must know who (i.e., the head coach) is in command, the head coach should behave democratically. Once a decision is made, the team must then
be firmly committed to implementing the plan as intended.
During 49ers games, my coaches and I always tried to respond to what the players said. We knew we needed their input because often it made a difference.
An example occurred in a game against New Orleans in 1987. I told the team at halftime
that we would call one particular pass play when we got inside the Saints'
line. For whatever reason, I simply didn't think of sending in the play when we got into that situation.
On the sideline, Steve Young, who at the time was our backup quarterback to Joe Montana, immediately reminded me of my halftime
announcement. Fortunately, he
wasn't a bit hesitant about doing so.
I called the play, and we scored. I couldn't worry about being embarrassed because I had forgotten what I said in the locker room. Only the result of the game
mattered. We all wanted to win.
Communication is absolutely critical to this process. For example, if you are somewhat uncomfortable walking through your team's locker room, you may be losing
your ability to communicate with the players. At the very least, you probably haven't developed or enhanced your ability to interact with the players as well as you