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Old 02-01-2007, 02:42 AM  
DaWolf DaWolf is offline
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Posnanski explains what Herm meant by making things "more simple"...

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/kansas...s/16592555.htm
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:48 AM   #2
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by GoChiefs
HERM RULES!
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“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!
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:15 AM   #4
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Less pre-snap shifting, less routes based on timing. More blocking.
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:20 AM   #5
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:49 AM   #6
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:52 AM   #7
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:16 AM   #8
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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...
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:32 AM   #9
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uh, the Colt's offense is complex...and they do act like they're playing chess against the defense....

someone is full of shit
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:36 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InChiefsHell
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 ...
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by King_Chief_Fan

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.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:38 AM   #13
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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
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:42 AM   #14
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Keeping it simple is code for a scheme the coach can understand.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Talking Can
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."
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EDWARDS: No, I have not.”
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