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  1. #1
    laram0's Avatar
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    HEADCOACHING: What works?

    What is it that separates the good if not great from the bad ?

    There have been many many variations of Headcoaching styles and philosophies. During the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's discipline seemed to be the constant factor among successful Headcoaches. Names like Bud Grant, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, Don Shula, Bill Walsh and of course Vince Lombardi jump out at me. We also had the Mike Ditka's, Bill Parcells, Joe Gibbs and Dick Vermeils of the world. (There are many more)

    We've seen coaches build their teams through the draft. (Jimmy Johnson's Cowboys) We've seen coaches rely on older veterans. (George Allen's Washington Redskins) We've seen coaches adjust to their personnel. Tony Dungy went from the very strong defensive minded Buccaneers to the Offensive Indianapolis Colts.

    However somewhere during the new millenium the players of the NFL started to fight back. They were tired of being treated like children and have been demanding respect. After all, most of the players are multi-millionaires and want be treated like men. They wanted their opinions/imput heard with an understanding and cooperative ear.

    A great example of this is Tom Coughlin (the ultimate disciplinarian) of the New York Giants. By the end of the 2006 season Coughlin had a mutiny on his hands. The players hated their Headcoach. They were fed up with his style of coaching. There were rumors that Coughlin was going to be fired by the Giants. However Coughlin was signed on for 1 more year by the New York franchise. Coughlin was somehow convinced (by who or whom I don't know) to lighten up with the discipline and become more of a players coach. The rest as we all know is history. The last two SUPERBOWLS have been won by teams with a Headcoach (Tony Dungy) that is using the player coach style. Is this a coincidence? Or is there a changing of the guard?

    My opinion is that in today's NFL it comes down to the players. There are still many variations of Headcoaching styles and player talent is important but if the players don't buy what the Headcoach is selling failure will be the outcome. A good example of this is Randy Moss. Moss excelled during his Minnesota Viking days and then moved onto the Oakland Raiders where he floundered. Now that he is with the Patriots is back to his old very talented self.

    Yes, the Headcoach has to know what he's doing and be involved with all aspects of the team. However all the talent in the world doesn't guarantee success. Todays player has to respect and buy into what the Headcoach is preaching and teaching. There has to be a chemistry/comraderie established to create that winning atmosphere.

    As much as I hate to admit it (SLAP Founder) our Headcoach Scott Linehan needs to work on his player/coach relationships. Whether he likes it or not. We have the talent on our roster to be very competitive in 2008 but if our players don't have that respect/chemistry/comraderie the 2008 season will be a failure. Thus ending Linehan's tenure as Headcoach of our RAMS.
    Last edited by laram0; -02-07-2008 at 04:25 PM.


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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: HEADCOACHING: What works?

    The Headcoach has to know what he's doing and be involved with all aspects of the team. However all the talent in the world doesn't guarantee success. Todays player has to respect and buy into what the Headcoach is preaching and teaching. There has to be a chemistry/comraderie established to create that winning atmosphere. -- Laram0

    Excellent topic and nicely done, LARAM0. I happen to fully agree with your main tenor here: success stems in direct proportion to the respect, obedience, and discipline that the NFL HC will earn from his players, i.e., when they believe and trust him.

    The names you mentioned are truly exemplary. Some were hardnose disciplinarians but the results they attained rather justified the means. So be it.


    But today, so much has changed in the NFL when it comes to coaching ... perhaps because there is, in effect, the 'need and obligation' to change. From political correctness to, dare I say, "human rights"? As you said, today neither the collegiate nor pro sports HC cannot, mostly because he is not allowed to, treat players by following methods that would make my friend Drill Sergeant Lee Ermey proud.

    Too bad. Too many policies and procedures from the personnel department.


    Don't get me wrong, those P&P, they have their place, it is understandable. Besides, so much in the way of trouble and conflict is averted when administrative properness and fairness is followed in the company, whatever its nature may be.

    And so are the consequences if not followed -- one word: lawsuits. Or at best, two words: legal action. Those 'now-be-careful-how-you-treat-me' guidelines and restrictions are supposed to be implemented for the sake of social progress; they are meant for the advancement, for success in the workforce by virtue of equal opportunity statutes and the wonderful freedoms therein displayed. It is afterall, the year 2008.

    For everyone, including athletes. Accordingly, NFL players have their own NFL Player's Association just in case (pun intended). Arbitration, litigation, regulation, sensation and testification. It has become a higher need and priority in this business, hasn't it...


    On the other hand, it is a shame to see the increse in numbers of young athletes that go wrong too soon. Young athletes? I stand corrected. A few veterans too. We know their stories, alas, all too well.


    The good news.
    Indeed, fortunately, as all major professional sports organizations are doing, the NFL is working on correcting and/or adjusting behavioral situations. From the moment its rookies are given their welcome speech (IMO a precautionary must for each newbie) to the time when punishment calls are in order, the NFL is trying to instill that get-in-shape-or-else mentality. ...And I'm certainly all for it.

    Yes, I miss those Coach Allen years, especially of course, with the Rams (1966-70). He was not as harsh nor an ogre on people as, say a Lombardi or a Halas were. No, George Allen was just so gregarious and upbeat, an oddball and almost geekish as NFL coaches go. Self motivated, self disciplined and always preaching and encouraging discipline to the max but usually more in the football sense than in the personal, moral aspect of his players.

    Nonetheless, Allen's own personal style rubbed off on the majority of his faithful followers who were even willing to revolted against the owner and put their jobs on the line right after their coach was wrongly fired at the end of the 1968 season, all because they wanted and demanded to keep the same leader. Sure enough, Coach Allen was reinstated with the Rams. I remember that incident well, I felt proud of the Rams HC. Not all the Rams preferred milk and ice cream bars instead of alcohol as George Allen did but they loved him like kids (as you may have seen in some NFL Films clips the entire team sometimes jumped up and down, hands clapping like joyful children after a big win -- along with their coach whom used to start these celebratory frenzies).



    HEADCOACHING: What works?...

    Well, I hope Coach Linehan does continue his efforts to earn said respect. We won't get anywhere without it. Maybe having Al Saunders to closely work with will be the right incentive at the right time. GO RAMS!



    PS: please keep investigating the 'discipline' of Bill Belichick and the NEPs band.
    Last edited by RealRam; -02-11-2008 at 08:37 PM. Reason: PS

  3. #3
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    Re: HEADCOACHING: What works?

    I tend to say this about coaches......80,000 plus fans don't pack a stadium to see any HC coach a game. It's all about the players. A good HC adapts his style to the players around him.

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: HEADCOACHING: What works?

    Quote Originally Posted by TXramsfan View Post
    I tend to say this about coaches......80,000 plus fans don't pack a stadium to see any HC coach a game. It's all about the players. A good HC adapts his style to the players around him.

    Interesting. No doubt it's all about the players.

    TX, could it be surmised however, that at least in some cases a good team of players adapts to the HC above them?

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    Re: HEADCOACHING: What works?

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    As much as I hate to admit it (SLAP Founder) our Headcoach Scott Linehan needs to work on his player/coach relationships. Whether he likes it or not. We have the talent on our roster to be very competitive in 2008 but if our players don't have that
    respect/chemistry/comraderie the 2008 season will be a failure. Thus ending Linehan's tenure as Headcoach of our RAMS.
    If the recent activity and admissions are any indication, Linehan is working overtime to adapt and make things right.

    Great article by the way laram0.

  6. #6
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: HEADCOACHING: What works?

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    If the recent activity and admissions are any indication, Linehan is working overtime to adapt and make things right.
    Does he have a choice?

  7. #7
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    Re: HEADCOACHING: What works?

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Does he have a choice?
    He could have pulled a Mad Mike Martz.

  8. #8
    PHAT-MONEY Guest

    Re: HEADCOACHING: What works?

    I think for a coach to be succesful, you need to have Lots and Lots of Video Cameras. and a Qb who nobody knows about untill he cheats his way to the top... Oh.. Im sorry.. I thought this was another post about Bill Belicheat. Continue with your convo's

  9. #9
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: HEADCOACHING: What works?

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Interesting. No doubt it's all about the players.

    TX, could it be surmised however, that at least in some cases a good team of players adapts to the HC above them?
    I'm not so sure Jorge. Honestly, I think we were a better team with Martz at HC with these offensive players than we were with Linehan. I don't know though, I'm just a flunky on a website having fun.


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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: HEADCOACHING: What works?

    Quote Originally Posted by TXramsfan View Post
    I'm not so sure Jorge. Honestly, I think we were a better team with Martz at HC with these offensive players than we were with Linehan.

    Oh, I agree TX. To me MMM had a definite style and football agenda that I believe Rams players clearly identified with (I'm with you as a MM supporter). Perhaps not the best in terms of popularity but the points / results were sure there.

    Coach Linehan obviously does not have that strong of a school - image - character for a HC that the troops can relate to. Hopefully that will change with the help of Saunders as OC.


    That's what I think is the main dish. LARAM0 mentioned leaders such as Ditka, Grant, Landry, and Noll -- highly respectable HCs. Not always "amiable" people to be around with but strong as football Bobby Knights, that knew how to pull the reins with just the right tension and produced points in just the right amount.

    ...500 tallies per season by the Rams seemed 'just right'.
    Last edited by RealRam; -02-17-2008 at 08:39 PM. Reason: Tyop :-)

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