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Three Types Of Head Coaches: What Do You Want?


Quarterback
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First, right up front, I know this is an oversimplification. However, I purposefully simplified it to narrow the focus. I know there's a lot more involved like work ethic, so for this purpose let's assume that all other essential qualities are met and it comes down to these three traits.

From my personal experience and observation I see basically three types of coaches and I have seen success with all:

  1. Personality Driven
  2. Intellectuality Driven
  3. Both

My interpretation and examples of each:

  1. Personality: A strong personality can be a couple of things. it can be when someone is independent, self-confident, assertive, or it could be that someones personality is extreme, like they're very loud and outgoing.
    • Examples:
      • ​John Gruden
      • Mike Ditka
      • Mike Tomlin
      • Hank Stram
      • John Madden
  2. ​Intellectiual: Aside from the obvious, a more "cerebral" individual, this is an individual that replies more on knowledge or intelligence than emotion or instinct
    • ​​Examples:
      • ​Tom Landry
      • Chuck Noll
      • Joe Gibbs
      • Bill Belichick
      • Tony Dungy
  3. Both: The perfect marriage of a strong personality coupled with knowledge, wisdom and intellect.
  • ​Examples:
    • ​Vince Lombardi
    • Richard Vermeil
    • Don Shula
    • Bill Walsh
    • Bill Parcells

There's a common denominator above...all Super Bowl winners. So, as we think about our next HC, what do you think is best for the Atlanta Falcons...today?

Here's my take...

The "Personality" coaches tend to be good for their first 2-3 years before their personality--and their message therein--wanes and they get tuned out. This is exactly what I fear in hiring a Rex Ryan. He may be good for 2-3 years and then it's a slow, downward spiral as evidenced in his Jets' tenure. But then, maybe you're of the mindset that this is what we need...a Harbaugh, Gruden or Ryan type.

Me? I hope we find the best example of both...a person that can sustain good to great teams year after year and can adapt or change with the times and players.

Who is that person? No one knows for sure as none of us have the advantage of interviewing these candidates, but I really like what I'm hearing about Adam Gase and I really like what I've read, hard and watched from another person who isn't even on anyone's radar for the NFL, and that's Mark Helfrich, Oregon HC. Yes, he runs a college offense, but dig a little deeper into this man and you'll learn his intellect is off the charts with some calling him the most gifted offensive mind in football (sounds like Sean Payton, remember?).

Helfrich:

http://www.dallasnews.com/entertainment/cfp/the-game/20150102-carlton-oregon-coach-mark-helfrich-s-anonymous-status-might-not-last-much-longer.ece

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/ducks-helfrich-is-other-guy-among-star-coaches/2014/12/30/d502d288-906f-11e4-a66f-0ca5037a597d_story.html

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Interesting post. I, too, fear the Rex Ryan hire. Those bombastic personalities tend to flame out in a couple of years max. If you win a Super Bowl in that time period it's probably worth it. But is Rex that guy?

I think from an intellectual perspective it's hard to not consider McDaniels. But has he matured? His time in Denver gets warped in hindsight, but on many things he was right. Cutler and Marshall were cancers. Nolan is incompetent. He drafted beadles, Bebe and decker as well. But he did draft Tebow too:( I think some of his moves showed great strategic vision, but some showed outright arrogance.

And the ever present question lingers? Can he lead men.

Quinn is interesting in that he's not a huge media rah rah guy, and not necessarily fits in the brainiac category, but he led a defense that had some turnover in key personnel to even greater heights. In fact if you look at his DL (minus edge rushers), our three of TJax, Hageman and Soliali might be better talented than what he had.

But can he be holistic in approach? Manage the enterprise?

I'm like you in we shouldn't dismiss Gase as unlikely. One aspect of Gase that we can't underesti is his ability to work with diverse and big personalities. Working with Tebow and then manning had to be difficult in their own unique way.

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Interesting post. I, too, fear the Rex Ryan hire. Those bombastic personalities tend to flame out in a couple of years max. If you win a Super Bowl in that time period it's probably worth it. But is Rex that guy?

I think from an intellectual perspective it's hard to not consider McDaniels. But has he matured? His time in Denver gets warped in hindsight, but on many things he was right. Cutler and Marshall were cancers. Nolan is incompetent. He drafted beadles, Bebe and decker as well. But he did draft Tebow too:( I think some of his moves showed great strategic vision, but some showed outright arrogance.

And the ever present question lingers? Can he lead men.

Quinn is interesting in that he's not a huge media rah rah guy, and not necessarily fits in the brainiac category, but he led a defense that had some turnover in key personnel to even greater heights. In fact if you look at his DL (minus edge rushers), our three of TJax, Hageman and Soliali might be better talented than what he had.

But can he be holistic in approach? Manage the enterprise?

I'm like you in we shouldn't dismiss Gase as unlikely. One aspect of Gase that we can't underesti is his ability to work with diverse and big personalities. Working with Tebow and then manning had to be difficult in their own unique way.

Great post!

As a long time STH (25 years), I am looking at this hire more long term than a short fix. I know that long tenures are the exception these days but what I'm not looking for is what the Jets got out of Ryan...good the first 2 years and average to very bad the past four. As Falcon fans we've lived that story too many times.

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Great post!

As a long time STH (25 years), I am looking at this hire more long term than a short fix. I know that long tenures are the exception these days but what I'm not looking for is what the Jets got out of Ryan...good the first 2 years and average to very bad the past four. As Falcon fans we've lived that story too many times.

Thanks, and I agree. I just don't think barring lucky breaks that were that close to a SB to take a shot on the short term "gruden type" and tbh I don't think Rex is gruden. I think Rex is overrated
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First, right up front, I know this is an oversimplification. However, I purposefully simplified it to narrow the focus. I know there's a lot more involved like work ethic, so for this purpose let's assume that all other essential qualities are met and it comes down to these three traits.

From my personal experience and observation I see basically three types of coaches and I have seen success with all:

  1. Personality Driven
  2. Intellectuality Driven
  3. Both

My interpretation and examples of each:

  1. Personality: A strong personality can be a couple of things. it can be when someone is independent, self-confident, assertive, or it could be that someones personality is extreme, like they're very loud and outgoing.
    • Examples:
      • ​John Gruden
      • Mike Ditka
      • Mike Tomlin
      • Hank Stram
      • John Madden
  2. ​Intellectiual: Aside from the obvious, a more "cerebral" individual, this is an individual that replies more on knowledge or intelligence than emotion or instinct
    • ​​Examples:
      • ​Tom Landry
      • Chuck Noll
      • Joe Gibbs
      • Bill Belichick
      • Tony Dungy
  3. Both: The perfect marriage of a strong personality coupled with knowledge, wisdom and intellect.
  • ​Examples:
    • ​Vince Lombardi
    • Richard Vermeil
    • Don Shula
    • Bill Walsh
    • Bill Parcells

There's a common denominator above...all Super Bowl winners. So, as we think about our next HC, what do you think is best for the Atlanta Falcons...today?

Here's my take...

The "Personality" coaches tend to be good for their first 2-3 years before their personality--and their message therein--wanes and they get tuned out. This is exactly what I fear in hiring a Rex Ryan. He may be good for 2-3 years and then it's a slow, downward spiral as evidenced in his Jets' tenure. But then, maybe you're of the mindset that this is what we need...a Harbaugh, Gruden or Ryan type.

Me? I hope we find the best example of both...a person that can sustain good to great teams year after year and can adapt or change with the times and players.

Who is that person? No one knows for sure as none of us have the advantage of interviewing these candidates, but I really like what I'm hearing about Adam Gase and I really like what I've read, hard and watched from another person who isn't even on anyone's radar for the NFL, and that's Mark Helfrich, Oregon HC. Yes, he runs a college offense, but dig a little deeper into this man and you'll learn his intellect is off the charts with some calling him the most gifted offensive mind in football (sounds like Sean Payton, remember?).

Helfrich:

http://www.dallasnews.com/entertainment/cfp/the-game/20150102-carlton-oregon-coach-mark-helfrich-s-anonymous-status-might-not-last-much-longer.ece

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/ducks-helfrich-is-other-guy-among-star-coaches/2014/12/30/d502d288-906f-11e4-a66f-0ca5037a597d_story.html

Great points.

funny. I just had this thought about Helfrich as an option for Falcons last night.

I believe he would IMMEDIATELY recognize that Matt Ryan is a great fit for his run first based No Huddle-Hurry Up Offense Attack Mode... and ALSO MAXIMIZE USE OF IT with him, unlike the lame brains we have had in Atlanta.

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Great points.

funny. I just had this thought about Helfrich as an option for Falcons last night.

I believe he would IMMEDIATELY recognize that Matt Ryan is a great fit for his run first based No Huddle-Hurry Up Offense Attack Mode... and ALSO MAXIMIZE USE OF IT with him, unlike the lame brains we have had in Atlanta.

I think Helfrich had the personality and intellect to adopt the best possible offense suited for the NFL and this personnel.

Sometimes people think that a college coach running a unique offense will not translate to the NFL. However, a great mind is a great mind and I haven't the slightest doubt that an Urban Meyer, Nick Saban or Helfrich could be successful given the right personnel. I also think they are the type of motivators that will maximize and optimize existing personnel until they can recruit or draft to their liking.

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My criteria:

1) I want a head coach that can delegate and not micromanage his other coaches. That's very difficult for coaches to do as they move up.

2) I also want one that can be flexible and adjust to his player's talent . Example: Mike Smith was hellbent that Antone had to learn how to block before he got more snaps. He failed to look at how good of a breakaway runner he could be. Mike was looking for a pass blocker first, then runner. Other coaches would have seen Antone for what he was and found a way to get him the ball.

So that's what I want. That type of coach that is flexible can also adjust to in-game situations much better. I've heard John Fox has those qualities. So Adam Gase, having served under Fox, could be a great one if he is able to learn from Fox and be that type of head coach when he moves up.

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My criteria:

1) I want a head coach that can delegate and not micromanage his other coaches. That's very difficult for coaches to do as they move up.

2) I also want one that can be flexible and adjust to his player's talent . Example: Mike Smith was hellbent that Antone had to learn how to block before he got more snaps. He failed to look at how good of a breakaway runner he could be. Mike was looking for a pass blocker first, then runner. Other coaches would have seen Antone for what he was and found a way to get him the ball.

So that's what I want. That type of coach that is flexible can also adjust to in-game situations much better. I've heard John Fox has those qualities. So Adam Gase, having served under Fox, could be a great one if he is able to learn from Fox and be that type of head coach when he moves up.

All great leaders are adept at adapting to situation, circumstance and all great leaders optimize the talent at hand.

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All great leaders are adept at adapting to situation, circumstance and all great leaders optimize the talent at hand.

This is key in the next hire for me. I love sexy Rey's defense, but as a HC I saw a lot of mike smiths bad traits.

Plus dump on Sanchez all we like,rexy loved him and they didn't exactly develop or protect him. Flacco by contrast was a less refined product than ryan (still is imo) but the Ravens developed and protected him. Kept his confidence up. Sanchez got kinda thrown to the wolves. And a lot of his bad things you see now as an eagle stem from that lack of development and nurturing from his time as a jet imo..

Gase fascinates me, because how he won with Tebow but the turned around and changed his "management" style with manning on board.

And dump on mcdanieis all day , but the dude can work wonders with an offense andhe brought in good talent in Denver...he also doesn't look so dumb dumping cutler and Marshall...two cancers.

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This is key in the next hire for me. I love sexy Rey's defense, but as a HC I saw a lot of mike smiths bad traits.

Plus dump on Sanchez all we like,rexy loved him and they didn't exactly develop or protect him. Flacco by contrast was a less refined product than ryan (still is imo) but the Ravens developed and protected him. Kept his confidence up. Sanchez got kinda thrown to the wolves. And a lot of his bad things you see now as an eagle stem from that lack of development and nurturing from his time as a jet imo..

Gase fascinates me, because how he won with Tebow but the turned around and changed his "management" style with manning on board.

And dump on mcdanieis all day , but the dude can work wonders with an offense andhe brought in good talent in Denver...he also doesn't look so dumb dumping cutler and Marshall...two cancers.

I wonder how offensive talents like Gase, McDaniels or Helfrich would work when paired with a documented defensive guru like, for example, Wade Phillips who had been highly successful at quick turnarounds with defenses?

Again, like you, I am puzzled, if not baffled, at the love fest for Rex Ryan. Everyone keeps talking about how he can turn around our defense--and I don't disagree! However, his offensives have been amongst the worst in the NFL so why not hire an offensive genius and pair him with a defensive guru?

And I don't buy that he had no input on player selection for his offense. That's utter nonsense. Every HC in the NFL has input on player selection.

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QB, nice post. I would argue that Lombardi fit more into the personality only group, but that would be for another discussion.

I am also concerned with the sustainability of Rex and I have posted extensively already about that topic. I will say this. If Rex Ryan can finally build a strong defense, even a short tenure would be welcome. If Rex is hired, a succession plan must be formulated from day one.

Another name that should be discussed is Hue Jackson. His football intellect is under estimated. He is also an even keel. Despite his link to Bobby Petrino, I would certainly interview him.

Josh McDaniel had a terrible time in Denver. He was a jerk; there simply is no other way to put it. But, he has been publicly spanked and has spent some time re-training under Belichick. I can't vouch for him, but a smart guy like McDaniel knows that he has one more shot at a HC position. Perhaps he has reformulated his management style and is now ready to succeed as a HC.

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Bowles sounds better to me in interviews than Austin. Bowles sounds like Tony Dungy while Austin sounds like Mike Smith. Bowles sounds like he has more of a big picture in mind which makes me feel like he would be better at in game decision making. Austin sounds like he thinks more compartmentalized which makes me think he would be subject to missing the obvious and making bad snap decisions like Smitty in game. Also Bowles has overcome a lot of player loss throughout the year and kept on chugging. He has gotten more from less and he keeps his composure unless the situation calls for losing it. I like the players he brings in and feel he would do well identifying his guys on defense which Dimitroff needs help with. For me its down to Bowles or Gase.

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I want a Knoll, Landry, Seifert, Walsh, Harbaugh, Couglin, Belichick type coach. No non-sense. We are running right at you try and stop us smash mouth, my defense is going to lay you out type coach. Not a coach like Rex Ryan that is more about drama in press conferences. Dantonio baby! Belichick the 2nd.

Go get him Atlanta!

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I wonder how offensive talents like Gase, McDaniels or Helfrich would work when paired with a documented defensive guru like, for example, Wade Phillips who had been highly successful at quick turnarounds with defenses?

Again, like you, I am puzzled, if not baffled, at the love fest for Rex Ryan. Everyone keeps talking about how he can turn around our defense--and I don't disagree! However, his offensives have been amongst the worst in the NFL so why not hire an offensive genius and pair him with a defensive guru?

And I don't buy that he had no input on player selection for his offense. That's utter nonsense. Every HC in the NFL has input on player selection.

I'd be interested in an offensive talent being paired with an offensive whiz as well , if for no other reason that we have a proven vet and if not "elite" very good QB and julio jones. A guy like McDaniels would find Hester and HD as nice complimentary weapons as well. Ditto for Gase.

In some ways an offensive minded guy plays to our strengths. Either would want to improve the running game.

If we went defensive minded I'd take a Quinn or even Bowles. Creative defensive guys who worked for some forest HCs. Both have creative schemes as well.

But if I had to pick--and I'll get roasted for this --it comes down to McDaniels for me. I don't think his time in Denver was all bad. And I respect the fact belichik brought him back. Additionally I think there's a synergy that can be gained by TD/Pioli coupled with McDaniels

For one they obviously have a huge connection professionally, two like them or love themTD and Pioli did a great job drafting this past year and I think TJax and Soliali were improperly used.

Interesting to note, look at nolan's past rosters and you see the same type of drafts and player acquisitions. Draft cbs high first year, acquire big and long DL the next. I was surprised when I looked back at every team he's been DC of...never edge rushers first...hard to find that a coincidence when you look at the Dolphins, Broncos and now us when nolan is DC.

That tells me two things: 1) TD drafts to what his coordinators desire 2) nolan is overconfident in his scheme to bring pressure

But lastly it's not a bad starting point having big strong interior DL and a young talented secondary. Add some pass rushers, and a creative offensive mind to build a more balanced attack this team is primed for a turnaround. Focus too much on defense well get one sided and not play to our strength. Even if Quinn is the man , I hope we don't neglect the offensive side and I'm not talking QB stats..I mean balance and "sharpening the sword"

Wonder if Romeo C. Would come with?

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QB, nice post. I would argue that Lombardi fit more into the personality only group, but that would be for another discussion.I am also concerned with the sustainability of Rex and I have posted extensively already about that topic. I will say this. If Rex Ryan can finally build a strong defense, even a short tenure would be welcome. If Rex is hired, a succession plan must be formulated from day one.Another name that should be discussed is Hue Jackson. His football intellect is under estimated. He is also an even keel. Despite his link to Bobby Petrino, I would certainly interview him.Josh McDaniel had a terrible time in Denver. He was a jerk; there simply is no other way to put it. But, he has been publicly spanked and has spent some time re-training under Belichick. I can't vouch for him, but a smart guy like McDaniel knows that he has one more shot at a HC position. Perhaps he has reformulated his management style and is now ready to succeed as a HC.

Fair enough on McDaniels. One thing to consider in his favor is cutler and Marshall getting dumped turned out to be smart and nolan is..well I'm not nearly as big a fan after hi being here

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Of the two interviews so far, Gase is intriguing, McDaniels is an absolutely not interested. Josh showed horrible inability in talent evaluation.

You obviously didn't look at player acquisitions beyond Tebow at Denver while McDaniels was there. Ever heard of Bebe,Moreno, beadles and others?

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Bowles defense looks rather pedestrian ranked 24th in sacks and overall defense, 13th in run defense and 29th in pass defense. This puts a damper on his luster until you consider the woes at QB for half the season and realize the great pressure put on the defense by not only injuries but mostly the inept offense. Then reconsider the fact that they were 5th in points allowed and while yes it looks like a bend but don't break defense with so many pass yards yielded you got to love the red zone defense surrendering 3 instead of 7. Sign me up.

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Bebe is the only great player he chose and if not for Manning that could have been a poor selection as well. Moreno is a bust as a first rd pick with 3 decent years and 3 injury marred years to date. Beadles is no longer with the team. Louis Vasquez is the only starter other than Bebe on that team today. By that standard Dimitroff has fared well with only 3 starters on this team from those two drafts all of whom finished on IR in Moore, Hawley, and Weatherspoon. The last regime took us higher than ever before. The next needs to take us beyond that.

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As far as Rex a lot of reporters in New York didn't want him fired. I suggest you guys research Rex tenure up there. Woody Johnson didn't want to fire him. But he was going to leave it up to the new GM. He fired Rex cause he didn't want him to be waiting and possibly miss out on a coaching gig he wanted. Rex wants to be in Atlanta. He knows what we have and what he can do. Rex will fix this defense. I promise you that. We will have a top 15 defense next year if Rex is our HC. And think about what he could do in two years with this defense. He will have to get a great OC though. Or just a good one

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As far as Rex a lot of reporters in New York didn't want him fired. I suggest you guys research Rex tenure up there. Woody Johnson didn't want to fire him. But he was going to leave it up to the new GM. He fired Rex cause he didn't want him to be waiting and possibly miss out on a coaching gig he wanted. Rex wants to be in Atlanta. He knows what we have and what he can do. Rex will fix this defense. I promise you that. We will have a top 15 defense next year if Rex is our HC. And think about what he could do in two years with this defense. He will have to get a great OC though. Or just a good one

And a top defense will keep us in games that the offense may stall a little.
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Interesting post. I, too, fear the Rex Ryan hire. Those bombastic personalities tend to flame out in a couple of years max. If you win a Super Bowl in that time period it's probably worth it. But is Rex that guy?

I think from an intellectual perspective it's hard to not consider McDaniels. But has he matured? His time in Denver gets warped in hindsight, but on many things he was right. Cutler and Marshall were cancers. Nolan is incompetent. He drafted beadles, Bebe and decker as well. But he did draft Tebow too:( I think some of his moves showed great strategic vision, but some showed outright arrogance.

And the ever present question lingers? Can he lead men.

Quinn is interesting in that he's not a huge media rah rah guy, and not necessarily fits in the brainiac category, but he led a defense that had some turnover in key personnel to even greater heights. In fact if you look at his DL (minus edge rushers), our three of TJax, Hageman and Soliali might be better talented than what he had.

But can he be holistic in approach? Manage the enterprise?

I'm like you in we shouldn't dismiss Gase as unlikely. One aspect of Gase that we can't underesti is his ability to work with diverse and big personalities. Working with Tebow and then manning had to be difficult in their own unique way.

One thing that concerns me besides the obvious with Gase is that Denver had a long stretch where their offense didnt look so good. How does that happen when you have the greatest Qb of all time, great receivers a better than average oline?
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As far as Rex a lot of reporters in New York didn't want him fired. I suggest you guys research Rex tenure up there. Woody Johnson didn't want to fire him. But he was going to leave it up to the new GM. He fired Rex cause he didn't want him to be waiting and possibly miss out on a coaching gig he wanted. Rex wants to be in Atlanta. He knows what we have and what he can do. Rex will fix this defense. I promise you that. We will have a top 15 defense next year if Rex is our HC. And think about what he could do in two years with this defense. He will have to get a great OC though. Or just a good one

That has no bearing for me on whether or not he should be our next coach. Reporters want somebody that makes a good story. Someone that says off the wall stuff. I couldn't care less whether reporters like him or not. I want a coach that makes us a better team.

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