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At what point is it the coaches fault vs the players fault?


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I got mixed thoughts on coaches taken credit for how badly or well players do. If you look at all the 'best' coaches in NFL history, you will a high correlation with having supremely talented players. The opposite is true with the worst.

If a player is doing poorly the coach can give inspirational speech, teach them the intricacies of the position, or give their position to someone else. Inspirational speeches can help a player work harder (for a short period of time), but it won't make them more talented or understand what it is the players are doing wrong.

Teaching players only works if the player is willing to listen and is smart enough to understand what is taught, assuming the coach knows what they are doing. If players are already hard workers and are smart, they don't need inspirational speeches, and unless they are new to a position, with very little experience, they probably already know the intricacies as well.

Then it comes down to a matter of execution which is more about risk management rather than discipline that a lot of fans believe, and that really is based on the psyche of the player. A lot of players get penalties because they need to break the rules because they are getting beat, and hope that the ref won't see them. Let's use an example such as a LT getting flagged for holding: Is it better to hold and get penalized for it, or realizing you got beat, hope that the QB doesn't get sacked, perhaps fumble or get injured? What about for a DB? Is it better to get a penalty for pass interference or realizing you got beat, knowing that if you don't break the rules, that there is a high chance for a long reception and/or TD catch?

For me, the more I think about it, it is really based on the talent of the players, their ability to understand the game, physically overwhelm the opposition, and their desire to play and win in the first place. I think coaches get way too much credit on the outcome. I do think bad coaches can certainly make things worse by calling bad plays, being stubborn despite the evidence. But then that goes into an issue of free will, which personally I don't think exists. I think our personal dispositions are based on brain formation, how we are raised, our culture etc etc. We don't choose our values, or how strongly we feel about something, in this case how much players value money vs love of the game for instance.

Anyway, given that people are making remarks about this issue in some threads, I thought I would make this one to debate the topic. Your thoughts?

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When your wrs are bobbling balls and causing 6 ints off should be conpleted passes thats a player issue.. you get paid to catch thr football, running sloppy routes (hooper) could be a coaching/player 50/50 split. This wr core was unstoppable last yr under morris.. always attacking the ball. This year they seem to be sitting instead of attacking. Coaching will only take you so far, the players are grown men, if they cant figure it out its a player problem.

 

theres plenty of other issues such as clock management and play calling that falls on the coaches 

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9 minutes ago, SkerFalcon8710 said:

When your wrs are bobbling balls and causing 6 ints off should be conpleted passes thats a player issue.. you get paid to catch thr football, running sloppy routes (hooper) could be a coaching/player 50/50 split. This wr core was unstoppable last yr under morris.. always attacking the ball. This year they seem to be sitting instead of attacking. Coaching will only take you so far, the players are grown men, if they cant figure it out its a player problem.

 

theres plenty of other issues such as clock management and play calling that falls on the coaches 

But then is it not the coaches job to make sure they can catch the ball and not run sloppy routes?

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Well.........if the opposing defense is putting 8 in the box and daring you to throw BUT the offensive coordinator insists on running the ball, then it's a coaching problem.

If the opposing defense is putting 8 in the box and daring you to throw AND you do throw but the receivers are dropping the ball or the quarterback is missing open receivers, then it's a player problem.

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So you are saying making Jim Mora Jr. coach the same talent the Patriots have had since 2002 he wins 5 Super Bowls?

Having good players takes you only so far

Having a great coach only takes you only so far.

But its getting that mix of both at the right time for it all to come together. Bill Walsh and the 49ers for example Joe Cool doesnt become Joe Cool without Walsh's or a similar coach bring out the best in him. Or having the vision to draft a Jerry Rice.

Capturing that magic together, that synergy is so fleeting... like last year for the Falcons,everything fell into place till the meltdown. Think its obviously mostly players 65-70% but to consistently excel you need that 30-35% coaching to make it run at peak performance.

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I heard long ago that it works like this:

The most important ingredient in baseball is your farm system/front office.
The most important ingredient in basketball is your players.
The most important ingredient in hockey (come playoff time) is your goalie.
The most important ingredient in football is your head coach.

So I would tend to disagree. You might say that great coaches have an inordinate amount of supremely talented players because they demand excellence from them. And just as importantly, they put supporting staff and structure behind the already good players to help them become great. Occasionally there are exceptional talents in the NFL like Vick. But that alone guarantees nothing as we have seen. Overall the talent level, top to bottom from team to team, is not that dramatically different. Hard work, consistent player improvement, and team coordination matters much more long term. And those items are the product of two things: 1) Mental attitude, and 2) Coaching (which also affects mental attitude)

 

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On 23/11/2017 at 4:12 PM, Intellectually Honest said:

If you look at all the 'best' coaches in NFL history, you will a high correlation with having supremely talented players.

Is that because the 'best' coaches are better at spotting and developing talent or because the 'best' coaches attact the best players in the league?

Alternatively could it be the system put in place by that said coach gives the false impression that a player is 'supremely talented'. Take for instance Bill Belicheck and the Patriots, the likes of Matt Cassell, Mike Vrabel, Deion Branch looked like stars in that system but couldn't replicate that at other teams.

Personally I believe coaches are critical for setting and driving the culture within a team. Having a clear system, with coordinators and players that fit that system is paramount to success in this league in my opinion. Therefore having a GM and HC on the same page is also critical. 

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1 hour ago, Smiler11 said:

Is that because the 'best' coaches are better at spotting and developing talent or because the 'best' coaches attact the best players in the league?

Alternatively could it be the system put in place by that said coach gives the false impression that a player is 'supremely talented'. Take for instance Bill Belicheck and the Patriots, the likes of Matt Cassell, Mike Vrabel, Deion Branch looked like stars in that system but couldn't replicate that at other teams.

I will use this analogy. A great chef still needs fresh ingredients to work with to make great food. If the ingredients are rotten, no matter  how good of a cook the person is, the food is going to suffer. Like fresh ingredients, there is a shelf life with players. Even without a great cook, individual fresh ingredients, in some cases, can still make good food without being cooked. If you have a mediocre cook with fresh tasty ingredients, you will have a better chance of having a good meal vs a great cook working with expired rotten ingredients.

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2 hours ago, since68andcounting said:

I heard long ago that it works like this:

The most important ingredient in baseball is your farm system/front office.
The most important ingredient in basketball is your players.
The most important ingredient in hockey (come playoff time) is your goalie.
The most important ingredient in football is your head coach.

So I would tend to disagree. You might say that great coaches have an inordinate amount of supremely talented players because they demand excellence from them. And just as importantly, they put supporting staff and structure behind the already good players to help them become great. Occasionally there are exceptional talents in the NFL like Vick. But that alone guarantees nothing as we have seen. Overall the talent level, top to bottom from team to team, is not that dramatically different. Hard work, consistent player improvement, and team coordination matters much more long term. And those items are the product of two things: 1) Mental attitude, and 2) Coaching (which also affects mental attitude)

 

Every coach demands excellence. That doesn't mean anything. Either someone has the talent to be great or they don't. There are many players in the league, who are coachable, work their butts off, do everything they can to make the team, and they get cut simply because they don't have the size, speed, agility, or intelligence etc ect to make a roster.

Inspiration is not going to make you faster, stronger or smarter. Even if you have a coach who has the best game plan ever, but the OL doesn't have the strength to hold their blocks, or the WRs don't have the quickness to separate when running routs, or QB doesn't have the arm strength to have enough zip on the ball to avoid having a long release time and balls that take longer to travel in the air where it more susceptible to be caught, that will not only limit what the coach can plan for, but allows for the opposing team an easier time to plan and expect what will occur.

This is not the movies. At best, coaching can help someone to reach their potential, but even then individual potential is still limited. If Bill Bellnicheat were to use the TAFT members as his football team, and he drew up the best football plans, and had great speeches and so on,  and every member of the TAFT team did their absolute best to win and follow what the coach said and so forth and they faced the Cleveland Browns, who do you think would win? Speaking of the Browns, when Bellnicheat was there, even he did pizz poor also. Before Tom Brady became the starter for the Patriots, they were mediocre at best.

Edited by Intellectually Honest
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12 hours ago, Intellectually Honest said:

I will use this analogy. A great chef still needs fresh ingredients to work with to make great food. If the ingredients are rotten, no matter  how good of a cook the person is, the food is going to suffer. Like fresh ingredients, there is a shelf life with players. Even without a great cook, individual fresh ingredients, in some cases, can still make good food without being cooked. If you have a mediocre cook with fresh tasty ingredients, you will have a better chance of having a good meal vs a great cook working with expired rotten ingredients.

The best chefs take everyday ingredients and turn them into great meals. Any chef can take a fillet of beef and make a half decent meal, but taking the offal or cheap cuts such as beef cheek and making a good meal is what separates the best chefs. Same in football.

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6 hours ago, Smiler11 said:

The best chefs take everyday ingredients and turn them into great meals. Any chef can take a fillet of beef and make a half decent meal, but taking the offal or cheap cuts such as beef cheek and making a good meal is what separates the best chefs. Same in football.

You are agreeing then that great chefs still needs great ingredients. The chef being the coach, and the ingredients being the players.

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Comparing rotten groceries to fantastic choice ingredients isn't really how the NFL works.

Coaches are so important because there is relative parity in the player talent.  It's one chef getting great tomatoes and spices and only good meat, and another gets decent tomatoes, and great spices and meat.  What they choose to make will determine how good the meal is.

Alex Smith looked like a scrub until in Andy Reid's offense, and suddenly he's a pretty good QB.  The Patriots squared off years ago against the Vikings when their vaunted defense was impossible to run against.  The story of the game was whether the Patriots could get push in the run game.  BB went 5 wide with short passes the whole game and destroyed them.

The primary point of coaches is to understand what their players can and can't do, and install systems and gameplans that highlight their strengths, and cover their weaknesses.

When scheming open 2 extra plays a game is the difference between last year's offense and this years, and when choosing to attack a team's weakness instead of its strength is the difference in many games, coaching is huge.

If player talent was wildly variant (more like before free agency) then coaching wouldn't be as critical as now.  But in an era when you can have a great QB and wide receivers but only ok OL and defense, or a great OL and DL but only decent skill players...you have to play chess about how to use what your team has and minimize what it hasn't.

The player ultimately has to execute, of course.  But it's easier to execute as a QB when you've created a clean pocket because the DL is guessing, and it's easier for a WR to execute when he's open by 5 yards because of a well timed rub.

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3 hours ago, Intellectually Honest said:

Tell me  one NFL coach then that can take Joe Blow down the block a serviceable starting player in the NFL.

But no coach is tasked with that.  They're tasked with taking world class players and using them to the best of their abilities.  They all have world class players at their disposal.

Of course none can take 3rd grade girls and make them into an NFL squad, but that's not the question.

The question is how big of a difference does coaching make in a league of relative parity?  Where one team can't horde FA's, and the worst team gets the 1st draft pick?

In that kind of league, coaching matters a lot more.

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