Monday, March 16, 2009

Experience is Goooood

I think we all saw it coming.

We always hear that the NFL and NCAA football leagues
are full of copycats. When a team wins the Super Bowl with a 3-4 defense, six other teams adopt a 3-4 defense the next year. A few years ago Arkansas used a new formation called 'the Wildcat' in order to get both Darren McFadden and Felix Jones on the field at the same time. Now every team in the NFL has adopted some form of the Wildcat. The spread offense has spread throughout the college game like an overactive virus.

So it
makes sense that if 37 year old Mike Tomlin leads the Pittsburgh Steelers to a Super Bowl title, every other person in charge of a football team is going to try to find the young up and coming coach to get like results.

As a result, you have new head coaches like 32 year olds Josh McDaniels in Denver and Raheem Morris in Tampa Bay. Eric Mangini is still in his 30's and is on his second team already. In the college ranks, the University of Tennessee shook up the SEC by bringing in young loudmouth Lane Kiffin. Kiffin, Morris, and McDaniels mark three of the top six youngest head coaches in football history.

A new era has begun where young aggressive coaches will push the envelope and throw caution to the wind to find any scintilla in an attempt to win.

But is this a good era? I admit that I'm excited for the upcoming season and I've already said that I'm not a big fan of recycled coaches. But we're seeing the inexperience of these young coaches rearing it's ugly head early and often.

Kiffin has already made a season's worth of mistakes in his first couple of months on the job. He had the public's benefit of the doubt during his war with Al Davis, but now I wonder if the old cantankerous Raiders owner may have had a point. Instead of young and dynamic, Kiffin comes off as pig-headed and arrogant. Obviously all will be forgiven if Kiffin wins, but if he gets off to a slow start, he could be gone from Tennessee before he can finish singing Rockey Top.

The Josh
McDaniels story is even more bizarre. The new Broncos head coach has already managed to upset Jay Cutler to the point where the young QB has requested a trade.

I'm not going to defend Cutler because I think he can be a petulant little baby, but McDaniels apparently didn't exactly soothe anything over. And admitting that he would rather have Matt Cassel drove a wedge between himself and Cutler.

Part of being a head coach is handling the personalities of your players which can be difficult at times, especially when agents like Bus Cook (Cutler's agent) get involved. This is where experience counts. Young type A personality coaches may have big goals and unlimited ambition, but they better be able to relate to other people too.

So we've learned that:
A.) Young head coaches like Mike Tomlin don't just fall out of trees

B.) Younger doesn't necessarily mean better in today's football coaching world
C.) Raheem Morris may have the best attitude of any of the new younger set of head coaches. When asked if he and 37 year old general manager Mark Dominik were ready to lead the Bucs, Morris replied,
"we've been put in place to lead this team whether we're ready or not."

Ready or not, here they come.

No comments:

Post a Comment