Sunday, June 27, 2010

Work Stoppage

Yawn!!! Not so much at the lack of any new information, more at the fact that I'd tired, I'm grouchy, and I want to go to bed. Which brings up an intriguing question. Recently on Coach Huey ( there has been a lot of talk about how many hours coaches spend at work, with a keen eye on how much time guys such as Belichick etc spend in the office. As NFL coaches are all too keen to tell the media, the hours can often be long and arduous. But how much of that time is being spent productively? And if you're spending 17 hours at work, another hour travelling to and from work, and then 6 hours in bed, what the hell is the point? Is even a Superbowl worth that? How do you think the coaches family feel about it? And it really begs the question as to how much of that time is spent doing things that couldn't be done at home. An example is studying game film. Every time you see a schedule for coaches, you often see large chunks at the beginning and end of the day that are devoted to watching film at work. It makes me wonder though, couldn't a coach sit at home with a laptop and do the same thing? Is it gonna take longer? Yep. Is the coach going to get distracted? Yep. I myself remember times in my previous coaching stint when I was watching footage at home and some ass would call, usually someone from India trying to sell me a new kitchen. But the point is your at home, with your family, and providing you don't spend half the time dicking about playing solitaire, you'd be surprised how much work can be done. When I hear stories of guys like Sean Payton sleeping in their offices, it doesn't impress me. It makes me feel sorry for them, and their families. But it doesn't impress. It strikes me that they could learn from the old cliche "work smarter not harder". But maybe that's just me. Take the study of tendencies for example. At the pro level, we're talking hours sitting in front of computers working out percentages; 30% of this on first down, 48% of that on 2nd & 3 etc. But I've always been very skeptical of the notion of trying to predict what someones going to do, or what plays going to be called, as opposed to just studying what you do and getting better at that. Sure it helps to know what the opposition are up to, but out smarting yourself by thinking you're so clever that you're going to predict what the other guy is thinking is no substitute to sound coaching and organisation. It shouldn't matter what variation of a certain coverage they use. Your playbook should already account for that. Your guys should know how to deal with the various coverages and what adjustments they have to make. Maybe if a little more time was spent on learning defensive assignments instead of trying to get the jump on people, we wouldn't have three seasons worth of "anatomy of a play" on where the only thing that's special about each featured play is how badly the defense blow their assignments (trust me. Ignore the presenters comments about how great Romo was on this play or Manning was on that one. Just watch how bad some of the defensive play is). I'm not saying that studying the opponent is outright bad. Getting a feel for opposition teams is good and studying the characteristics of certain players is also good (Darrelle Revis for example plays the high shoulder, therefore he should be more susceptible to Comeback and Deep In patterns). But when we start dissecting every last play and thinking we're going to catch someone out when they run it because we're so ahead of the game is a recipe for disaster. Food for thought maybe, unless you're a coach of course, in which case you probably don't eat. Your too busy studying film. Have a great day everyone.

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