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BillyC 12-25-2003 08:47 AM

What skills a head coach must possess
Some of you have probably read this aricle before. I thought I'd repost it and only post the quotes from the people around the NFL who talk about what qualties a head coach should have. Below is a question that Jay Glazer from Senior Writer asked at this years owner meeting in New Orleans.

What exactly would an owner or GM be looking for as an answer to his problems? What one single quality separates the head honchos from the career position coaches? Or from those who simply aren't cut out for the gig?


"Leadership. He's got to be able to stand up in front of the room and lead the room," said Texans general manager Charley Casserly. "If they don't believe you and they won't follow you, it doesn't make a difference what you say after that. I think leadership gets into credibility. You have got to be able to lead a group of men forward." -- Charlie Casserly, GM - Huston Texans
Jim Haslett has not led this team foward. In fact, he's led them backwards. I give Jim a failing grade on what Charlie Casserly is looking for.


"I think focus and discipline are the top traits," said Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver. "All these coaches are good Xs and Os guys, but there is a presence that comes from focus and discipline to make your players better. If your players can see this and buy into what you are teaching, you're going to make them successful. It's no different than our other business. People have to buy into what you are trying to sell. When they do that, they believe in what they are doing and that makes them better players. Bill Parcells has done that with Quincy Carter, that's probably the best example of what I'm talking about." - Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver
This teams biggest problem is a lack or focus and discipline. I give Jim Haslett a failing grade on what Wayne Weaver is looking for in a coach.


"Personally, I think the No. 1 trait is the ability to get people to perform at a level they don't think they are capable of," said Chiefs president and GM Carl Peterson. "I think that quality is that much more important than any other quality. That's what Dick (Vermeil) did in Philadelphia, he did it in St. Louis and he's doing it with us in Kansas City. I ask him to get his players and coaches to perform at a level they didn't think possible. When you have 53 guys, 20 coaches and all the egos at this level, that's a big challenge." -- Chiefs president and GM Carl Peterson
Not only has Hasett been unable to get the players to play above their pontential, he can't even get them to play up to their potenital. Jim Haslett get's another failing grade for what Carl Peterson looks for in a head coach.


When it gets difficult, I think there are some coaches who will not face problems and the adversity face-to-face," said Colts owner Jim Irsay. "They'll go into the film room and try to spend twice as much time with the Xs and Os instead of spending more time leading. The Xs and Os part is not even close to the leadership quality in my estimation. In fact, I'd put organizational skills next after leadership.

"I've seen a lot of guys who are the flavors of the year and guys move up the links because they are part of the West Coast offense tree or guys from a defensive school. But if they don't have the leadership skills, it's going to be difficult for them to succeed." -- Colts owner Jim Irsay.
Jim Haslett seems very week in this area also. I see no leadership coming from Jim Haslett and he's admitted he's even confused on how to fix the problems.


"I think the ability to understand how to formulate a plan, implement it and cause the people under your command to believe in you and what you are doing and to follow you down the course that you set," said Browns admiral Carmen Policy. "When I use the term leadership ability, I am clueing in the fact that there are some givens. A coach has got to understand what he knows and what he doesn't know, and he has to balance those shortcomings with his strengths. I honestly believe you can have all the knowledge that there is in football, but if you don't have those leadership qualities, you're going nowhere in the National Football League." -- Browns GM - Carmen Policy
Jim Haslett clearly seems to be going nowhere in the NFL. He get's a failing grade on what Carmen Policy is looking for.


"I would say the top trait of a successful head coach would be conviction," said Tampa general manager Rich McKay. "What I mean by that is the conviction of how he goes about his business. It may be boisterous and tough and a hardliner. It may be that they are soft and business-like. Whatever their style, they must do it with conviction. If they have conviction, they'll create consistency. If the players don't know what to expect and there is no consistency, it seems to me that players will lose faith in the coach." --Tampa general manager Rich McKay
Jim's style of coaching would leave me wondering what to expect next, if I were a player. And, there sure seems to be NO consistancy on this team...Another failing grade for Jim Haslett.


I think the trait that is most important is intelligence," said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. "It's like being a CEO of a company but you've got to be able to deal with so many areas of a team. He's got to get all parts of that company to gel together and fit as one. There is so much more to the job now than just the coaching aspects. You've got to have that intelligence in order to make all those parts work together."- Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie
Jim Haslett sure hasn't been able to get the offense, defense, and special teams to play as a complete team. As a matter of fact, it's been just the opposite. Failed again Jim.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of my poll was the fact that the owners and executives clearly see the role completely differently than they did in the past. Gone is the need for a tough-guy presence. Say hello to the new, cerebral generation of head coaches. -- Jay Glazer from

One thing that is errily troubling is that our coach (Jim Haslett) seems to be lacking in all the key areas that are mentioned. What's equally troubling is when these GM's and owner talk about what kind of team you will have if a coach doesn't possess the kind of skills they feel are important for a head coach. This sounds like the type of team we have here in New Orleans. It seems no matter what players Jim Haslett ships in and out, the results are still the same. The only one constant is Jim Haslett himself.

[Edited on 25/12/2003 by BillyC]

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