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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Coaching is the key. Right? Now, I know coaching is important. But, then again, the "long snapper" is pretty important too. Let's take a look at some of the coahing "geniuses" and see what they have done!! Jimmy Johnson , ...

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Old 07-03-2004, 08:25 AM   #1
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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

Coaching is the key. Right? Now, I know coaching is important. But, then again, the "long snapper" is pretty important too. Let's take a look at some of the coahing "geniuses" and see what they have done!!


Jimmy Johnson, once considered the best coach since Bill Walsh, started out his coaching career with a record of 1-15. Followed that up with a 7-9 record. Then coaches his team to an 11-5 record and a playoff win. Then breaks the door down with two super bowl wins in the following 2 years. Jimmy Johnson then retires and is widely considered to be a football genius. Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones disagrees and comes out publicly and says there are 20-coaches that could win a super bowl with the Cowboys. And to prove it, Jerry Jones hires Barry Switzer and wins another super bowl.

To prove his genius, Jimmy Johnson decides to come out of retirement and coach the Dolphins to the super bowl. Maybe Jimmy Johnson wasn’t quite the genius he thought he was though as Jimmy was never was never able to win more than one playoff game in any of his 4 years coaching the Dolphins. Jimmy Johnson decides to retire again. With Parcells, Vermil, and Joe Gibbs returning to the NFL, we might see Jimmy Johnson back soon.

But, let's look at some curent NFL head coahes. The ones fans are in love with. Like...... Jeff Fisher.

Jeff Fisher starts his career out with a record of 7-9. Then follows that up with three 8-8 seasons. Things aren’t looking too good for Fisher. Four seasons without a winnig record. Suddenly Fisher breaks out from mediocrity and coaches the Titians to a 13-3 record and a trip to the super bowl. Fisher follows that up with another 13-3 year but looses in the first round of the playoffs. Then coaches his team to a 7-9 record. Followed up by an 11-5 and 12-4 record. In 9 seasons Fisher only got his team to the playoffs 4 times and only has 4 seasons above .500. That’s 5 non-winning seasons out of 9 with a super bowl loss.

Then there is the new breed of head coaches who come on the scene like Brian Billick. Billick starts his coaching career out with an 8-8 record. Through his pure coaching genius, Billick is able to coach the Ravens to a 12-4 regular season record and win a super bowl in only his second year. Billick built the best defense since the “steel curtain� they say. Only problem was Billick’s team got bounced out of the playoffs the following year and followed that up with a 7-9 record. Billick does get his team back to the playoffs in 2003, but loses in the first round of the playoffs.

Forget all of those guys though. Let’s talk about a REAL coaching genius. Let’s talk about one of those coaches who can “walk on water.� A guy that can step in and coach any team to a super bowl victory. Let’s talk about Bill Parcells. Just one problem though. Parcells last super bowl victory was in 1990 when he had one of those dynasty teams with Lawrence Tayler and co.

Bill Parcells would retire from coaching after the Giants last super bowl victory in 1990. Parcells would return to coaching with the New England Patriots in 1993. In his first year Parcells went 5-11. Followed that up with a 10-6 record and a playoff loss. Then followed that up with a 6-10 record. It’s all so confusing. Fist year: 5-11. Second year: 10-6. Third year: 6-10.

But, in his 4th year as head coach of the Patriots, Parcells would take his first step “walking on water� as he coached the previous 6-10 Patriots to an 11-5 record and a trip to the super bowl. Someone get a life preserver out, though, because the Patriots would lose the super bowl to the Packers 35-21. The roller coaster ride with the Patriots proved to be more than Parcells could bear as he retired following the super bowl loss.

Parcells would emerge again as head coach of the Jets. He would take the Jets to a 9-7 record. Then to a 12-4 record before falling back to a .500 team. Never getting the Jets to a super bowl.

But, we hadn’t heard the last from Bill Parcells. He was determined to prove he could indeed “walk on water.� Parcells would land in the Big D in 2003. There was little doubt Parcells had his work cut our for him with the Cowboys. I don’t remember what the Cowboys record was when Parcells became the head coach. Maybe 1-15, 3-13, or 4-12. Who remembers? Does it really matter? When you can “walk on water� no odds are too great. What does Parcells do in his first year as head coach with the Cowboys? Only take the Cowboys to the playoffs in his first year. He’s "walking on water" in Dallas. Keep that life preserver handy, though. Remember, he took the 10-6 Patriots to a 6-10 record the following year. Hey, I'm just kidding Bill. We are sure you will get the Cowboys to a super bowl victory. Aren't we???

Then there’s Bill Billichick. He started out his coaching career by, well … getting fired. No, not right away. They gave him 5-years before giving him the axe. Billichick started out as a head coach with the Cleveland Browns by going:

1991: 6-10
1992: 7-9
1993: 7-9
1994: 11-5
1995: 5-11…ââ‚ ¬Ã‚¦Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢ €¦â€ ¦Fired!!!!!!!!

Proving you can reinvent the wheel, Billichick returns to head coaching with Parcells former team (the patriots) in 2000. Looks like much of the same from Billichick as he goes 5-11 with the Patriots in his first year. Somehow, Billichick pulls off one of the great turnarounds in NFL history as he takes the 5-11 Patriots and wins a super bowl in only his second year with the Patriots. To prove his coaching genius, Billichick and the Patriots miss the playoffs the following year. But, guess what? Billichick and the Patriots strike again as they win another super bowl in 2003. Let’s take a look at Billichicks record as head coach of the Patriots:

2000: 5-11
2001: 11-5 Super Bowl Victory
2002: 9-7 Misses Playoffs
2003: 14-2 Super Bowl Victory


A new coaching genius is born. But, it seems like Billichick is only a genius in the “oddâ⠬? numbered years. Since this is 2004, I’m betting against Billichick and the Patriots, no matter how much of a genius he might be. Hey, don’t laugh. In 9 years Billichick has only had ONE winning record in “evenâ⠬? numbered years. That’s not bad odds and it makes as much sense as anything??



Then there are coaches that got their team to the super bowl once in the last decade.

1. Jim Fassel – Fired
2. Dan Reeves – Fired
3. Jon Gruden - Super Bowl Vitory, then misses playoffs.

Now, John Fox is a coaching genius. What do you wanna bet the Panthers miss the playoff this year?


I don’t know. I was convinced for a while that coaching was the key to getting a team to the super bowl. But, now all I’m convinced of is a team somehow gets on a roll and ends up in the super bowl.

Maybe someone can explain to me how coahing can be so responsible for a teams success one year and that same coach misses the playoffs the follwing year. It's just too confusing for me!!

















[Edited on 3/7/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 07-03-2004, 12:24 PM   #2
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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

Thought of the day :

How many Super Bowls have been won by cross over coaching staffs ??

Bill Walsh / Holmgren / Shanahan

Parcels / Bilichick ........

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Old 07-03-2004, 12:54 PM   #3
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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

What is the point of this thread Billy?
A coach is the most important individual on a team. Bottom line. Why? Because he is the only person that has global impact on the game. He has individual impact on very single player, impact on the play call, scheme, and personnel. That\'s why if the team fails, the coach changes. Success is measured in various ways. How many individuals have coached in this league? How many have won a Super Bowl? Some that haven\'t are not bad coaches, but it\'s a tight rope act when trying to balance all of the facets of this game. It\'s like survivor. Only one can win.
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Old 07-03-2004, 01:48 PM   #4
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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

What is the point of this thread Billy?
A coach is the most important individual on a team. Bottom line. Why? Because he is the only person that has global impact on the game. He has individual impact on very single player, impact on the play call, scheme, and personnel. That\'s why if the team fails, the coach changes. Success is measured in various ways. How many individuals have coached in this league? How many have won a Super Bowl? Some that haven\'t are not bad coaches, but it\'s a tight rope act when trying to balance all of the facets of this game. It\'s like survivor. Only one can win.

lummOx –

The point I’m trying to make is that coaching can only do so much. In the free-agent era, coaching usually doesn’t make a team a consistent winner. You point out that there can be only one winner each year. Very true!!

However, that does not explain why these great coaches go from having a post-season berth to having a losing record the following year. Which is exactly the point I’m trying to make. While I think good coaching helps guide a team along during a super bowl run, I think there are so many other factors that are just as important as coaching. Such as:

1. Not having many injuries.
2. Catching a team when they have key injuries.
3. Strength of schedule.
4. Luck.

If what I’m saying weren’t true, then you wouldn’t see these great coaches like Bill Parcells take a team from 5-11 to 11-5 and back to 6-10 in consecutive years. As good as they might be -- their great coaching just can’t get the job done consistently. And you wouldn’t see Jon Grunden go from the super bowl to a 7-9 record the following year. The examples are many.

There are some coaches in the league that have been better at winning consistently, like Andy Reid. But, for the most part, it’s a roller coaster ride for NFL head coaches.

I’m all for giving coaches the respect they deserve. But, I also realize that coaching is only part of the picture. And I don’t think coaching is any bigger a part of the picture than some other factors.


[Edited on 3/7/2004 by GumboBC]

[Edited on 3/7/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 07-03-2004, 02:32 PM   #5
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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

Billy, I think that this is a very interesting post.

Here are my two first thoughts:

(1) BnB is right when he says the coach touches every part of the game, from the top down. Earlier you and I had an interesting discussion of what makes something \"more important\", and while off the top of my head I can\'t remember the upshot of that, I do recall that \"more important\" had something to do with whether or not there was a one way relation between x and y. In the case of coaching, there is such a one way relation - the coach can make the players better, but it is very unclear (or at least not as strong) that the players make the coach coach better. Thus, the coach is \"more important\" than the players.

(2) W/L records hide so many facts. I almost always wonder why people think these have anything to do with anything, other than who makes the playoffs of course. Thus, I do think it is fascinating that the measure that so many people hold out as critical (W/L) doesn\'t really tell us very much about the causal factors (which IS what we are interested in when making predictions about the future or current goodness of teams). I guess I\'m just wondering if you really think that these W/L records really tell you about the quality of the coaching (if they are cyclical as you suggest - since surely a very long streak of winning or losing would tell you something about the coach)?

I hope that made sense, since my monitor is failing, so I\'m having trouble reading what I wrote.

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Old 07-03-2004, 02:51 PM   #6
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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

JKool --

Believe it or not ... but, I wrote my post up the way I did for a reason. Mostly to start some good discussion on coaching. Before I go any further, let me address a couple of statements you have made.

Thus, the coach is \"more important\" than the players.
IMO, that\'s not always true. What I mean is sometimes the players are more important than the person that is coaching. Take Barry Switzer for example. I believe any number of coaches could have taken that Dallas team to a super bowl.

And when Bill Callahan took the Raiders to the super bowl, I don\'t think he was more important than the players in that particular year. In general, I agree the coaching postion has more control over the entire team than the players. I just don\'t think coaching is always most responsible for a teams success.

Now for the real point I want to make.

I think too many fans get caught up in the win/loss record for a team and judge a coach too much by it. But, they fail to take into account SO MANY THINGS. When a coach like John Fox takes the Panthers to the super bowl he is instantly labeled as a coaching genius by the media and a lot of fans. But, if he doesn\'t get the Panthers to the playoffs this year, how many folks do you think will blame it on bad coaching? NOT MANY!! They will blame ANYTHING but BAD coaching. I say if coaching got the credit for getting them to the super bowl, then shouldn\'t BAD coaching be to blame for the failure to get back?

Just like I think there are only a couple of guys that are \"shut down\" corners, I think there are even less coaches in the league that can win consistently. There are just too many other factors, when added up collectively, are more resonsible for getting a team to the super bowl.




[Edited on 3/7/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 07-03-2004, 03:24 PM   #7
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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

Billy,

First off, let me re-vamp my use of the term \"coach\", to include team management. I am going to consider this a single entity.
The only part I have to disagree with is that a coach is more important than the 4 factors you mentioned.
1) Injuries- To start, they are impossible to predict. The coach is the only factor invloved here. Training of players for proper stretching, field awareness, conditioning, etc. can positively or negatively impact this.Likewise, talent evaluation for adequate depth can only be beneficial to this.
2) Other teams injuries- absolutely nothing a team\'s coach, or any player can do will impact this. This is on par with #4.
3) Strength of schedule- The only impact here is the prior year. Again, a coach for 2004 has no ability in the present to address this. He also has no ability to impact his strength of opponent. For arguements sake in 2,3 and 4 factors you mentioned, and for the most part #1, we can just call the #1 factor \"ACT OF GOD\".
4) A coach can bring a positive environment to the team. A confident team will make their own luck. Coaches can manipulate karma, both good and bad.

You used Barry Switzer as an example. For the Cowboys, Switzer was the coach only by means of his title. That was clearly Jimmy Johnson\'s squad. He drafted or obtained all of the players and coached them to the level they were at. Switzer stood at the helm of a ship in calm waters with the autopilot engaged. Could Barry Switzer have built a winner himself? I don\'t know but I doubt it. Could Jimmy Johnson repeat success? We know he didn\'t. Many coaches have difficulty duplicating success of their recipe because they cannot duplicate the ingredients.

You are right when you say the coach can be less important than the players, but that is only once success is created, or when growth ceases to continue. I may be alone when I believe that I would rather have a superior coach and inferior talent, than vice versa. I am confident I will win more games that way. Especially with the mentality and ego of today\'s typical player, I think coaches are more crucial to today\'s success. I believe that in years past the players were more team oriented and self motivated. The game was less of a business and more of a sport.
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Old 07-03-2004, 05:26 PM   #8
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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

The point I’m trying to make is that coaching can only do so much. In the free-agent era, coaching usually doesn’t make a team a consistent winner.
So we\'re dealing with two types of inconsistency then huh?

1. The kind that takes a team to the Super Bowl one year and then misses the playoffs the next year (e.g. Parcells, Billick, Billichick, etc.).

2. The kind that changes its scheme or personnel every year and puts an inconsistent team on the field that is only consistent at hitting the .500 mark, no more, no less.

Given a choice between the two, I\'ll take a Super Bowl followed by a year or two of 7-9 or 8-8 versus nothing but 7-9 or 8-8. That\'s just me.

Let\'s see Billy, the QB is important, the coach is not, the defense is, but really only the D line - what else? I\'m learning so much.

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Old 07-03-2004, 05:56 PM   #9
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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

lummOx --

What I should have said is \" Coaching alone IS the SINGLE biggest fator in a teams success, but there are so many other factors, when added up collectively, that have just as much (if not more) of an impact on a teams success (or lack of) as coaching.\"

What I mean is there are just so many things that are out of control of the head coach that can make or break a teams season.



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Old 07-03-2004, 06:01 PM   #10
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Coaching is the key!!!!! Or is it????

WhoDat --

I\'ll take one of those super bowl trips myself.

This is not to take up for Jim Haslett. Has nothing to do with Haslett.

This has to do with \"why\" coaching can\'t always get the job done.
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