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A question: Blaming the coach when a player decides

Gross Blau Oberst : 12/6/2017 9:25 am
to "mail it in" as far as effort goes.

I understand the perspectives that the head coach (leader) is responsible for all things related to the teams performance. I have lived that for many decades. That is a very tidy perspective, also one that side steps some realities that are beyond the coach's ability to change.

The most significant reality is dealing with a player whose attitude and personal motivation to perform is missing or is inadequate. Giving less than full effort negatively impacts the teams ability to succeed.

The coach can encourage, persuade, implore and provide incentives all day long. But, if the player has mailed it on, as we suspect a few on the Defense have done this season, what more can the coach do?

That is where repercussions for players actions come into play and a coach is forced to bench or suspend a player for "conduct detrimental to the team".

Coach's often are reluctant to bench / suspend a player because they are the teams best at their position and the depth behind them is less than adequate. That is certainly true on the Giants, where the talent drop off from starter to reserve is significant. Suspending the malcontent-ed player also handicaps the team.

The key question for the coach "Is the players on-field performance better or worse than his being benched or suspended altogether? and "is the conduct setting as bad example that needs to be addressed before it spreads to other players if unchecked?

The Giants did bench a few players this year based on performance or attitude, with significant backlash from team members, media, and fans.

These actions were attempting to address the "culture" issue many on BBI have perceived.

To make matters more challenging, the salary cap can make it very difficult to rid the team of a player who still has a sizable multi-year contract with the team.

If the player does not respond to motivation (both positive and negative), then the options are to seek a trade, or to cut the player.

Trying to trade a malcontent-ed player is hard. The team is trying to sell damaged goods that the other teams are aware of. Not many teams will take that malcontent-ed player on board their team. Especially with a sizable contract. IF traded, the team then has a hole to fill in its roaster that will likely not be of equal talent.

Circling back to the original question - how much more can a coach do when a player has decided to mail it in. When will the player be held responsible (and accountable) for his own actions and behavior by those outside of the team (the media, the fans)?

Blaming the coach in these cases is too easy, and is often off target.
It's a fair point,  
Section331 : 12/6/2017 9:30 am : link
but a HC's job is to manage personalities, and that was McAdoo's great failing. If one player stops playing hard, then it's easy to fix, you discipline that player. When many players stop playing hard, you can't fire the roster, and the HC usually takes the fall.

That isn't necessarily unfair. The HC doesn't just arrange game plans and handle game situations, he has to manage a group of disparate personalities. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is a critical part of the job. A good HC needs to inspire. Does anyone think McAdoo was an inspiring figure?
FatMan in Charlotte : 12/6/2017 9:34 am : link
who has quit isn't easy. DRC and Jenkins were suspended more for insubordinance than lack of effort.

People saying Jenkins was doggging it didn't realize he played with an injury all season. Collins too.

Apple might be a different story because there is tape on him not making an effort which is pretty damning.

But treading in the area of claiming player's have given up is rough territory.
FMiC - I agree. this is a tough area to assess  
Gross Blau Oberst : 12/6/2017 9:43 am : link
Especially from the outside - where media and fans reside - without fuller information. That doesn't stop the finger pointing and assigning blame to coaches.

BTW, my post really isn't about McAdoo. He is gone and talking about him is not worth the time. Unless you just want to vent.

The question really about the rest of the coaching staff, Spagnuolo in particular.

The defensive players are the ones often criticized. Some have reasons for the perceived lack of performance, others not so much. We don't have all of the details as fans. Yet the blaming of the coach as the main culprit persists.

To me, the greatest unknown and question of why, is Eli Apple. WTF happened there. I have my opinion based on what I see and read, but it is an incomplete picture as much as anyone's outside of the team.

Hard to claim DRC quit after watching him chase Lynch for  
Victor in CT : 12/6/2017 9:53 am : link
40 yards on Sunday
RE: Hard to claim DRC quit after watching him chase Lynch for  
Section331 : 12/6/2017 9:56 am : link
In comment 13727286 Victor in CT said:
40 yards on Sunday

Exactly, DRC has busted his ass all year. Especially now that we know he was suspended for trying to get INTO a game while injured, no one can accuse DRC of quitting.
In general...  
EricJ : 12/6/2017 10:10 am : link
I will say that if you are a true competitor, you are going to try on every play regardless as to who your coach is. You do it for your own pride and will do win.

IMO, the time to flush out those who are not mentally committed is during the player evaluation process BEFORE the coach gets that player.

I am not blaming McAdoo for Apple.
Mike Singltary is an example  
NYRiese : 12/6/2017 10:38 am : link
of a HC at one extreme of the player management philoophy.
I think it's up to a coach to find the motivations for each player  
TheEvilLurker : 12/6/2017 10:40 am : link
and to work to get the most out of them. Disciplining may be one way to do it and may or may not be the best way, depending on the person.

Obviously, communication wasn't one of MacAdoo's strengths, so I have no doubt that he was bad in this area.
If There is a Problem with One or Two Players,  
OntheRoad : 12/6/2017 3:00 pm : link
it is most likely on the players. If it's with the whole team, it's the coach.

McAdoo did not have the team prepared for the season. When problems surfaced, his motivational methods became destructive and he didn't correct them.
One of the things I loved about Parcells was  
Thatís Gold, Jerry : 12/6/2017 3:04 pm : link
while he took his shots at players, he also allowed the players to take shots at long as they didn't cross the line. Veterans got more leeway than young guys.

Being a coach, there are guys you have to ride hard and other guys you don't. But, mostly, it is about being a teacher and letting players know what you expect out of them. Again, back to Parcells, one of his favourite sayings was the HC has to tell the players what he is thinking. He said the worst thing is if players have to guess what the guy running the ship is thinking.

As in most situations, it is communication. From what I have read the last few days, this is where McAdoo was a huge failure. I mean, just in the fact that Mara thought one thing was going to happen with Eli and then McAdoo said something completely different and then defended it saying the owner and he were on the same page when clearly they were not.

Communication is the key.
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