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Criteria for a coaching candidate

Ten Ton Hammer : 1/8/2018 7:11 pm
Just a random thought as we debate the merits of this or that person being a fit.

There are a lot of factors that I believe apply towards being a good head coaching prospect. Ability to work with people and personalities. Ability to organize yourself and those working for you. Preparation. Work ethic. Ability to function in a much higher pressure environment than assistant coach.

Then there are some I'm not sure fit. Very often I've seen people judge a head coaching candidate by what rank their unit has finished at in an area in any given year. Obviously you want someone who has demonstrated he is competent, but how effective his playcalls may have been has little bearing on whether he can be a good director of a team or a good teacher to his assistants. Where it has merit, you can argue, is that one can assume a coordinator that has fielded good units understands offense or defense, and may have a better shot of hiring good coordinators, but as we've seen, great coaches can hire lousy assistants and keep them around too long.

Taking a proven offensive coordinator out of his element and making him a head coach is a rather significant change of responsibility. The best offensive mind in the NFL, whoever you think that is, doesn't make for a good head coach simply because his offenses ranked in the top 10 consistently. When you make that person your head coach, you're effectively losing his ability to call plays and react in game. Very, very few coaches have been able to successfully pull off double duty by running the team and also calling plays on offense or defense. I think Tom C really knew offense and even he stayed away from that trap. Belichick hasn't called defense in who knows how long. What they do in the leadership role is try to develop quality assistants, and lend help where needed.

So whether you believe Pat Shurmur is a great coordinator or Matt Patricia is a really good defensive mind, I just don't think their results as coordinators are an accurate indicator of potential. You're getting Shurmur, but not his ability to read a defense in a game and react through playcalls. If he's running the offense as a head coach, to me that would be a huge red flag. The factors that MIGHT be indicators of a potentially successful coach are things that don't show up in stat rankings. So we circle back to the beginning: that nobody really knows who would make for a good head coach, and interviews are probably the best way to try to make a determination. And failures, and how a coach has managed failing, is an important quality too. Failure shouldn't be a dealbreaker. It's important to know how a guy reacts to a bloody nose.

I don't have a favorite candidate at this point. Don't take this as stumping for one guy over another. I can't say I know much about any of them.
I have said this all offseason.  
robbieballs2003 : 1/8/2018 7:26 pm : link
Being a great coordinator does not mean being a great HC. I d9 think you need to have a vast knowledge of the game on many levels from O, to D, to what makes other teams successful, to game management, to building relationships, to pushing the right buttons, etc.
Like you,  
Photoguy : 1/8/2018 7:27 pm : link
I have no particular person in mind. I just want the Giants to find a coach who'll be right for the job. They know far more than I.
A successful coach  
JKBlue : 1/8/2018 7:44 pm : link
must be able to Lead the coaches and players. He must get them to be and do the best that they can. He needs to be Responsible, Respected, Responsive and get Results.
Your point about a  
Gregorio : 1/8/2018 7:51 pm : link
coordinator's success not being the top criteria for head coach is right on.

One characteristic of a head coach that is crucial for me, is ability to delegate responsibility. There are so many things a HC is responsible for, he needs to delegate that much of that responsibility to his staff effectively.

It pained me to see 2nd year HC Mcadoo calling offensive plays, because there are so many other things he needed to pay attention to. Get the best OC you can and delegate that responsibility to him.
2 years ago the Giants hired McAdoo who they fell in love with  
Rudy5757 : 1/8/2018 8:00 pm : link
When he was hired a coordinator. He was a guy in the system but that system had been broken for a few years and I think the big mistake was not cleaning house when they got rid of Coughlin. When you fire a coach you need to make drastic changes, have a fresh start. The Giants hired from within and while we had initial success mainly due to defense Macadoo was no where near the leader that Coughlin was and it failed. Coughlin was an excellent coach but it was time for him to go.

Whoever we bring in we must clean house and start fresh. I would prefer that we bring in a defensive guy and hire a strong OC / assistant head coach but it really doesn't matter. We need a general to run the team and put guys in position to succeed. We need to find a staff that can get the most out of our players. We won 2 super bowls and no one from our staff was considered a head coach except Spats. The general has to build the coaching talent at all levels and have a general philosophy of how the team should play which is how NE and Seattle do it.
Let's look at the great coaches?  
DaveW2 : 1/8/2018 8:05 pm : link
Lombardi, Shula, Noll, Landry, Parcells, Belichick, Walsh, Coughlin, Tomlin, etc. Why were they so successful? What traits do they have in common?
RE: Let's look at the great coaches?  
Sarcastic Sam : 1/8/2018 8:08 pm : link
In comment 13778992 DaveW2 said:
Lombardi, Shula, Noll, Landry, Parcells, Belichick, Walsh, Coughlin, Tomlin, etc. Why were they so successful? What traits do they have in common?

They're all male with one syllable first names.
In my eyes  
BP in Delray : 1/8/2018 8:56 pm : link
Building a staff is critical. Right up there with being able to command a locker room. I’m gonna guess and say most guys that have made it to a coordinator level know the game, Xs and Os wise. Sure there are some that are more talented than others, but these guys all know football. Bring in your staff to execute the systems you believe in, and the better the staff at teaching those systems, the better you’ll look.

To sum up- my top two qualities for a head coach would be 1. Commanding a locker room, and 2. Building a quality to teach and execute your philosophy
good post TTH. I can think of 2 obvious guys who were great  
Victor in CT : 1/9/2018 9:02 am : link
coordinators and mediocre to lousy HCs:

1) Bill Arnsparger. He was lauded at the time of his hiring. The Giants finally brought in a great football mind from outside the org. And he flopped as a Head Coach. He couldn't be the head man and be tough enough. From truebluelarry's "The Wilderness Years": "At the same time, Robustelli began to have concerns with Arnsparger’s sometime passive approach in dealing with issues. He also sometimes thought the Giants were a soft team and undisciplined team. “Bill was very stubborn about many things and very fixed in his ways, often unwilling to change or even compromise. It was exasperating at times.”"

2) Joe Walton. Joe Thiessman always said Walton's offense was his favorite to run. But he became "Joe Must Go" as HC of the NYJ.
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