No Magic Formula for a Head Coach


Mike Vaccaro takes on the notion head coaching success is based on a particular style in today's Post.

Parcells wasn't successful because he was a dictator, because he liked to get in his players' grills, because he was short-tempered and ill-mannered and willing to call someone a dog when he played like a dog. It's because he was a football coach, a good one, able to read his locker room as easily as the Xs and Os in a playbook, smart enough to make adjustments, able to motivate just as easily (if not as publicly) with positive reinforcement as with bluster.

There is this belief circulating, in Cleveland and elsewhere, that the reason why Mangini fell out of favor around here is because of his personality, because his prickliness and his paranoia forced writers and fans and players to turn on him, that he was sent packing for reasons other than the fact that he seemed way over his head as a head coach in the NFL.

Which is silly, of course, and after about six games, the people who watch the Browns closely will see how silly that really is. Look, coaching football really isn't brain surgery, and it really isn't splitting the atom, but in its own world, in its own context, it is a highly skilled, highly evolved and very difficult profession, same as coaching basketball, same as managing a baseball team.

That's why so few people do it so well. And why you can take a handful of the most accomplished men in sports -- Phil Jackson, Tony La Russa, Parcells, Tony Dungy, Belichick, Joe Torre, Roy Williams -- and throw them in a room and realize, after five minutes, that a lot of them have almost nothing in common.

I think Vaccaro really hits the nail on the head with this article. Tom Coughlin is the example that sticks out most to me. As the Giants were collapsing in 2006, there was a lot of talk about how he was too abrasive and couldn't relate to today's player. A year later, he took the same team to a championship.

There were a lot of complaints about how Mangini was too stoic on the sidelines during the end of the Jets' 2008 campaign, but that might miss the bigger picture. The problems with the coaching had a lot to do with the schemes. Personality can become a bit overrated. There are definitely times when the composition of a team requires a certain kind of coach to deliver a message, but it seems like a lot of analysts use it as a crutch to explain a team struggling. When Mangini took the Jets to the Playoffs in 2006, he was a disciplinarian. When 2007 and 2008 did not go as well, he had no personality.

What do you think?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Gang Green Nation

You must be a member of Gang Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gang Green Nation. You should read them.

Join Gang Green Nation

You must be a member of Gang Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Gang Green Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker