Former Colts general manager Bill Polian was effusive in his praise of his former quarterback Peyton Manning this week. He said he thought that Manning could immediately step into a general manager role.
"All he would need would be a brief tutorial on the league rules and things like the general terms of trades and contract language -- of which he's also very familiar, because of his own contract," Polian said. "He's well-prepared to do that. He could step right from the playing field into a role like that, because he's ready. I don't know that he will, but if someone wanted him to do it, he would be ready immediately to do it."
This got me thinking a bit about the Jets and head coach Todd Bowles. Bowles got his start in the NFL as Jets secondary coach in 2000. The general manager was Bill Parcells. Bowles later worked for Parcells in Dallas and again in Miami.
When Parcells was coaching the Giants, Bowles was a safety for a division rival in Washington. He has talked about the way Bowles struck him as an opponent.
And when I played against him—I was coach of the Giants when he was a safety with the Redskins; he was running the Redskins' secondary, really, and making all the calls, and I noticed that.
Here is another example from a Peter King article.
Bill Parcells didn’t personally know Bowles as a player, but he felt as if he did, having faced the shrewd safety twice a year during those great Washington-New York rivalry years. It’s a classic Parcells tactic that Bowles has adopted: knowing your opponents as well as your own players, understanding what makes the guys on both sidelines tick.
There is a strong case to be made that Parcells has the greatest coaching tree in NFL history. He has had many assistants go on to have success as head coaches. Three former Parcells assistants have won Super Bowls. His ability to put together a staff was unmatched.
We talk about scouting in terms of players, but teams should always have an eye on their players and opponents to think about potential future coaches and front office members.