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How important is the Head Coach?
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poorbytehshore


Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Posts: 3744
PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:55 am    Post subject: How important is the Head Coach? Reply with quote

I was thinking about the Patriots' success year in and year out and it led me to this question. As a disclaimer, I should say that I'm in no way discrediting Belichick or even implying that his role isn't crucial. I just thought it was an interesting discussion to be had about the role and importance of a HC in general.

I don't particularly follow basketball or baseball so I don't really know the nature of coaching setups in those sports, but comparing it to the sport I'm most knowledgable about as a European (the other football), the different responsibilities of the Head Coach are obvious. With it being a free flowing sport without separate units, the 'Manager' is in total charge of tactics, formation and player selection. Without specific plays to call, he basically issues instructions of how he wants the team to play and then makes the necessary adjustments in the game. There's obviously a coaching staff but outside of training, they don't have major match day responsibilities like coordinators in the NFL do.

When I think of the Falcons last year, outside of Matt Ryan, I personally think Shanahan was more crucial to the success of the team than Quinn, but the Head Coach ultimately gets more credit than his coordinators.

So also taking away any Head Coaches like Bill that have GM type responsibilities, what are the main responsibilities of the Head Coach and are they, as usually described, the single most important member of the team?
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cddolphin


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:14 am    Post subject: Re: How important is the Head Coach? Reply with quote

poorbytehshore wrote:
So also taking away any Head Coaches like Bill that have GM type responsibilities, what are the main responsibilities of the Head Coach and are they, as usually described, the single most important member of the team?


Different HCs have different bottom-line responsibilities.

Are they the most important member of a successful team? I would say that most of the time, they are.
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theJ


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:36 am    Post subject: Re: How important is the Head Coach? Reply with quote

cddolphin wrote:
poorbytehshore wrote:
So also taking away any Head Coaches like Bill that have GM type responsibilities, what are the main responsibilities of the Head Coach and are they, as usually described, the single most important member of the team?


Different HCs have different bottom-line responsibilities.

Are they the most important member of a successful team? I would say that most of the time, they are.

I agree, although the way the question is phrased it filters out responsibilities outside of game day.

So this is what i think: i think on Sunday from 1-4 PM the HC is probably not the most important guy on the field. Not even close. But every other day of the week, absolutely. They're responsible for choosing coordinators and assistants, setting game day strategy, and pulling the whole team together. It all falls apart without him.
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stillersenat


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the saying goes (or something like it)- "It's easy being a great coach when you're winning."
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game3525


Joined: 03 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are the most important person on the staff IMO.

Last year's Chargers team is good example of what happens when you have good schemers/play-callers, but lack a competent head coach.

Holding players accountable, creating a culture, knowing how to manage/relate to players of different backgrounds, age, experiences etc. It is cliche, but that stuff matters.
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Badger75


Joined: 08 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The importance of the HC probably varies by style and years of experience. The longer Shula, Noll and Landry coached, the more familiar the system was to assistance.

The Pats have the state of the art franchise. Everyone in the organization knows their job. Should BB retire though, don't expect this dominance to last.

It is interesting that Kraft has had three HCs, Parcells, Carroll and BB. Can't imagine three more different styles. Idea
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Twizlers


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the way the Broncos are doing it is a glimpse into the future. They hired Vance Joseph who is known more as a leader than "defensive whiz". That hire was more about bringing in someone who knows how to lead a team and make smart team decisions on the football field, and surround him with brilliant coordinators who understand the x's and o's like no one else.

Now the jury is still out whether that plan of attack will work, but it certainly makes sense. You don't necessarily hire the strongest individual contributor to become the manager of a group, rather you hire someone with the strong management traits you want.
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CKSteeler


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends. If it's a thread on the best coach ever and you are a Patriots fan, most important thing ever and Belichick only failed in Cleveland because of ownership and the team moving. If it's a thread on the best QB ever and a Brady fan, he's not all that important and Cleveland. If you are arguing for Peyton Manning, then it's very important and it sucks that Peyton was basically Jonathon "Mox" Moxon from Varsity Blues throughout the entirety of his career willing his team to victory until it all just became too much for him in the post-season.

I think most NFL head coaches are mediocre and pretty similar to one another. And the head coaches in the league are a pretty weak group to me right now, as well. There's a few guys who stand out as maybe being a little bit above the others. There's guys whose teams can catch fire and they can ride them or steward them to a Super Bowl.

Then there's the guys who are truly just awful.
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HTTRG3Dynasty


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twizlers wrote:
I think the way the Broncos are doing it is a glimpse into the future. They hired Vance Joseph who is known more as a leader than "defensive whiz". That hire was more about bringing in someone who knows how to lead a team and make smart team decisions on the football field, and surround him with brilliant coordinators who understand the x's and o's like no one else.

Now the jury is still out whether that plan of attack will work, but it certainly makes sense. You don't necessarily hire the strongest individual contributor to become the manager of a group, rather you hire someone with the strong management traits you want.


Yes, a truly groundbreaking approach.
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x0x


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are 3 scenarios to consider:

Coach is better than team talent.
Coach is about the same as team talent.
Coach is worse than team talent.


It's simple but it works to judge a coach's impact. The degree of the gap is how good or how bad the coach can become known. Frankly, if you have a great coach that keeps getting garbage teams and only 2 years to do something, that's tough. A coach can re-shape personnel but you can't trade sacks of potatoes for cages of lobster. And it's not like you can lean on rookies even if you drafted well. Many great coaches essentially get 2 off-seasons to deal with contracts and their 1st draft to shape new talent.

The reason so many coach are known for 1 team is because they fit the bill in that situation and could not hit the jackpot again.

This is why Bill Parcells was such a great coach. He had success with 4 different teams and in all cases took on projects, not ready made walk ins.

Now a big question many ask is how long can a mediocre coach last? Well, if they do okay in drafts after starting with a great team, a long time. I don't want to point fingers but - Vermiel among Super Bowl coaches who had multiple teams strikes me as just above average. Not what I'd call a great coach.
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tom cody


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they can help but it takes on field talent to help as well. Look at Bill Bellichek. He was a go nowhere coach with Cleveland. He goes to New England gets to coach Tom Brady and he becomes one of the top coaches ever.
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lancerman


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Belichick is the last of a dying breed. Today's media environment will never let another coach take the unconventional opportunities Belichick does and get away with it if it doesn't pay immediate dissidents (IE Chip Kelly). Almost every off season Belichick gets rid of a high profile player and the media and half the board freak out about it. It took years for Boston media to start getting over it even after 3 Super Bowls. Second Belichick takes full control over the entire coaching apparatus in New England. He's involved in everything and, while he delegates tasks to people he trusts, he is the ultimate authority on everything on the team. Kraft trusts him implicitly and doesn't undermine him like other owners.
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PapaShogun


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Important, but everyone still needs talent to compete at the highest level. I do think a coach and his staff could be detrimental to a team with their approach though. Mike Singletary and his boys really underachieved with the talent the 49ers had when he was in charge. When Jim Harbaugh was hired, a lot of players that already had some seasoning under their belt finally started to look like playmakers instead of liabilities.

Also, it really depends on what skills the coach brings to the table, and how much power they have within the organization.
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drew39k


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CKSteeler wrote:
It depends. If it's a thread on the best coach ever and you are a Patriots fan, most important thing ever and Belichick only failed in Cleveland because of ownership and the team moving. If it's a thread on the best QB ever and a Brady fan, he's not all that important and Cleveland. If you are arguing for Peyton Manning, then it's very important and it sucks that Peyton was basically Jonathon "Mox" Moxon from Varsity Blues throughout the entirety of his career willing his team to victory until it all just became too much for him in the post-season.

I think most NFL head coaches are mediocre and pretty similar to one another. And the head coaches in the league are a pretty weak group to me right now, as well. There's a few guys who stand out as maybe being a little bit above the others. There's guys whose teams can catch fire and they can ride them or steward them to a Super BowL

Then there's the guys who are truly just awful.


This is pretty spot on IMO
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billzz


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think you are either really important or not important at all..

there's billy b, pete c, john harbaugh, and mike tomlin

and then there's jeff fisher.
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