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The Master Debate thread: Coaching v. Talent


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Isn't the Joe Gibbs scabs year an example of this?

 

 

One of the best quotes from that game against the Cowboys said by the MNF broadcast team -

 

"Never underestimate a Bobby Beathard team".

 

We all love Joe Gibbs, but there was a reason that the team started falling apart when Beathard left and Casserly took over (mostly due to Gibbs).

 

Then we had a nice decade-long run of 1st round busts with Casserly.  Couple that with the implementation of the Salary Cap and damn... we've sucked ever since.

 

Of course, this was all years ago.

 

You have to have the talent these days.  Coaching is still important (and I'm a coach guy - I'll always back the boss in most situations) but if you don't have the talent, it is what it is. 

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Joe changed the offense to fit the personnel.  And with the other 2 SBs, you can see a change in philosophy based on the personnel he had.  The season of SB 22, George Rogers/Timmy Smith were actually faster versions of Riggins and Kelvin Bryant became his Joe Washington.  With the additions of Didier, Clark and Sanders, the receivers got faster which allowed him to open up the offense a bit more.  In the season of SB 26, he saw the rifle arm and pinpoint downfield passing of Rypien.  We played (to me anyway) and version of what is now the modern "spread" offense during that season.  Gibbs was great at doing this.  Hell, look at his 2nd stint here.  He got the most out of a nothing team by playing to the strengths of his personnel.

 

Very well-said, PJ.

 

And there are definitely guys out there that can do stuff like this.  Unfortunately for us, they don't grow on trees.  Belichik is about the only one since Gibbs that carries that kind of mystique about him.  Before Gibbs it was Shula/Landry. 

 

I don't even think Knoll was that good, I think it was hard to suck with those Pittsburgh players. 

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Very well-said, PJ.

 

And there are definitely guys out there that can do stuff like this.  Unfortunately for us, they don't grow on trees.  Belichik is about the only one since Gibbs that carries that kind of mystique about him.  Before Gibbs it was Shula/Landry. 

 

I don't even think Knoll was that good, I think it was hard to suck with those Pittsburgh players. 

 

Chuck Noll was a different kind of coach.  He was what is considered today as a "players coach."  The Steelers were in disarray during the late 60s as they had been for 30 years.  I like to read books about other teams and the funny thing is, Art Rooney didn't want to hire him.  He thought he was too dull and wouldn't be a good fit.  But Art's son Dan, saw something in Noll. What he saw was his ability to teach and work with players.  Noll knew Xs and Os, but he got the most out of his players. Fans think that the Steelers dynasty was built (in hindsight) with HOF players, but not all of them were 1st rounders.  He was able to get the most talent out of his players no matter what round and getting all of them to play together as a team.

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If you've coached, you realize just how important talent is.  If you've played, you realize just how important coaching is.  

 

Ive done both in various sports, and in my coaching, Ive seen just how much easier talent makes my job.  At the same time, you can make do with a lack of talent, you can make them respectable, but they will never be great.  But I think coaching shows the most when you have a medium talented group.  Put them in the wrong places, and in the wrong situations, and they will look poor.  Put them in the right places and in the right situations and they will look great.

 

On the other side, as a player, you realize that you are limited in how you can play based on coaching.  If you arent put into a place to use your abilities, or are taught not to, or NOT taught how to handle certain situations, you will struggle to succeed.  But I think any good player has seen how a bad coach can get the worst out of you(or nothing at all), and how a good coach can not only build you up as a player, but teach you, motivate you, and put you in the best position to succeed.

 

The reality is, players are meant to play, and coaches are meant to get the most out of a group of players.  That is the absolute primary function of coaching.  A good coach can make bad talent respectable.  A poor coach can make good talent average.  A mediocre coach can win with great talent, and a great coach can win with mediocre talent, but to have a truly great team you need a great coach and great talent.

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Fans think that the Steelers dynasty was built (in hindsight) with HOF players, but not all of them were 1st rounders. He was able to get the most talent out of his players no matter what round and getting all of them to play together as a team.

This is something brought up by Czaban and Pollin on a podcast. How many players in the Pats dynasty will wind up in the HOF? Brady obviously, and from past teams Vinatieri, Moss?, Bruschi?, who else. From today's team? Gronk?

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This is something brought up by Czaban and Pollin on a podcast. How many players in the Pats dynasty will wind up in the HOF? Brady obviously, and from past teams Vinatieri, Moss?, Bruschi?, who else. From today's team? Gronk?

Gronk is definitely on his way. He's changing the game, and if you use the metric "you can't tell the story of the league without..." then I think if you're going to talk about the last few years (and the rest of the time he will play unless something unusual happens) you have got to bring up the revolution of the TE position, and when you do, he is head and shoulders above everyone.

Figure Antonio Gates is a likely HOFer, and Gronkowski is Gates x10.

 

But in the rest of the thought,, I'll go one better,, not only has NE not produced HOF players, but once they leave NE, they do not succeed elsewhere. 

(you could likely argue an offensive lineman or two,, their line was pretty much a mainstay until it started breaking up last year.)

 

~Bang

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The best coach in the NFL and the best QB in the NFL work for the same organization. Stupid people always argue about who's more important, while the wise man understands they are both equally important.

 

Two people who mesh can also amplify each other's talents exponentially.  You can have the most talented coach who has the best system possible, but if no players can play in it, then he fails.  Conversely, you can have the most talented player when played in the best system possible, but if the coach doesn't use that system, then the player fails.  We see this with players faltering on one team and then shining on another (Favre, Young, CJ2K this year, etc.) because it's a better match.

 

The same concept works with couples.  The guy can be great and the girl can be great (just going with hetero for simplicity's sake), but if they're not great for each other, then the relationship won't work.  I see it with the couples I work with all the time.

 

Brady and Belichick are a match made in heaven.  I don't know if either would be performing as well without the other.

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Was Chuck Noll a great coach or a great talent evaluator for a time?

 

I think that Bellichick is an exceptional coach. I think Gibbs was an exceptional coach. That exceptional ability didn't matter much for Bellichick in Cleveland, and it didn't matter all that much for Gibbs in his second run here.

 

I think there's a reason that every winning coach takes a second job for a huge contract where they don't win. (And that makes me think that Mike Holmgren is the greatest coach ever but that can't be correct).

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The reality is, players are meant to play, and coaches are meant to get the most out of a group of players.  That is the absolute primary function of coaching.  A good coach can make bad talent respectable.  A poor coach can make good talent average.  A mediocre coach can win with great talent, and a great coach can win with mediocre talent, but to have a truly great team you need a great coach and great talent.

 

I concur to the highest. 

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Was Chuck Noll a great coach or a great talent evaluator for a time?

 

I think that Bellichick is an exceptional coach. I think Gibbs was an exceptional coach. That exceptional ability didn't matter much for Bellichick in Cleveland, and it didn't matter all that much for Gibbs in his second run here.

 

I think there's a reason that every winning coach takes a second job for a huge contract where they don't win. (And that makes me think that Mike Holmgren is the greatest coach ever but that can't be correct).

Chuck Noll also had a distinct advantage in that once you got the player you wanted,   he wasn't leaving until you cut him loose.

he was a great coach in that he meshed the talent he brought together. But back in those days once you built a team no one could beat,, you could keep it.

 

Interesting you mention Belly in Cleveland and Gibbs' second stint..  bad ownership problems plague both teams. Joe was not shy about talking about how much Snyder was involved, and Ceratto did come back. Gibbs made it sound as if it was something he welcomed. 

Cooke stayed in his role and let his coaches and GMs do their jobs. Kraft seems to be much the same.

they did an interesting documentary,, i think it was a 30 for 30 on the staff Bellicheck built in Cleveland.. incredible group of coaches.,, if their owner left him alone,, I think both them and the Patriots possibly have a much different story.

 

~Bang

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That Browns doc was a fair amount of wish fulfillment.

 

The Browns went 5-11 in their last year. The Ravens then went 4-12, 6-9-1, 6-10, and 8-8 before they finally broke through in a pretty inexplicable way. Saban was already at Michigan State by 1995.

 

The idea seems to be that despite Modell's financial situation (which really never improved until he sold half the team to Bisciotti), the Browns would have become the Ravens and Bellichick would have morphed into today's Bellichick. And, I guess, that Nick Saban would have remained a coordinator.

 

The Ravens became the Ravens in large part because of Bisciotti's involvement and the backing out of the picture by Modell.

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I will say for the Skins, I can't think of one reason besides coaching as to why, with the talent we have, we are not top 5...even #1 in rushing.

Well, we keep playing from behind and blah blah blah

Nonsense. We abandon the run quicker than *insert funny joke here* THAT has nothing to do with talent....

I don't mean this as a personal attack, so please don't take it that way. But my first thought after reading this was "You've got to be kidding me."

We were #1 in the league before Lauvao went down. We were running left of center almost 85% of the time then. Callahan, our OL coach who is widely regarded as the best in the game, had turned SHAWN FREAKIN LAUVAO into a monster. I don't know if you recall, but he was, uh, not a monster as recently as last year.

Then Steiger went down. And both our RBs who averaged over 5 YPC in the first eighth of the season suddenly look very pedestrian...mainly because our master OL coach is now shaping something else that's soft and brown besides clay. We have repeatedly proven that we can no longer run the ball, so passing to move the chains is our only option.

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Was Chuck Noll a great coach or a great talent evaluator for a time?

 

I think that Bellichick is an exceptional coach. I think Gibbs was an exceptional coach. That exceptional ability didn't matter much for Bellichick in Cleveland, and it didn't matter all that much for Gibbs in his second run here.

 

I think there's a reason that every winning coach takes a second job for a huge contract where they don't win. (And that makes me think that Mike Holmgren is the greatest coach ever but that can't be correct).

 

This is where I have Nick Saban.  OUTSTANDING talent guy/recruiter.  Very vanilla scheme that works because his X's beat the **** out of your O's.  The O's are alright, too (especially the one with the "2" under it), but it's really the X's.

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Cooke stayed in his role and let his coaches and GMs do their jobs. Kraft seems to be much the same.

 

 

Cooke did basically fire Beatherd because he and Gibbs would butt heads.

 

And like I said earlier... that led to:

 

1991 - Bobby Wilson

1992 - Desmond Howard

1993 - Tom Carter

1994 - Heath Schuler

1995 - Michael Westbrook

1996 - Andre Johnson

1997 - Kenard Lang

1999 - Champ Bailey *

 

Yeah... those were the 90s.

 

You could argue that as good as Cooke was, he led to our down fall with giving Casserly the GM job.

 

I mean... who is going to win with that talent? ^^^

 

Sure, Casserly found some later round guys - but I don't think any other GM in history busted on the 1st round pick more than he did.

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Aren't players supposed to adhere to the instruction and direction of their coaches?

 

If so, then coaching is more important than talent.

A talented team even with bad coaching can still win.

 

A team with no talent will never win even if you have the best coaching ever.

 

Both are important, but its like 75%(at least)talent and 25% coaching.

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I am a coach and I tend to lean towards the side of talent. They both go hand in hand. But you can ask any coach how much talent means to them. Every single one of them would take talent over anything else. Talent can be molded. Smarts would be second in my book.

Well in my book, smarts > all. I always thought that smart player get what's going on faster, and are usually at the best place at the right moment.

 

I Coach as well, albeit youth sports, young to old, beginner through competitive Travle/HS. And you are saying you would take talent over coaching? am I reading that correctly. Because all the talent in the world can't overcome a crappy Coach, they lose interest, competitive edge and belief in a system is important. Oh and just Coaching mistakes.

 

Well, I'll take you back to Fletcher/Haslett last year. Fletcher said that sometimes they were wondering what Haslett what thinking. What did they do? They did their own stuff in the huddle. That's mostly what happens if the coach is crappy. Players do it their own way and don't give a damn about the coach anymore. Which leads to doom.

 

This leads more to the arguement that there are very few great HC in the NFL right now.  Seriously, how many active NFL HCs outside of BB are a sure in HOF candidate right now?  And Shannahan's run game philosophy is second to very few, that stuff works (look at how many running backs he's made into monsters or just flat out had an eye for to him plug and play). 

 

If he just had the humility to allow himself to not have to be the guy in charge of personnell as well, dude would totally have Super Bowls post-Elway.  Part of what makes great coaches is knowing when something isn't working, cutting their pride, and trying something that does.  So Shanny isn't terrible, but that's the main thing that kept him from being great.

 

Well, I don't see many HoF coaches in the NFL. Belichick will most surely ends up there, but his history without Brady his borderline. So I'm a bit reluctant to it, personnally speaking. And we're not even talking spygate or deflategate and stuff like that.

Regarding Shanny, I was just talking about a theory that used to spawn here when he was our coach. Theory I don't buy at all lol.

 

I had a kid, 15, could put up 30 points, had nine threes in a game once. Dribble, run guard if you needed him, inside out. Would get techs at the worse time. Could have played HS Varsity Freshman year, but the Coach wouldn't tolerate his attitude,,,winning school btw. I tried to help this kid, he had the desire to play and win, but was difficult to coach and bad for team morale...I bench him twice, and told him the last time his next Tech. to just keep heading to the exit doors. He was so talented, but so difficult to coach. Talked to his Dad, Talked to him, come to jesus meetings, I felt like Dr. damn Phil. 

 

Finally let him go for the team, he was wrecking the atmosphere. I would rather lose with winners then win with losers. I think many believe that the grown men at the pro level don't have these types of issues, I disagree on that. That is why I think Coaching just may give the talented teams the edge to beat team as good or better then they are.

 

Which leads to one of my points, that to be a good coach and teach guys, you need players that are willing to learn. It's generally quite easy in youth sport because kids are eager to learn and became the next Gronk or Brady, or whoever... They're dreaming of it, and they think the coach will make them be it.

It becames harder when players grows up because at some point, they start thinking that the coach is holding them back, that they lose because the coach suck (even if they made a mistake that costed the game). And I tend to believe that it's even harder in Pro sport where the coach position is known for being the first to get fired if things go south. He's also not making the kind of money the players are making, so he's mostly seen as not really important.

 

Aren't players supposed to adhere to the instruction and direction of their coaches?

 

If so, then coaching is more important than talent.

Well, that's the theory. That's not really how it happen everyday in pro sports. As I said above, players are often more paid than the coach. They know that coach will be the first guy fire, and thus holds on a great power on the coach. And I'm not even going into coaches forced to play this or that player because they costed a bunch of money to the owner while they know that it was a freaking bad move and that hurt the locker room.

That's were stability is important. Coaches like Tomlin, Coughlin, Belichick or Lewis have been on their teams for quite some time that they look like stones in the building.It's quite hard for a new player to go against the coach, because well, you know he'll survive you mostly. That'll he'll be here until he retire, and then the coach doesn't have the drawbacks I just talked about (easy to fire, not making as much money). Stability of a coach in itself gives him way much more power to coach his players.

 

edit: It's funny to note that I start almost each paragraph with "Well"...

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A talented team even with bad coaching can still win.

 

A team with no talent will never win even if you have the best coaching ever.

 

Both are important, but its like 75%(at least)talent and 25% coaching.

 

 

I have beaten superior teams talent wise more than 75% of the time. I simply got my team up no. 1 by preparing them to fight, to play smart, to gain respect, and put it in the other teams head that they were going to have to earn it. WE would out hustle, out scheme and simply not take losing without a fight. 

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1. For the love of all things holy, can we please stop comparing youth football to the pros? It's not even the same sport.

2. Coaching matters. Again, the contention is that at the pro level all coaches are about the same. Which is true

Might take some of you a while to finally see it. Others of you never will. Either way doesn't much matter, believe what you want

Now I'm going to go on YouTube and find a Jon Gruden speech to get fired up for the second half of my day. Without it I would be a sub par performer

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1. For the love of all things holy, can we please stop comparing youth football to the pros? It's not even the same sport.

2. Coaching matters. Again, the contention is that at the pro level all coaches are about the same. Which is true

Might take some of you a while to finally see it. Others of you never will. Either way doesn't much matter, believe what you want

Now I'm going to go on YouTube and find a Jon Gruden speech to get fired up for the second half of my day. Without it I would be a sub par performer

 

 

It was basketball, but some of us believe sport is sport. I know you don't. But I didn't come here for you to give my opinion nor for me to give you mine, you know what I am saying? We are discussing philosophies, you don't agree with mine, and I'm okay with that. lol. 

 

BTW, I did play college some fwiw. I have coached competitive youth basketball and baseball, never really playing either organized as a kid. I have had great success, but then again I have had success professionally in different fields. I am a self taught determined SOB who hates to lose. I don't cheat, steal or lie, I never give up even though I show anger at times. 

I don't agree Coaches are the same, not in youth sports, not in College, not in Pros. Some have the dynamics factor, some don't. 

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Well, I'll take you back to Fletcher/Haslett last year. Fletcher said that sometimes they were wondering what Haslett what thinking. What did they do? They did their own stuff in the huddle. That's mostly what happens if the coach is crappy. Players do it their own way and don't give a damn about the coach anymore. Which leads to doom.

 

I never caught that and am surprised and pretty annoyed as a fan. Haslett needs to demand more respect from his players, so I put that much on him. But the players have no right to change calls during the game. Forgetting what they think, it's not their job to think that much about it as (hopefully) the DC is incorporating countermeasures and schemes that he had previously set up during the game. 

 

A player tends to be much more simplistic so on a 3rd-and-1, for example, he might be urged to stack 9 guys on the line of scrimmage. A coach is likely trying to predict what the opposing coordinator is expecting and possibly show something that will either confuse him or force him to run a play that doesn't match up with the defensive alignment. 

 

It's pretty disappointing to hear that 1) players were doing their own thing and 2) no one was punished for that. 

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