Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stop with Systems Already!


There is no dispute that Don Shula was a great coach. He did so many things that justify his status as one of the top coaches of all time. Undefeated Season, Super Bowl Wins, All Time Win Record… He was special.  Of all the things that he did, the most impressive thing he did to me was adapt. This was a coach who had a system in place featuring  Jim Kiick, Larry Csonka, and Mercury Morris. They pounded teams into the ground with a relentless running game.  As I have watched the NFL through years what I see is coaches get caught up on their “system”. If they have success with a system they go out looking to get the players to fit into that system again. Don Shula could have spent the 80’s trying to get a dominate line and elite running backs. Instead Don Shula changed to an offense featuring Dan Marino. Why? because that is what he had. He kept the Dolphins a very competitive football team through the 80’s and most of the early 90’s.  After that we have been bringing in coaches and GM’s that are here to “rebuild” the team. I hate that term “Rebuild”. What that means to me is a coach wasting 2 years trying to acquire players to fit his system.  Many times teams will pass on a very good football player in the draft or free agency and they will get a player of lesser talent because they fit “the system better”.    We have had the 90’s Cowboys System, The 80’s Giants System, and The 2000’s Green Bay Systems here. All many years to late after they were successful.   Right now I am not sure I can say if we are using a new Lazor system or we just have a globby mess of an older Packers system. I don’t even really care.  I am so tired of systems and coaches saying the players are not ready for the system. 

How about a novel concept of designing your system around what you have? What do we have in Miami? We have a mobile QB with a live arm. We have an elite deep ball WR that is faster than 95% of the CBs in the league, we have a running back that has a nice burst in space, we have a several solid pass rushers, and we have an athletic Oline.  We have the talent to create mismatches. We really do.   How about a series of running the option with Tannehill, Miller and Wallace. Bring Matt Moore in the back field with Tannehill the next series. Tannehill can shift in motion to a WR or he can take snap.  Moore can take the snap and throw a deep ball to Wallace. I am not saying do it all game, have a 3-4 play series in the set ready to go.  Come out on the next series with Billy Turner in the game in a double TE formation and power run with Moreno.  Teams would have their heads spinning trying to adapt in the game and you would be using all that talent( some of which just sits on the bench  because they are not ready or don’t fit the system) vs running the same set over and over with the same personal that a team has spent all week preparing to stop.  I am not saying everything will work. But for once coach without fear, get the players having fun.  Even if does not work out all the time, it seems a lot better than dying a slow death trying to go 8-8 running "a system" that is a decade to late.
Like This Article ? :

15 comments

avatar

Agrees gofins4sb. Rex Ryan is FANTASTIC at coaching to his players and adapting. Look what he did with Revis! I don't see that happening in Miami anytime soon although it would be nice. Coyle is a horrible "system" coach, and by horrible, I mean stubborn. I can only imagine what Rex would do with the Dolphins defensive personnel...

avatar

i agree wholeheartedly!! tired of our coaches not adapting..ryan would have this team competing for a division title every year imo...whos next in line? harbaugh if he doesn't get extended??cower??todd bowles?? im not sure?

avatar

I honestly think Todd Bowles would be a great head coach...

avatar

Great idea but when would you practice all this?

Teams have limited time with union contract now.

Dont forget Shula went to Super Bowl with David Woodley.

avatar

@Carl: how did Rex Ryan practice it with Revis? How does Belichek do it year in and year out?

avatar

Belichick has Brady so he doesn't need to do this stuff.

Rex Ryan is defensive guy and so is Reavis.

Nobody runs an option because they don't work in the NFL. Yeah, yeah, yhey run the a small version but you won't see the veer or triple option. Plus who wants their QB getting hit needlessly. You are lucky to have a good one.

You want to throw in a gadget play here and there. Fine. But how about running a base offense well.

avatar
This comment has been removed by the author.
avatar

Sound like excuses to me Carl! What does this team not need??? EXCUSES!!!

avatar
This comment has been removed by the author.
avatar

I have not offered any excuses.

avatar

I hated when Ross hired Philbin and kept Ireland; he should have cleaned house at that time. Philbin wanted to change everything to fit his "system" because he is a total system guy... he refused to adapt to take advantage of the strengths already on the roster. He inherited an o-line that was at least average in blocking (except for Columbo), and turned them into an o-line that couldn't block at all. What changed? Philbin installed his system, and it didn't work with his players. Clabo, who was a veteran FA, was terrible until near the end of the season. This tells me that the blocking schemes that Philbin installed were more of a problem than the actual players.

It was bad enough that Philbin couldn't run an offense, but he had Coyle doing the same thing on defense. Coyle also has a system, and his system is more important than playing to his players' strengths.

Get rid of this coaching staff and find people who are flexible enough to make use of the talent already on the roster, and you won't have to go through a complete rebuilding process!

avatar

Belichick has Brady so he doesn't need to do this stuff.

Rex Ryan is defensive guy and so is Reavis
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Those are excuses as to why ryan/Revis were so good and why Belichek/brady are also. Why can't the Phins do that! Last time I checked Philbin was an offensive guy just like ryan was a defensive one! No more excuses Dolphins!

avatar

Don Shula's "system" had two components:

1. Take his'n and beat your'n and take your'n and beat his'n. That is, he gameplanned to his players strengths and the oppositions weakness. He never seemed to favor any one "system".

2. Execution. That is, if a player didn't execute, then his NFL job would be executed.

Really not much more than that.

avatar
This comment has been removed by the author.
avatar

@KNick It is now all beginning to make sense....

I remember back in the day, the Don Shula show on Channel 10 before the games. After winning a game Shula would script a play that worked. He would start by talking about how they knew that certain players could win a certain match up if they just ran this play. Then, while he walked through why the play work he would say the word "execution" at least 3 times. For decades it was the same show. Shula was the man.