Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Difficult decisions ahead

Adam Gase and his entire staff will face early trials that may determine the short term success or failure of the franchise and of their careers. Gase’s track record of offensive success is well documented, but he has never had to juggle head coaching responsibilities while calling the plays and working with his quarterbacks. With training camp only a few days away, Gase will begin to face those difficult personnel decisions. Is he going to trust his own eyes? It is hard to choose an undrafted rookie over an experienced veteran. Is he ready for those decisions? Talent management is integral to team building, and the mistakes you make are likely to revisit you from the opposing sideline.  The players that are released will reveal a great deal about our new coach. We will also learn whether or not all positions are really open for competition. Real competition brings out the best in players, but through player comments, we will learn quickly if this is simply rhetoric or if it is "real". When the season arrives, we will learn even more. We have heard about this attacking defense. Attacking defenses are great, but they also tend to give up big plays. From a personnel standpoint, this whole defense has been built on pressure and press coverage. When the team gives up big plays, will Gase stick to the plan? To attempt to reverse course would be disastrous. There is a common theme and that is that Gase will need to remain bold and daring when things go well and when things go poorly. He will need to maintain the course and have the conviction of his own beliefs and his own knowledge base.  One common element that we see from Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick, and Bill Parcells is that they never coach from fear. They have confidence in themselves and in their players and they have little concern for what others might say about them.  When Sean Payton was headed to the Super Bowl in 2009, his former mentor Bill Parcells offered him this advice, “You are going to have to have guts to win this game. You can’t coach scared in big games. You’ve got to try to win.” The Saints went on to onside kick to open the second half and to take home the Lombardi Trophy. I hope Adam Gase fits that mold as well.  Early indicators are positive, but the pressure and difficult decisions are about to begin. 
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True. Very true Francis.