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Is there an optimal coaching staff structure?

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Is there a right way to build a coaching staff in the NFL?


Should we give all the power to man - Cowher? They have that in Philly and Seattle, anywhere else?


How about an all-star staff? SD with Schotty, Cameron, Phillps, Chud. Dallas with co-HCs. Washington with several HCs a couple of years ago. Pitt in the last season before Cowher left.


Do we want more power in the front office and younger guys coaching? Miami under Parcells. Oakland under Davis. Who else?


Do we want to pay assistants big money to maintain a great talent pool or follow the NE plan and let the coordinators come and go as they please?


I'm sure there are other models, GM and owner included. What do you want our franchise to look like?

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I don't know if there is a optimal. Several different models have worked over the years, from owners being coaches like Brown and Halas, to strong head coaches like Shula, Noll, and Lombardi, to more GM based systems like Tampa Bay and the modern GB Packers.


The easiest is the first, one guy does it all....pretty simple. Dallas is about as close to that system in todays NFL, and that really won't happen or become a option for us.


The second is probably the most successful with a coach who has pretty much full control.


The hardest IMO is the third where you have to meld 2 different personalities.....1 picking the players, another coaching them. I also think that dilutes responsibility and accountability.....if the team stinks, much as we find ourself with that system, you are left with the question of is it the talent or the coaching??


I myself prefer option #2. I think the coach needs to be pretty much the rubber stamp over football operations. While it can lead to a bad team if the coach can't coach or can't make good decisions on players, it does give you a clear bullseye at which to focus if there is a problem.


That doesn't mean a GM isn't necessary and doesn't have input on players, scouting and all the other stuff a GM does.


Football isn't like baseball where there is a 2 tiered system....with GMs and scouting directors playing a vital role. You are grabbing kids many time just out of HS, to fit into the system and then developed in you own brand of play.


Football, by using the colleges as their system of development get a far more finished product that really is expected to step in day one and make some sort of impact.


To me it is hard for one guy...the GM or owner to pick the players, and then hand them to the coach who in turn tries to brand them into his brand of play.


Going back to baseball...there is less branding involved. Baseball is pretty much the same no matter where you play it....you might want to run a bit more or have a philosophy of great pitching like Surholtz had in Atlanta or just score more runs than the other guy like Hart had while in Cleveland, but football has a multitude of philosophies different coaches can follow...and different styles...some coaches are intense, who want scrappers, bruisers, don't care if a few personal foul flags are thrown, and others who want precision and sleek.


You have to match the players with the coach....and nobody knows that more than does the coach....and face it, I can't help but think if the player is a guy the coach really wanted, he is going to give him more of a chance to do the things he feels he can bring to the team rather than, even if subconsciously, take the attitude he didn't really want him and more or less make the player jump through hoops of fire to prove to him he is a player......maybe we have seen some of that with Jerome Harrison??



As to the coaching staff structure...each coach is going to structure that as he sees fit..whatever he wants is the ideal structure.

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you need a great GM and an aggressive, brilliant defensive coordinator. with those two things, you'll always have talent and a great defense and you'll be in the playoffs almost every year.


the head coach can't be the GM. doesn't work.


it's pretty much that simple if you can convince the DC to not bolt and become a HC somewhere else.

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