Our analysis of the head coaching potion in the National Football League is designed to be firmly based upon what has transpired on the filed in terms of wins and losses and then a correlation of that level of success to the qualifications and background of each individual coach. We then attempt to see what the best ones have in common. What we don’t dwell upon is why coaches with certain common qualifications are successful. For instance, there is a definite positive correlation between coaches from Western Pennsylvania and Ohio and success as an NFL head coach. We really can’t tell you why, but the fact is, they have consistently done well. Is it the water? Hardscrabble environment? Dunno.
On the other hand, I got thinking how interesting it is that a number of the very best NFL head coaches, who also played in the league were fringe or marginal at best. We clearly recognize that there has never been a hall of famer who was worth much as an NFL head coach, but sitting on the bench for a while may be a good thing. Consider some of the very best of all time such as Tony Dungy, Don Shula, Tom Landry, Bud Grant, and Bill Cowher. All of them played for at least a few years in the league and with the exception of perhaps Tom Landry, none of them particularly distinguished himself wearing a helmet.
I wonder if these coaches and others were able to have a unique perspective to learn the in’s and out’s of professional football that they put to great advantage when they exchanged their playbooks for clipboards. They may have been able to observe and learn without the pressure and wear and tear mentally and physically that the great players had to endure. It might also be true that their pay envelopes were not as full as the best players, and that itself may have been a motivating factor to pay a little extra attention. There is no question that being in and around the game for a while is critical for a prospective head coach, and what better classroom could there be than at the center of the bench?
There is a lot more at our website- http://perfectprocoach.com .
The Perfect Pro Football Coach by Robert DeLuca is now available in paperback and an E book d most national booksellers.