How many games will an NFL team win if the coaching staff and the owners remain in the locker room during practices and games, coming out only at half time and between quarters to ask the team members what they can do to win the game?
ESPN’s Worst NFL teams of all time include:
#1. 1976 Buccaneers (0-14)
It was their season debut. They were shut out five times and averaged fewer than nine points per game. Defensive lineman Pat Toomay said, “The coach stopped talking to us after the third game. During the week, he wanted nothing to do with us.”
… (You can read more on the page linked above. I’ve included snippets here of the two that I felt illustrated my point.) …
#9. 2001 Carolina Panthers (1-15)
”The energy has been sucked out of our organization and our fan base,” said owner Jerry Richardson, after firing head coach George Seifert at the end of the year.
Great players cannot win consistently without great coaches. The same is true of software development teams, or any other type of team for that matter. If the coaches remain in the locker room, the team, being paid professionals, will still play, and they might even score, and with ideal conditions, they might even deliver a win or two, but a losing season can be guaranteed when the coaches and owners can’t be bothered to be a part of the game.
On the other hand, we have great examples such as Vince Lombardi who went to work for the Packers and turned a 1-10-1 in 1958 team into one of the greatest teams in the game and with five NFL championships before he left nine seasons later. He was in the game. He was a motivational leader. He was a great coach.
Or how about Tom Landry and his goofy hat who coached the Cowboys for 28 years and had a 20 year winning season streak. He was a great coach.
This list of winning coaches is long. Only the losing players on a losing team remember their losing coaches beyond the losing season. Winning coaches are remembered and revered long after they’ve left the field.
And how many games do you think those winning coaches missed?
Who was your greatest coach? And why? I want to hear from you.