American Football

Detroit Lions Fire GM and Head Coach

The Detroit Lions have announced that they have chosen to terminate general manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia. The announcement was made on Saturday via Twitter and simply said that both had been relieved from their duties with the organization. 

While the Twitter post was kept simple, the Lions organization alluded to the contribution they made to the organization during a video conference for the press. In the video, team owner Sheila Ford Hamp stated: 

“They’re both very fine men and we wish them nothing but the best in the rest of their careers. It was a hard decision, just because as I said they’re both terrific people and they’ve worked very hard and tirelessly for this organization, it just clearly wasn’t working. It wasn’t what we hoped for when we hired them.”

Terminations were put on hold

While the Lions ownership had made their decision to terminate Quinn and Patricia weeks earlier, the move was put on hold as the team had other issues to deal with over the course of the last few games. The terminations cam only days after Detroit its Thanksgiving Day game again the Houston Texans. The loss added Detroit’s dismal season, which now sits at 4-7 for the season.

While the Lion’s management begins searching for replacements to fill the vacancies created from their terminating Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia, they have assigned responsibilities for the interim to Darrell Bevell, who will act as head coach for the remaining five games for 2020.

Patricia, who joined the organization in 2018 after acting as the defensive coordinator for the New England Patriots for six seasons had a record of 13-29-1. After taking on the role of head coach, the Lions have fallen to the ten worse teams in the league based on total and pass defense and scoring. The NFL reported that Patricia has the worst record for win percentage in the league based on teams that average 21 points per game. 

Bob Quinn took over the general manager responsibilities for Detroit in 2016 and under his leadership, saw the Lions record drop to 31-43-1. Furthermore, under Quinn’s leadership, the team has failed to make it to the playoffs. That has led team ownership undertaking a comprehensive and thorough search to find qualified replacements. At the time of the video press conference, no candidates were mentioned.

Kevin Sumlin Contracts COVID-19

The Head Coach for Arizona State’s Sun Devils has confirmed his positive test for COVID-19. It’s been several days since the contraction was announced, with Kevin Sumlin announcing his contracting on October 5th. He’ll have to continue isolating for several days & then receive a secondary PCR COVID-Test. If that test reads negative, Head Coach Kevin Sumlin can return to training his football team. There are concerns that at 56, his immune system will struggle to eliminate the coronavirus promptly. Middle-Aged to Elderly individuals have been known to sustain the virus for one month or longer.

Sustaining the virus for prolonged periods doesn’t mean that Kevin Sumlin will lose his position with the Arizona State Sun Devils. It should be mentioned that the Head Coach & Head of Arizona State University Athletic Department, doesn’t have any symptoms related to the coronavirus. His asymptomatic conditioning guarantees that his survival is imminent. However, the period taken to overcome his asymptomatic diagnosis could take longer than fourteen days.

Contact tracing on Kevin Sumlin began immediately after his announced infection. Sumlin identified via contact tracing questionnaires that he hadn’t spoken with any team personnel or players. It’s guaranteed that an outbreak hasn’t occurred in the Arizona State Sun Devil’s camp.

Sumlin Speaks

The official statement issued by Head Coach Kevin Sumlin clarified that his family & himself had implemented aggressive protocols throughout the last several months. Those protocols weren’t enough to eliminate his contraction of COVID-19, providing Sumlin with a stark reminder that vigilance with physical distancing & hand-sanitizing is required. He’d extend those sentiments by clarifying at the most, American’s should engage with face coverings.

Comments from Kevin Sumlin switched towards his medical condition. The Head Coach revealed he’s feeling well & focusing on returning towards professional coaching. Kevin promised that his position as Head Coach would be maintained through a virtual setting, meaning the Arizona State Sun Devils don’t lose their direction. November 7th marks the date when the Arizona State Sun Devils compete against the Kansas State Wildcats. It’ll also mark the first game for the 2020-21 College Football League Campaign.

Assistant Football Coach Gets Headbutted

The NCAA College Football League is known for its intense moments, with the players & coaching staff often aggressively congratulating one another. It was shown again when the Cincinnati Bearcats played against the Army Black Knights, the NCAA team that represents Army Cadets. An ABK assistant coach got toe excited after calling a victorious strategy & rushed towards the succeeding player in the manner of headbutting.

This assistant coach hadn’t taken into account that the ABK footballer had his protective gear on & the two collided after the coach had thrown his hands against the player’s helmet. Details regarding which coach with the Army Black Knights had taken this unexpected tackle wasn’t revealed, neither was his medical conditions. However, NCAA Commentators reflected that the coach would likely receive a concussion from this transaction.

September 26th saw the Army Black Knights compete against the Cincinnati Bearcats, with COVID-19 Protocols being in-place to guarantee safety amongst both teams. The sideline ABK coach congratulated his offensive lineman on pure adrenaline and likely was muscle memory from playing professional football. NFL & NCAA players often compliment each other with a headbutt, and typically do it whenever protective gear is being worn. It’s a critical distinction the Army Black Knights assistant coach.

Medical Examination

After the assistant coach tackled into his offensive lineman, the man wasn’t aware of his surroundings & could hardly maintain balance. It prompted NCAA Football medical staff to remove the assistant coach from the Cincinnati Bearcats match-up and conduct an immediate review of the coaches health condition. It should be mentioned that ABK #59 was concerned for his assistant coach, with the footballers remaining on scene until remaining coaching staff demanded his continued play.

Supporters of the Army Black Knights won’t know if the assistant coach received treatment for a head injury until the next ABK match-up. Likely, this individual won’t be competing for weeks to come. After the assistant coach had been injured & all players were distracted, the Army Black Knights took a steep decline in the points against Cincinnati. The ABKs were down by fourteen points against the Bearcats, their most prominent loss of this season.

Le’Veon Bell Attacks NYJ Head Coach

Athletes throughout 2020 have become considerably more vocal, attacking their head coaches for decisions they find unfavourable. The most recent instance of an NFL footballer vocalizing his opinions on the coaching staff is Le’Veon Bell. This running back verbally assaulted the New York Jets Head Coach, questioning why Adam Gase would remove him from a squad-based scrimmage during practice.

When questioned on the verbal assault that occurred last week, Adam Gase stated on August 28th that he wasn’t expecting Le’Veon Bell to issue these statements over Twitter. The NY Jets Head Coach mentioned that they’d discussed the issue, telling his footballer that their professional relationship doesn’t need to become public information. It’s considered highly immature to attack coaches via social media in any professional sporting league & this decision will reflect poorly on Le’Veon Bells character.

Their dispute began on August 26th, when the squad was split into two & told to scrimmage for training purposes. Adam Gase revealed that hamstring tightness was evident in Le’Veon Bell, forcing the NY Jets Head Coach to sideline the running back. His replacement for the scrimmage included Frank Gore as first, who was switched out later for La’Mical Perine. Minutes after learning he wouldn’t be permitted into this scrimmage, Le’Veon Bell took to Twitter & released a formal attack against his coach. Bell stated that there wasn’t anything wrong with his hamstrings, that it’s becoming difficult to stand around & do nothing when he’s used to being a leader behind strategies. It’s not surprising that Le’Veon Bell attacked Adam Gase through Twitter, these two men have maintained issues since the running back joined the NY jets in March 2019.

Resentment from Le’Veon Bell

Medical reports from the evening of August 26th saw that on-site personnel noted hamstring tightness with Le’Veon Bell. This suggests that his statement over Twitter is more from harboured resentment. Continued behaviour of this nature from Le’Veon Bell will see him traded to another lower-ranked team for the 2021 season. It appears the legacy of Bell is starting to dwindle, which isn’t surprising after his statistics have dropped season-after-season for two years.

Ron Rivera Diagnosed with Skin Cancer

The Head Coach for the Washington Football Team, Ron Rivera, has officially been diagnosed with a challenging variation of skin cancer. This information was revealed as a WFT Spokesman on August 20th, where this individual clarified that Ron Rivera has “Squamous Cell Carcinoma”. Clarification was issued after ESPN first reported on Ron Rivera being ill, claiming that the Washing Football Team Head Coach had Lymph Node Cancer. Washington Football Club would take hours to inform ESPN & supporters that Rivera has “Squamous Cell Carcinoma” in his neck.

This announcement was made days after it’d be revealed that the Washington Football Team had hired their 1st African American Team president, that being Jason Wright. It’ll be this man that oversees the Washington Football Team in their rebranding efforts, which could notably include references towards recent movements. Most sports & political analysts have remarked that Washington’s Football Team hired an African American President to have the nation forget about their “Native Scandal”. For decades, the Washington Football Team was formally named “The Washington Redskins”, referencing Native Americans, which colonials had slaughtered.

The selection of Jason Wright prompted another onslaught of backlash for the Washington Football Club. However, the announcement that Ron Rivera had been diagnosed with “Squamous Cell Carcinoma” outweighed headlines regarding the employment of Jason Wright. Details regarding the future of Ron Rivera were given during the press announcement, noting that this Head Coach will continue his duties while maintaining treatment. It should be mentioned that Ron Rivera has worked with the Washington Football Club since January 2020, with his employment also looking to divert racist tensions against their former Redskins branding. Ron Rivera is 58 with a Puerto Rican & Mexican heritage.

Back-Up Plans

The Washington Football Club also revealed that a “Plan B” has been formalized in the instance that Ron Rivera cannot continue his coaching duties. There are instances where “Squamous Cell Carcinoma” will worsen, making the infected incapable of performing multiple duties without experiencing exhaustion shortly afterwards. This plan includes Jack Del Rio taking the responsibility of Head Coach, with his current position listed as Defensive Coordinator.

Iowa Coach Allows Baseballers to Kneel During National Anthem

Educational facilities in the United States of America have begun reopening, prompting their respective sports teams to resume operations. One state that permitted High School to open for students in Iowa, with it being announced that young adults from Theodore Roosevelt High School that hold positions on their baseball team kneeled during the national anthem. This effort was made in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Iowa is a predominantly Caucasian state located in the Mid-West of America, which prompted some backlash against the Roosevelt Roughriders Baseball Team. It was initially announced via social media that players would kneel during their 1st match of the 2020 season, with them ignoring critics when the time came & stepping out of the dugout on June 18th. Players were seen linking their arms while kneeling, which references that the Black Lives Matter movement cannot be broken.

Players were questioned on how they thought about the decision to kneel. The Senior Outfield mentioned that they’re merely trying to show appreciation to the African American Community. Jayden Singleton clarified that their choice is about social justice, which should be provided to all races. Sentiments were ended by remarking that by kneeling together as a team, it’s more reliable than the occasional player kneeling at random.

The Reason for Kneeling

Colin Kaepernick was the 1st to protest police brutality & systemic racism in professional sports. Playing for the National Football League, the San Francisco 49ers Quarterback had knelt during the national anthem back in 2019. These actions saw a significant backlash against Kaepernick & the National Football League, which prompted internal punishments towards Colin. The effects of Colin Kaepernick prompted Donald Trump to demand the NFL eliminate all footballers that knelt during the anthem, calling it disrespectful to soldiers that have fallen for their country.

The NFL would ultimately change their mindset against kneeling in 2020 after the murdering of George Floyd. It’s not known how Major League Baseball will react to systemic racism in professional sports. Right now the primary concern for Rob Manfred & the Major League Baseball Players Association is maintaining a seasonal-play agreement.

Chicago Fire FC Hires New Head Coach

Major League Soccer has changed drastically in the last twelve months, with new announcements regarding future teams and other stories on staffing changes. The most recent information coming from MLS is that the Chicago Fire FC have hired their new head coach. Raphael Wicky was retained on Friday, December 27, 2019, and brings significant experience to the team. He has twenty-seven years in professional soccer, playing as an athlete, and coaching the younger generations. Raphael has coached in Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and the United States. Wicky is the ninth official coach for CFFC, which comes after a decade of working with Chivas USA.

Wicky was asked to speak with reporters on his new employment, where he expressed how honored he is to become the head coach for Chicago Fire FC. This 42 years of age coach noted that this position has an incredible degree of responsibility, with him promising that he will do everything in his power to acquire a championship going forward. Raphael also noted that his vision for the team follows suit with the team owners, with this premiere coach hoping to accomplish a new era for the organization.

Raphael’s History

Raphael Wicky didn’t have any issues transitioning from player to coach, where he spent a significant period in the European Union. He became highly respected for his efforts with youth players, which is how this head coach met the owners of Chicago Fire FC. The efforts displayed when coaching Serviette and Basel FC were formidable, allowing for both teams to enter playoff contention. His time with younger players including training individuals in the Under-18, Under-19 and Under-21 Leagues. Eventually, he would coach in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League, creating teams that defeated Manchester City and United. Additional champion victories include the FIFA Under-17s World Cup and 2nd in CONCACAF. Acquiring the MLS Playoff Championship would make him an international-winning coach.

2020 MLS Schedule Released

Raphael Wicky takes this coaching position on the same day that the 2020 MLS Schedule was released publicly. Subsequently, he can now adjust his training strategies for the upcoming timeframe. It was revealed that February 29, 2020, will mark the first matchup. This will be the 25th Season Opener for Major League Soccer, which will be held at the AT&T Arena. Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF will battle it out in this year’s first bout, setting the pace for months to come. The 25th season is slated to be the most fierce year in Major League Soccer to date. Each time will experience 34 matchups before the playoff season begins in early September.

Mistakes Commonly Made by Coaches

Coaches are the people who offer leadership and guidance, the people who the team looks up to for answers and assistance, but they too are only human and hence make mistakes. Some mistakes are less severe than others, and some could be considered to be merely embarrassing, but others can have detrimental effects on coaches and teams over the long run. Let’s explore some mistakes which coaches commonly find themselves making.

Regardless of how passionate coaches are about their careers and their teams, the truth of the matter is that coaches are in a position where a lot is expected from them on both a physical as well as on mental and emotional levels. Hence they must find a balance between work and relaxation to recharge and be able to give.

Poor Systems

Having a system in which your work form is vital, but the system should fulfil the purpose of a structure and not dictate every single step taken. A coach can easily fall into the trap of getting immersed in a rigid and restrictive system which will limit his coaching opportunities and not be beneficial to the development of the team at all.

Improving unity within a team is vital and crucial for success during competition. Still, it is essential to remember that each of the members of the group is a person with individual needs and concerns as well, and the coach should not neglect these. A team is only as strong as its weakest member, and hence, it is vital to ensure that each team member can deliver their top performance.

Neglecting Voices

As much as a coach loves to share wisdom and skills, as necessary is it not to talk too much. Whenever a coach is going on talking too much or going into long team talks, it can result in players becoming shut down and not taking in what is being said at all. It is much more advisable to listen sometimes, leave moments for reflection and contemplation and emphasize the silence in between. State your message clearly and give the team time to process the message internally.

When help is needed, or something is required, which is not your field of expertise, it is advised that assistance is requested. Sometimes getting a team member involved in some other aspect of the team’s organization can improve their sense of belonging and show them that you value their contribution. This can have a positive effect on the field. Delegating some of your responsibilities to people who can take it off your hands, can free the coach up to attend to matters which is vital to the success of the team.

Coaching Staff of the NHL’s Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars didn’t have a horrible season during the 2018/19 NHL regular season. The team played a total of 82 games and won a total of 42 matches with only 32 losses in the Western Conference. You cannot deny that the National Hockey League is a harsh environment, not only for the players but the coaching staff as well. It’s for this very reason that we decided to take a closer look at the coaching staff behind the Dallas Stars hockey team to see who is calling the shots from behind the scenes.

Head Coach – Jim Montgomery

Jim Montgomery became the head coach of the Dallas Stars on 4 May 2018 and is regarded as the 23rd head coach in the history of the franchise and the 8th in the history of the Dallas Stars. Montgomery previously spent five years as the head coach for the men’s hockey team in the University of Denver. He impressed with a 125-57-26 record and was considered the second-winningest head coach during his time in college hockey.

Assistant Coach – Stu Barnes

Stu Barnes decided to re-join the Dallas Stars as an assistant coach during the 2017/18 season, staying in the same position he previously held with the Stars for three seasons from 2008 until 2011. He also spent 16 years as an NHL player, accumulating 597 points in 1,136 regular-season matches with Dallas, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Florida, and Winnipeg.

Assistant Coach – Rick Bowness

Rich Bowness decided to join the Dallas Stars as an assistant coach during the 2018/19 season, bringing with him more than 30 years of valuable coaching experience. Bowness has spent the last five years with Tampa Bay Lightning where he took the role of the associate coach for the team. During his time at Tampa Bay, the team impressed with a 238-135-37 record and appeared in the Stanley Cup playoffs four times.

Assistant Coach – Todd Nelson

Todd Nelson joined the Dallas Stars during the 2018/19 season. He previously spent three years with the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL where he was the head coach from 2015 until 2018.

Goaltending Coach – Jeff Reese

Jeff Reese will enter his 3rd season with the Dallas Stars as their goaltending coach. He initially joined the team during 2015 after he spent the last six seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers in the same role. Before he joined the Flyers, Reese spent a total of 10 seasons with the coaching staff of the Tamp Bay Lightning team where he was in control of the goaltenders. He was also an assistant when it came to amateur goaltenders in the Entry Draft of the NHL.

Video Coach – Kelly Forbes

Kelly Forbes will enter his 9th season with the Dallas Stars as video coach. Kelly works exceptionally closely with the players and coaching staff, breaking down film in post-game and in-game. He is also in charge of video scouting reports of other teams when it comes to game preparation.

The Coaching Staff for American Football

Nearly all American football teams contain more than one coach in the organization, including conditioning and strength coaches. A typical football team in the NFL will have around 15 assistant coaches, while a college football team will have around nine full-time assistant coaches along with two graduate assistant coaches. To give you an idea of the standard coaching staff you’ll find in an NFL team, we decided to list them below:

  • Head Coach

This is the guy that will receive all the praise for winning and all the blame when his team losses. Most head coaches boast with at least 20 years of playing and coaching experience and are all over 40 years of age.

  • Offensive Coordinator

This is the man that is in charge of the team’s attacking players, usually calling the plays while working directly with the team’s quarterback. He is primarily responsible for developing or creating the offensive game plan and works closely with the head coach to ensure the plays are showcased before matchday.

  • Defensive Coordinator

This is the guy that is in charge of the team’s defensive players. He often decides on the defensive schemes to use in both practices and matches. Similar to the offensive coordinator, he will meet with most of the coaching staff and players to prepare everyone for the upcoming game from a defensive point of view.

  • Special Teams Coach

This is the coach that will supervise the punt return team, field goal protection team, kick return team, punters, kickers, and so on. He is usually responsible for coaching the youngsters on the team as well and the reserve and backup players.

  • Quarterback Coach

This is an assistant coach that will monitor the mental and physical aspects of a quarterback and their game. He will improve the quarterback’s throwing motion, pass-drop technique, and footwork, ensuring he doesn’t fall into bad physical or mental habits.

  • Offensive Line Coach

This coach has an excellent understanding when it comes to the running game of the team and works closely with t5he offensive linemen. This coach will work hand-in-hand with the offensive coordinator to discuss running plays as well as the weaknesses and strengths of the unit.

  • Defensive Line Coach

This coach works exclusively with the team’s defensive linemen. He will work on pass rushing, gap control, run stopping and various stunts that the defensive coordinator requires from the football players.

  • Linebacker Coach

This coach will work closely with the linebackers in the team and, depending on the style of defence used by the team, will rank just below the team’s defensive coordinator. He works on pass coverage drops, pass-rushing, and tackling.

  • Strength Coach

This coach specializes in conditioning and weight training. He ensures that each player is in shape and reliable throughout the entire season and will usually coordinate training programs during the offseason. This coach will also work closely with team doctors to monitor and prepare rehabilitation exercises when a player gets injured.