American Football

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.

Super Bowl 53: Three key take-outs for the coaches

The culmination of the NFL season was a history-making affair, with New England Patriots’ 13-3 victory over Los Angeles Rams the fewest number of points scored in a title game during the Super Bowl era.

The Patriots were favourites in the Super Bowl odds for the game and never looked in any danger of losing. They led 3-0 at half-time, then scored the game-winning touchdown with seven minutes remaining.

The Rams weren’t able to get their prolific offense rolling and didn’t run a single play inside New England’s 26-yard line.

Read on as we look at three things the coaches of both teams could have done differently in order to change the scores.

McVay’s Plan ‘A’ exposed

The Rams’ offense had been superb all season, scoring the second-most points and gaining the second-most yards in the run-up to the Super Bowl.

The Patriots shackled quarterback Jared Goff, dismantled the Rams’ offensive line, shut down their skill players and left McVay scratching his head.

Belichick surprised the Rams by starting in zone defense after playing man-to-man all season and McVay’s lack of an alternative plan was brutally exposed.

Playing zone coverage confused Goff and his coach couldn’t resolve the problem. Trying something other than his favoured Plan ‘A’ could have changed the outcome.

Belichick gives a coaching masterclass

McVay admitted after the game that he had been “out-coached” by Belichick – it’s fair to say that was something of an understatement.

The Rams were humiliated statistically, gaining just 260 yards, recording 14 first downs and punting nine times.

Belichick’s decision to switch his system ensured that the game would be a tactical, low scoring-affair, and it worked a treat.

Playing a more open system would no doubt have led to more points in the game, but the Patriots won by following Belichick’s plan to the letter. It was a coaching masterclass.

Gurley’s diminished role was baffling

Todd Gurley had been a key part of the Rams’ offensive during the season, yet McVay barely used him against the Patriots.

Suspicions of a lingering knee problem were ruled out by McVay post-match, making it an even bigger mystery as to why Gurley was utilised so sparingly.

Gurley managed just 35 yards on 10 carries – a bafflingly low return for a player who had performed so well for the majority of the campaign.

McVay’s inability to get Gurley performing on the biggest stage was a crucial factor in the Rams putting just three points on the board.

Greatest NFL Coaches of All Time

There’s no denying that Bill Belichick is the best head coach of this era when it comes to the NFL, but where exactly does he rank when it comes to the greatest NFL coaches of all time? An NFL coach cannot be defined by only looking at their titles. You need to consider every aspect of their career, including full body of work, individual seasons, overall performance, and contribution towards the game. With that in mind, let’s look at the greatest NFL coaches of all time.

1. Vince Lombardi

Lombardi managed to win a total of 5 championships (2 Super Bowls and 3 NFL titles) with the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967. He could have had the same success with the Washington Redskins if his career wasn’t cut short due to colon cancer.

2. Bill Belichick

Whether you hate him or love him, Belichick’s New England Patriots have certainly been a dominating force in the National Football League. Should he be able to claim a sixth Super Bowl title or achieve 20 winning seasons, Belichick will take the number 1 spot on our list.

3. Don Shula

Shula initially coached the Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1969 before coaching Miami from 1970 to 1975. He managed to claim 16 division titles and had 6 Super Bowl appearances where he claimed 2 Super Bowl titles. He is also on the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 1997.

4. Bill Walsh

Walsh coached San Francisco from 1979 to 1988 and managed to claim 6 division titles along with 3 Super Bowl titles. He also invented a revolutionary offense and is on the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 1993.

5. Paul Brown

Brown is considered one of the best innovators and was the first coach to manage two football franchises, including the Bengals and the Browns, winning with both teams. His ten consecutive title game appearances with the Browns is a record that will never be broken.

6. Joe Gibbs

Gibbs coached the Washington Redskins from 1981 to 1992 and again from 2004 to 2007. During his career, he managed to claim 5 division titles and had 4 Super Bowl appearances where he managed to claim 3 Super Bowl titles with three different quarterbacks.

7. George Halas

Professional football certainly won’t be where it is today without the legendary ‘Papa Bear”, coaching the Monsters of the Midway for a total of 40 seasons and racking up a total of 324 victories along with 6 NFL titles.

8. Tom Landry

Landry coached the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1978 and claimed 13 division titles along with 5 Super Bowl appearances with 2 Super Bowl titles. His record of 20 consecutive winning seasons is one that will definitely stand forever.

9. Chuck Noll

Noll coached the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1969 to 1991. He claimed 9 division titles and 4 Super Bowl titles. The Steelers never won an NFL championship since it was formed in 1933 until Noll arrived on the scene.