My Application to Be an NFL Coach
Dear Coachless Football Teams,
I understand your frustration in hiring a new coach to run your on-field product. The top college coaches aren’t interested and you have trepidation about some of those who have done it before, the Ken Whisenhunts, and the Lovie Smiths, and the Lovey Howells of the world. Hence, I’d like to take this opportunity to throw my hat into the ring.
Hey, Norv Turner remained the head coach of the San Diego Chargers for six years! You really have nothing to lose in calling me in. Tell you what, I’ll even pay for the lunch we have together. You like Thai food?
I know what you’re thinking: I don’t have any experience. True, but what I lack in experience, I make up for with snappy answers at my press conferences.
As for qualifications, where do I begin? I am a former Monday morning quarterback, with over 30 years of experience chastising coaches for moves that, with the benefit of hindsight, seem incredibly stupid. I have a very good record of pointing out what should have been done after the fact.
I am a badass, but a player’s coach. To wit, I run my practices like a drill sergeant, but allow my players who display exceptional effort on the practice field to earn coupons for “one free back rub and tub soak.”
Each day, I am the first one to arrive and the last one to leave the facility. (Though I do require an eight-hour lunch/siesta in the middle of the day. Genius needs its rest.)
And I demand that my players will have the best endurance in the league. I’m like Michael Douglas in ”Miracle.” (Or was it Kurt Russell? Y’know, I shouldn’t get them confused, but I do.) I don’t run two-a-days, I run three-a-days. And every practice is in pads. In fact, I require my players to wear pads 24-7, even on off days. They can only take them off when they shower.
From a strategy point-of-view, I can tell you that a prevent defense doesn’t prevent anything. So I won’t use it. A prevent offense, however, I use almost exclusively when in the red zone. It helps to reduce turnovers close to the goal line which always sap a team of much needed momentum.
In this formation, when the ball is snapped and the offensive line drives the defense into the end zone, the quarterback hands the ball off to the running back who then scampers all the way down to the other end of the field wasting valuable time the defense would otherwise have to get the ball back and tie the game after we punched it into the end zone. I got the idea from a recent rousing game of ”keep away.”
Defensively, I am just as adept at confusing the opposing team. Cover-2? Yeah, too weak. I use the cover-11 and drop everyone into coverage.
I don’t carry a punter. The game has four downs and I like to use them all. Punters just take up a roster spot. So I usually carry a fourth quarterback. Tim Tebow will not be one of those four quarterbacks. I see him more as a down lineman type in my scheme.
”Game management” is my middle name. When the ball is in our quarterback’s hands with a minute thirty or less, that’s when we’re at our best. We play the entire game as if that were the case. The hurry up offense has never been as fast. The second the center gets to the ball, he’s told to snap it backwards, whether the quarterback is ready or not.
Sometimes I put all four quarterbacks on the field at the same time and get the defense to try to guess who’s going to get the snap.
I’m versed in the pistol, shotgun, run-and-shoot, hit-and-run, pick-and-roll, the wildcat. I also have perfected formations known as the musket, laser, Shangri la, and the Mississippi midnight mosey. (The last one is a dance step, but I have a feeling I could integrate it into the offense seamlessly.)
I’m known for the sheer volume of times I employ the on-sides kickoff. It softens the receiving team up until they don’t expect a long kickoff.
The types of players I am most fond of are tall and lanky wide receivers, that run a 9.0 80-yard dash or faster. (I don’t believe that a 40-yard dash can adequately gauge a person’s speed and I believe that running them 100 yards is useless as there’s no purpose for that type of distance in American football.) Someone like former NBA star, at a height of 7’6” Shawn Bradley would be ideal for my pass plays.
My cornerbacks need to have loose hips and tight necks. So they can only stare at what’s directly in front of them but can constantly change that point of view.
Did I mention I am a tireless workaholic? I watch film constantly. For instance, I just finished “Argo.” It was breathtaking. I’m considering running a few plays like that.
I even write my own cheers for the cheerleaders. ”One-two-three-four, we’re not gonna pass no more.” It’s actually my way to call the play to our quarterback. (The one flaw is that if the other team realizes it’s not a real cheer, we’re in trouble.)
I grow my mustache like Andy Reid, spit when I talk like Bill Cowher, wear a fedora like Tom Landry, a sweater like Mike Ditka, and a hoodie like Bill Belichick, all at the same time. My nickname is, in fact, ”Bum.” According to ancestry.com, I am 1/128th Harbaugh.
On a side note, I am an amateur horticulturalist. What do I grow? I grow Bill Parcells Coaching Trees in my greenhouse.
”Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” was Coach Vince Lombardi, the man for whom football’s ultimate trophy is named. ”Winning is something that isn’t nothing” is mine. I live it, I breathe it, I want it etched on my tombstone.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m good with soundbytes too. ”If we score more points than the other team, we will win the game.” ”I can’t have a bunch of guys peeing themselves in the middle of a playoff game.” ”Exhibitions are for museums!” Those were all gems I’ve uttered at one time or another.
I mentioned the press conferences earlier. They’ll become must-see television. Great fodder for the media and we all know the fans love an engaging coach as much as they love a winning team. Look at Jacksonville, there can’t be any other reason to continue watching them.
And not to step on the toes of the marketing department, but I have just four words to throw out to you — ”Fans Suit Up Day.”
So, in conclusion, when you’re trying to decide on a has-been using techniques that retired when Slingin’ Sammy Baugh did, consider that the game is changing. It’s about staying one step ahead of the curve. Getting the other head coach to lose focus for just one second as he drops his clipboard in stunned disbelief to say, ”What the –?!” as my offensive line goes into a choreographed riverdance as a new twist on the fumblerooski.
My hire will generate interest, much more than any one of a slew of standard-issue coordinators-cum-head coaches, and that’s what you need. We may even win a game or two. Well, as long as Cleveland is on the schedule.
If this opportunity should not pan out, I would also consider a job in concessions where I have several years of experience. The hot dogs have to be kept at a minimum of 125 degrees, otherwise, they will turn green. That doesn’t make them taste bad, per se, just different.