Success in the NFL Tied Critically to the Personality of the Head Coach

From my favorite featurePro Football Weekly‘s Audibles containing quotes from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“I’ve given this a lot of thought. One of the key ingredients to a head coach — you have to have that swagger or confidence and be able to instill it in your players. It could come in a lot of forms. Rex Ryan does it his way with bravado. (Bill)Belichick uses intelligence. Whoever the head coach is, he has to convince his team (that) they are going to win. You could go team-by-team and give the test. The one that I would worry about is Jim Caldwell — does he really get up and induce confidence? He always looks scared. There was no one worse than (Dave) Wannstedt looking worried on the sideline. Having been around Pat Shurmur, I don’t think he has the swagger. (BradChildress did not have it at all — players did not trust him. With (Steve Spagnuolo), there is something in his personality that gets people excited. Leslie Frazier will have it as a trust factor like (TonyDungy. They will trust him.Ron Rivera will have some intensity to him, and the fact that he played helps. The most confident guy I’ve ever been around is Jim Harbaugh. If there were ever a coach with swagger — it is Jimmy. And he’s always been that way. This is a guy that would kick his feet up on Bo Schembechler‘s desk to get a rise out of him. He could lose a game and it will not faze him. He’ll stand in front of his football team and convince them they will win.”

I don’t have a single doubt this person is right.  It isn’t just swagger or confidence.  Those are just characteristics.  You want the coach to have a personality that can be mimicked with success on the football field.  Its why Wade Phillips didn’t succeed in Dallas.  Its why Norv Turner‘s teams likely will never live up to expectations.

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