Tanking Never Works

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions.

What should the top priority be? Wins this year or developing the team/culture for the future? — @dmaz2488

I’m a firm believer that your culture is about as good as your record. You know which teams consistently talk about their culture and how it’s getting better? Teams that are trying to dig themselves out of big holes. What do people talk about with the excellent teams that are consistently in the postseason picture? They analyze the strength of the roster and how good the players are.

Nothing develops players and a roster better than winning. It raises the level of buy-in. It’s a heck of a lot easier to coach corrections in a week coming off a victory than coming off a loss. Everything in the building is better when a team is winning. If the Bears are able to achieve modest success this season, it would be with young players who are improving and making a difference. Why wouldn’t you want to see the Bears win this season?

I’m not sure the Bears can improve by prioritizing development while making winning a secondary goal. I never will understand that line of thinking and I will take it one step further: If the players in the locker room don’t sense that the coaches are doing everything in their power to put them in a position to win every week, those coaches are going to lose the locker room in a hurry. Players put in work to win games. No other messaging will connect with them.

Spot on.

I will never understand people that claim that tanking is the way to long-term winning in the NFL. I understand the desire to get a better draft pick but when you tank, all you do is teach your players to lose. That is not the way to develop a team and that is why tanking never works in the NFL. Never.

If you’ve got a good front office and a good coaching staff then it doesn’t matter where you draft. You can always find good players and even good quarterbacks. The Green Bay Packers are A good example of this. On the other hand, if you don’t have a good front office, it won’t matter where you pick. You’ll never pick enough of the right ones to be any good.

Tanking is a scourge upon sport. It hurts everyone from the players to the league that is trying to sell tickets to games that aren’t competitive. Organizations should never do it.

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