Football

Reflection on the Plains: Fatal Flaws; Offensive vs. Defensive Coaches; Be Nice

Fatal Flaws. A week or so ago, I read this article from NFL Philosophy’s Joe Bussell about the fatal flaws of players. This is something that is true, which is we tend to focus with potential recruits or players, which is the idea that everyone looks good and we tend to overlook those flaws that really make or break a player:

Fatal flaws are traits or lack of skills that a player has (or doesn’t have) that could indicate a high likelihood of failure in the NFL. Every position has them. Some are obvious like a linebacker or safety that can’t or won’t tackle. Others will be more concealed and harder to see, like a quarterback that lacks anticipation. Either way, an otherwise great player, can be exposed in the NFL if they possess a fatal flaw.

Bussell isn’t picking on players, but we, as fans of a game, really owe it to ourselves to focus on those fatal flaws so that we know how a player is supposed to be utilized to mitigate that flaw and get the best out of the player.

This not only goes for particular players, but it also goes for teams. Every player and every team has a thermal exhaust port and it’s up to the coaches to figure out what it is and figure out how to exploit it on the other team and how to avoid it with your team. I think my summer process is going to be to delve into the fatal flaws, at least how I see them, of the players and the Texas Tech opponents. Again, this isn’t an attempt to be overly critical of the team or players, but to be more critical in the way that we look at our team and how to scheme around these sorts of things (and hopefully the coaches are already on top of this).

Why Offensive Coaches Get All the Love. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg recently wrote about how defensive coaches really are not landing top coaching jobs. There may not be a fanbase that associates themselves with a particular type of coach than Texas Tech fans. Aside from Tommy Tuberville making you want to withdraw into a cave, the fact that he wasn’t an offensive minded coach certainly hurt the cause. But I think we all wanted that offensive coach, even if a defensive coach was possibly a better fit. Manny Diaz, the new defensive coordinator at Mississippi State had some good thoughts about this:

Manny Diaz, on his second stint as Mississippi State’s defensive coordinator after coordinator stints at Louisiana Tech, Texas and Middle Tennessee, thinks the fan connection to offense is deeper than the numbers.

“When people watch and their team has the ball, they feel like that is a representation of them,” Diaz said. “When the other team has the ball, they feel like they’re watching the other team, even though their defense is out there, too. That’s why in a spring game, people clap when the offense catches a pass, even though they caught the ball against their own defense.

“So if we are stroking somebody on defense and holding them to very few points but can’t score points on offense, as a fan, you generally feel inept.”

I think this is true.

I also think that this is really something that you have to force yourself away from thinking. I know thatwe’re always cheering for Texas Tech, no matter who has the ball, but I think it’s true to a certain extent and we want to identify and we want those high flying offenses to make things incredibly interesting. There’s this other interesting thought in the article about how offensive coaches are easier to sell to a program, losing 42-35, rather than losing 13-7.  I think that’s true as well.

Be Nice to People. I met with a husband and wife the other day. They had only been married for 3 months before the husband suffered a stroke, which was about 3 years ago. The husband is just now starting to walk and the wife has essentially taken care of the husband after doctors told him that he would be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. He was beating the odds and they were doing it together. After about an hour of discussing estate planning, the husband looked like he was about to have another stroke.  His face was red and he looked like he was in pain. I asked him what was wrong and he said that he needed to use the restroom really bad. He obviously had issues controlling himself due to the stroke, so we hustled to the men’s restroom, where I stood guard outside the restroom while his wife went inside with him helped him.

The moral to this story isn’t about how we all get old and you better enjoy life while you can. The moral to the story is that this reminded me that we need to be really nice to the people who take care of us because one day they’re going to have to help you use the restroom and clean up after you.

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