Mike Lantry, 1972
OT - SI: NFL Coaches' Playing History - Or lack thereof
NFL experience is to coaching in the NFL as Journalisim is to being a blogger.
I've often been curious about that same thing - about the lack of big-time playing experience. Its interesting that coaches teach players to play within themselves in big games and to focus on fundamentals when they never experienced playing in monster games. Then again, maybe they've been in equivalent situations at a lower level. Also, maybe coaches don't need that kind of experience to truly be great coaches. This is a very interesting topic.
P.S. I'm a Class of '97 guy too and I remember those four 4-loss seasons fondly. The records do not reflect the excitement of those seasons!
The head coaches may not have much NFL experience because many times they are primarily motivators and managers of the game. It would be interesting to see what percentage of NFL coordinators and/or assistants do have NFL/football playing experience?
In the NFL, like the NBA, there are significant glass ceilings for players due to size / strength and no significant minor leagues. MLB has less of a physical requirement and an extensive minor league, so a person who is extremely smart about the game can make up for a lot of his physical deficiencies (see: Eckstein, Jaime Moyer, etc) and still play a high level of professional baseball, maybe not the big leagues, but College / Single A / Double A, etc. It follows then that a lot of the guys who would make good coaches will have extensive playing experience in baseball vice say basketball, where you can be the smartest or even most skillfull player, but if you're not over 6-ft tall generally, you're not going to get a sniff of professional action. Same thing in football, you can understand the game tremendously but if you're 5'8" 180 lbs, or a quarterback who's arm doesn't match his head, then you're going to get filtered out pretty early.
I was told by some older coaches that the guys that make the best coaches are the ones who are average to slightly below average players because of size/ athleticism who made the team and worked to contribute but rarely had the chance. This was baseball, but I think it would apply in other sports.
One guy I went to school with is now coaching college baseball after barely making the team. RR is another example of a guy that walked on at WVU.
This seems to generally be the case with all sports. Michigan has one of the few exceptions in its hockey coach.
Check this out:
23. Jim Schwartz (Detroit): A story about Schwartz at Georgetown’s Web site does not go into any detail about how good a player he was … only that he “played linebacker.” Hmm. The story does say that he’s an avid chess player, and he uses lots of statistics in his coaching.
Schwartz seems like a really cool guy.
Let me preface: I think NFL teams should be forced to interview minority canidates.
However MSM loves to say 75% percent of the players are Affrican American but only 10% of the coaches. How can we dare live in this society with this obvious racism!!
Well, because being a NFL player is no a prerequisite for being a head coachas as this article shows. Therefore we should compare to the population at large and about 15-20% should be African American and surprise that's close where we are.
Get off my lawn!
awesome non sequitur, i guess....