We’re excited to announce that Football Relativity has partnered with Most Valuable Network (www.mvn.com). We’ll be providing a weekly blog there, which we will link here each week. This partnership will provide a new place for us to spread the theory of relativity across the web. Coming off our best traffic day ever on Wednesday, it’s exciting to have the chance to let more people see what’s going on here.
Our first MVN blog is The Failure of the Successful Bill Belichick which you can read via archive below. In that post, we talked about two more posts here:
*Bill Belichick’s shadow side (which includes more history on the Belichick coaching tree and how Belichick earned the right to rule with an iron fist)
*Our research project on NFL coaching trees and their current influence in the NFL
Bill Belichick is the best coach in the NFL. And in one major respect, Bill Belichick is a failure as an NFL coach.
Before the denizens of New England revolt, let us explain.
After an offseason that saw the NFL coaching ranks lose Super Bowl winners Mike Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Mike Holmgren, and Tony Dungy, Belichick is now the unquestioned dean of NFL head coaches. His resume – including three Super Bowls and an undefeated regular season – sparkles more than any other in the league.
But this offseason has revealed a shadow side to Belichick’s success – his failure to foster assistants who can succeed as NFL head coaches.
While Belichick worries about the trivial matter of whether to play Tom Brady in preseason games, his former lieutenants Eric Mangini and Josh McDaniels are thumping their chests to such a degree that they now must try to quell player revolts.
Belichick’s my-way-or-the-highway approach works, because Patriots players old and new respect his resume. But when a former Belichick aide tries the same approach without the same resume, players aren’t buying in.
In Cleveland, Mangini has gotten criticism about forcing rookie free agents to take a 10-hour-plus bus trip to his charity event – while Mangini himself took a flight there. And in training camp, WR Syndric Steptoe’s agent blamed Mangini for his client’s season-ending injury, which occured in an all-out practice in a driving rainstorm.
Meanwhile, in Denver, McDaniels alienated QB Jay Cutler to the point that Cutler forced his way out of town, and now McDaniels appears to be three-quarters of the way down that same road with star WR Brandon Marshall. Ticking off your best players to the point where they demand to leave town isn’t the way to build a winner.
Why do Belichick’s disciples act this way? It’s as if they’re trying to channel their mentor. But what these coaches don’t realize is that you have to earn an iron fist in the NFL, and if you try to use it before you earn it, your coaching tenure is doomed to fail.
No matter how successful your mentor Bill Belichick is.