Monday, October 23, 2006

Steering back on track . . . while asleep at the wheel

According to the team's website, on Monday Reid broke with the long-standing tradition he has set in giving the players the day off after games. Today, the authoritarian coach actually required the players to show up and make a brief appearance, where he sternly lectured them. As Spadaro reported:
Andy Reid spoke briefly to them, reiterating how much he believes in them and how he is confident the team will get back to winnning the right way -- as a team.

Okay, I may not be a coach, but just maybe this fluffy, snuggly technique isn't really working? I accept that positive reinforcement can be good and negative reinforcement can be counterproductive; but this does not mean that getting mad and being critical of a player's performance is negative. This isn't a charity softball fundraiser where everybody's a winner. This is actually their profession -- for which they are very well compensated. By us.

It seems to be a growing problem that there are absolutely no consequences whatsoever for poor performance on the field -- or even assinine on-field actions that hurt the team like McDougle's absurd unsportsmanlike penalty. The biggest problem is that Reid sets this example himself with his constant mia culpa refrain of "that's my responsibility" and "I need to do a better job". Because Reid neither fears nor faces any consequences for each week's many poor coaching decisions, they are just words. Nothing more.

As for the players, when McDougle came off the field after kicking the penalty flag, Reid did not read him the riot act, express slight disapproval, or even make an effort to speak with him. That play -- as jaw-droppingly stupid as Cole's in the giants game -- hurt the entire team and was one of the contributing factors to our shameful loss. McDougle and all of the players should not only understand that it's not a great idea to go out of their way to take actions that will unequivocally result in a 15 yard penalty and a first down, but that they face some serious consequences from the coach. When they outlawed horsecollar tackling after Roy Williams' T.O. tackle, he said something to the effect that he would rather keep doing it than face the wrath of Parcells for missing a tackle.

This team as simply made too many undisciplined mistakes. Those mistakes are often best addressed by instilling -- and imposing -- discipline. I'm definitely not suggesting that Reid should follow Parcell's example of ruling by fear, but somethin sure is broke and needs fixed.

(Sorry -- this was just a rant).


Blogger Paulomon Grundy said...

Ah, a subject that has been close to my heart for a long time now. More on this later when I blog about it, but Big Red's coaching style doesn't produce championships. The guys don't seem to care enough because Andy's pulse never rises above 70 - is there EVER a sense of urgency on this team? McNabb sauntering up to the line during 2 minute drills, no ass-chewing going on after boneheaded mistakes, etc. It's ok to lose your temper once in a while. All in all, I like Andy's temperament - but he doesn't rally the troops when necessary and that's why he keeps losing to coaches who do, like Gruden. Bottom line: Andy Reid would makes a superb gameplanner and GM, but is terrible on-field during games. He needs to permanently move to the GM position and we need to hire a field general to run games.

10/23/2006 8:11 PM  
Blogger Paulomon Grundy said...

One more thing, Andy is a Fuzzy Snuggle Duck.

10/23/2006 8:14 PM  
Blogger Dave Popstar said...

Agreed. On both counts -- that Big Red should downsize to Medium Red and just be the GM, and that he is a fuzzy snuggle duck (at least moreso than the happy little elves).

I wonder if this is a player sentiment that seems to be going around in Philly . . . . The Flyers reportedly were starting to "tune out" Hitchcock, and maybe they're just not really responding to Big Red? There certainly ain't no urgency in anything he does. Everything he does -- just words.

10/23/2006 8:29 PM  

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