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Thursday, December 25, 2014
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Published: Friday, 1/9/2004

Old coaches never die, they just un-retire

All you need to know about the state of coaching in the NFL is that Bill Parcells, Dick Vermeil and Joe Gibbs are as good as it gets.

Which leads to this question from way out in left field: Can Bill Walsh be tempted to put on a headset again?

I don t see why not.

After all, the Giants hired former Parcells assistant Tom Coughlin this week, partly because he had decent success with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and partly because he coached under Parcells in New York.

New York s brass appears confident that some of Parcells coaching instincts rubbed off on Coughlin. Call it success by association.

But that s pure speculation. It s so difficult to hire a winner that teams will try almost anything.

Whatever the thinking, the influence that successful old-school coaches Parcells and Vermeil are having on the copycat NFL is obvious.

In case you haven t noticed, there s a new sheriff in suburban Washington, D.C.

The Washington Redskins have spent an entire decade desperately lacking what Gibbs stands for, which is coaching excellence.

Ask any coach. They have the perfect game plan every week. The challenge is getting the players to execute.

It s like this, though, with Gibbs, Parcells and Vermeil, who have won a total of six Super Bowls.

They bring a different mentality because their reputations supersede everything.

They ve been there, done that.

Because their players seem to listen more and complain less, the reward is greater.

In having over-analyzed what makes a great coach, maybe that s what many of us overlooked.

Whatever talent they have, Vermeil, Parcells and Gibbs know how to exploit it.

Most of the coaches hired are not successful. Hiring a coach is a risky venture.

There does seem to be, however, a higher guarantee, or lower risk, when someone like Gibbs is hired.

Gibbs gives his team more opportunities to win than lose.

Don t ask how he does it. He just does.

As with any coach who s been out of the loop, there are obvious reservations whether Gibbs old fire and passion can be rekindled.

Gibbs, however, didn t take long to remove those doubts when he signed a five-year contract with his old team. He really seems to be into this thing for the long haul.

His un-retirement has caused all of pro football to snap to attention. And that is the ultimate in coaching power.

Gibbs is so good that bossy owner Daniel Snyder now knows enough to let his coach do the coaching.

Snyder hasn t had much success when it comes to winning football teams, or winning coaches.

Snyder threw good money after bad on Norv Turner, Marty Schottenheimer and Steve Spurrier. He was running out of options.

You can badmouth Snyder all you like, but even a broken clock works twice a day.

Snyder got it right this time. He made the best coaching hire since Jerry Jones coaxed Parcells out of retirement last January.



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