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Football – Coach Get Too Much Credit Or Blame?


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They say that the game of football is won or lost on the field and in doing so you’re relying on the players and not the coaches to execute the plays. The coaches can only tell them what needs to be done. It’s up to the players to do it. Still, many coaches take the heat for what happens in a game and many of them, especially head coaches, end up losing their jobs. Is this fair? Is it even right? Well, we’re not going to try to answer this question but we are going to present both sides of the argument, pro and con.

This argument can actually apply to just about any sport but for the purposes of this article, we’ll confine it to football.

There’s no question that a coach is responsible for not only calling the plays that the players will execute during the course of the game, but they are also responsible for seeing that the players stay in shape. This means regular workouts, practices, etc. If a coach sees that a player isn’t putting in the effort, it’s his job to call the player on this and bench him if necessary. But these are all basic things that even the worst coach in pro football should be able to do. If he doesn’t, then he doesn’t belong in the game.

The question probably should be, “Where does the coaches responsibility end?” There is an old saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it. The same can be said about a football player. You can give him all the instruction and training in the world, but if he goes out on that field and doesn’t put in the effort, or is confused because he doesn’t understand the play that was just called, is it the coaches fault?

This is where the argument itself comes in and quite honestly, it’s probably one that nobody is going to win.

There are those who say that it is the coaches responsibility to make sure that his players are ready for the game, both physically and mentally. If he sees that a player is either not getting the plays down or is not putting the effort in, then he should bench that player until he shows that he can play up to what is expected of him.

There are those who say that the problem with this theory is that not every player is going to be a star and sometimes you can only get so much out of your players. These are the people who say that the coach does get too much credit when the team does well and too much blame when they don’t. Ultimately, they claim that you can only do so much with your players and they must be the ones who execute, not the coaches.

Those who argue against the above theory will point to some of the greatest coaches of all time, pointing to their record. Well, maybe they just happened to have great players. Or maybe the coach really did make a difference.

It certainly is an interesting argument and one that will probably never be settled.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Football

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  • Posted On January 14, 2007
  • Published articles 283513

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