Coaching Culture


You know how sometimes you read something or hear something in the news and it just sticks with you and you think about it over and over? I’ve had something stewing in the background since we beat the Jets. Even with the bye week and the Thanksgiving holiday, it still has a little patch of my brain all staked out. I’ve come to the conclusion that it needs to have it’s own space in print before I can move on.

So, I’ll preface this by discolosing that I’m on board with Coach Carroll. And it’s not just because he happens to be the coach of the Seahawks. While I’m not a statistics kind of a girl, his coaching has a few tangible benefits…

  • It makes everyone in the organization want to produce, coaches, staff and players alike.
  • It produces a level of trust within the organization… The coach has your back, the players have each others back
  • Everyone is accountable. There’s no skating on reputation. If you screw up, you sit out a series. (Looking at you Breno)
  • There’s an integrity within the organization that’s there whether anyone is watching or not. It’s there in how we compete, how we practice, how we speak of each other…

To me, coaching quality is about far more that “how to play”… It’s about defining who we are and how we play and creating a culture that sets the stage for success.

So rewind to a few days after the Jet’s lose to the Hawks. What are the Jets saying? They’re leaking “anonymous” comments to the press about however much Sanchez sucks, they’re stuck with him because they don’t have a second quarterback, they have this “athlete”, they have Tebow who’s so one dimensional that he can only “wildcat. And we can’t win a game by running 60 minutes of wildcat.

I think this is atrocious. Can you imagine Seahawks players talking smack about each other, anonymous or not? Or the coach allowing it? This didn’t happen over night. This is the culture that the coach has allowed to develop. And that’s the most important job the head coach has… creating culture for the team, the club. (And this is the reason that Mora would have never succeeded here. The culture he created was one of throwing players under the bus and non accountability for himself and his role as the leader)

While I was still wrestling with the Jets public PR debacle, on Monday morning, local sports radio commentators gave Ryan a free pass. “This isn’t the coach’s issue. This is the players simply expressing their frustration. This shouldn’t reflect on the coach’s work with the team.”

Pardon me, but what a load of crap! This has everything to do with the coach and his lack of leadership. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s the Jets or any other team… college, high school, Pop Warner, whatever. Leadership is exactly what is supposed to hold the team together through times of hardship, not step back and watch while they publicly self destruct and point fingers at each other.

Case in point, back at the Jets, Rex Ryan is now essentially baffled by his team, finds the stretch when the Pats scored 3 touchdown on the Jets in 52 seconds “hard to fathom.” He keeps Tebow active even though he has broken ribs and fails to activate the 3rd string quarterback then sits back and watches Sanchez struggle mightily. He still believes that in spite of the chaos in the locker room and on the field, the Jets can finish strong.

It may seem that I’m pounding on the Jets here, but not so. I am pointing out (using an obvious example) that poor leadership or lack of leadership can cause teams, even ones with talent to implode. If owners permit it, and the media excuses it, poor leadership will continue to give the NFL the public black eye.

So yes, I’m a fan of Pete. He exemplifies the qualities of leadership that builds winning teams!
And we, the fans, reap the benefits!