As the Summer Olympics meander into its second week, this time of year also relates to another message: football is back, and soon there will be NFL games on television.
This mantra was symbolically and realistically relayed in the NFL’s message with the “Back Together Saturday” theme this past weekend.
Not only are the teams back in action in training camp, but fans have a whole new season to look forward to, and after a disastrous 2020 year and season, fans truly need an emotional high note in the form of a great 2021 for football.
Nowhere is this message coming across louder but in the Land of Gang Green. By all accounts, the days of yelling, screaming coaches are gone in training camp. Let’s face it; professional football players don’t need yelling, abusive coaches at this level of competition. Every NFL player has almost certainly gone through youth, high school, and college football, and by being some of the most elite players in their profession, each player has shown that they are the absolute best at what they do.
What players do need is good coaches who hold them accountable for their actions or inactions as grown men and not coaches who are constantly yelling to hear their own bellicose voices saying the same thing over and over. If a player does not get a certain play or scheme, it will come out during a game, and that player runs the risk of ending their career on every single play -pure and simple. Leave the screaming at home and bring in the teaching because that is what football coaching should be and still is – teaching.
Enter Robert Saleh and his coaching staff. Being younger coaches working with young players, Saleh and his staff have figured this out – screaming coaches are not better coaches.
Here is the secret from a retired football coach -if you are good at what you are doing, you should be able to explain and teach any play or technique to just about any player, especially an elite NFL player who is wearing a jersey and helmet of a professional team for a reason. Explain things in a way that a grown man can understand and grasp quickly and then let them shine and practice their chosen profession. This is the hallmark of a good football coach in developing potentially great football players.
For Robert Saleh and his staff, some days will be great in training camp, and other days will feel like being back in elementary school. But being back in elementary school may be a good thing since I remember my first football coach was one of my teachers back in fourth and fifth grade. The two things I remember were that he was an enormous man and that he patiently taught me the game of football and instilled a love for this game that still is in me 45 years later.
I think the Jets got it right in hiring Robert Saleh, and that same patience will pay off quickly with a young Jets team that is undoubtedly genuinely excited for 2021.
I also think the 2021 Jets will be one of the surprise turnaround teams this season, and finding Robert Saleh and his staff could have been one of the best moves this franchise has done in a long, long time.
Featured Image: New York Jets