Joel Thorman's Crazy Idea


Having authored a few crazy ideas myself, I consider it a moral responsibility to applaud an unlikely source of an intruging idea, Joel Thorman of Arrowhead Pride: why wouldn’t a non-football entrepreneur be just as good (if not better) at the responsibilities of NFL Head Coach than many football experts, including college coaches?

Yeah, no football background so it seems strange.

But a head coach is like a CEO. His job is to put people in a position to be successful. Hire the right offensive coordinator — and this particular person would have extensive experience with hiring the right person — and let him put his assistants in place. Hire the right defensive coordinator and do the same.

Am I crazy?

Yes. Yes you are, you magnificent bastard. But apparently you are not crazy enough, because I’m not digging the idea. AP commenter etp_stl approaches my line of thinking:

I think you could absolutely do this at a GM or President level, but a HC still has too many football decisions to make to pluck a guy without a football background.

I agree that the biggest issue with any promotions come from the mistaken belief that being outstanding in one position naturally translates to being even adequate in another capacity. A HC needs to be not only adept at the items you discussed, as far as choosing his staff correctly; but he needs to also provide the direction for the team and be an effective field general. I don’t think plucking a guy from the corporate world would be a very effective field general, as most do not really execute that kind of direct leadership.

I’d even take etp’s reasoning one step further than that. After the jump.

There’s actually a few positions in the football world where this could be an effective line of thinking. Coaching in college is about 90% recruiting, and that includes virtually every sport there, not just football. This is why college coaches struggle to transition to the pros — they are more business relations people than actual football people. And in the NFL, the General Manager does most all of that for you. Head coaches are actually very involved in a team’s football processes in the NFL. You can’t have any non-football minds there and expect to do much better than the Joel Thorman would.

Nowadays you can’t really even do that with GMs, because of how specialized the world of the NFL is. GMs are incredibly involved in scouting and the trade bargains require an outstanding football understanding in order to understand what is good value and what is not. Now teams have a couple general managers — one that is football oriented (Scott Pioli, for example), and one that is business oriented (Denny Thum). Thum’s position is where actual businessmen with little to no background in football could actually thrive.

But I believe college coaches, whose main purpose is to bring in bigger, better, shinier new recruits than the other guys, could actually have little football knowledge and probably still be good at the job. But even then the PR nightmare of telling the world that your football program is run by a guy who doesn’t follow football would probably hurt your recruiting…

But as for the NFL, I say you probably still gotta know your football. But knowing the ins and outs of the market could only help, I’d imagine.

What do you think, Addicts?

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