In this episode we see more examples of poor communication by the coaches. Too often coaches comment on what went wrong – instead of what they wanted to see.
Notice Todd Haley’s comments to Carl Nassib: “That’s not smart, pulling him right into the quarterback.” “It’s not smart – it’s not a smart thing – you pulled him right into the quarterback.”
Haley does not say what Nassib should have done – or show him how he should have done it. Haley could have showed Nassib the proper technique he wanted to see. Instead he basically tells Nassib “That was a dumb play.” This can also be interpreted as he is saying to Nassib: “You are dumb.” Yes, it may have been a dumb play – but to keep Nassib from repeating the same mistake over and over- he needs to be corrected on the spot, and shown exactly what he should have done and that he understands what to do in the future. The next play Haley says “You did it again.”
This is an example of what is called a “teachable moment.” Yes, it takes time and specific instruction, but it is how coaches get players to improve and perform the technique properly. This is the kind of instruction that cuts down on mistakes and creates discipline on the field for the players.
Compare Haley’s comments to Nassib with Bob Wylie’s comments when coaching the offensive line. Wiley is having the offensive line focus on keeping a low center of gravity. He has the players practice under a structure that keeps them from standing up. Any drill that forces the athlete to preform the technique properly is great. The players can’t stand up – if they did, they would hit their heads on the top of the structure. Wylie has come up with a drill to force them to keep a low center of gravity. He then instructs them: “Short steps.” “Short steps are better than long steps.” He shows clips of different animals and says “play with you knees bent on the instep.” Wylie teaches and shows them exactly what they need to do.
Defensive Coordinator, Gregg Williams is the same as always – he yells with no specific instruction. At halftime of the preseason game he simply says: “How do you want to look?” Williams constantly blames the players when things go wrong – yet he seems to take credit early in the game when the defense is performing well.
Why do I focus on these examples? Notice in the preseason game, although the defense plays well at first, they have costly penalties. These penalties come from a lack of discipline. Discipline starts with the coaches. A good coach is a good teacher and commutator. A good coach is a firm disciplinarian in practice. This discipline in practice carries over into games.
Notice that the serious penalties in the preseason game against the Bills were on the defense. On 3rd and 14 they have a penalty and late in the game there is a roughing the passer penalty. The offensive line did not seem to have many – if any penalties. This is because of the discipline they have in practice.
As Todd Haley says after the Browns lose to the Bills: “That’s what we get.” “That’s how we practice.” “That’s what we deserve.”
Head Coach, Hue Jackson seems to put it blame on the players when he says: “The discipline of this team has to get better.” He refers to self inflicted penalties and says: “We have to get better.” These comments needs to be said to the coaching staff more than to the players. It is up to the coaching staff to demand this discipline in practice daily and instruct the players in what they want to see at all times.
From a psychological standpoint the Browns need to sign Dez Bryant. Dez Bryant could be worth three or four additional wins for the Browns. Dez looks to be in much better shape than Josh Gordon. It looks like Gordon is about ten pounds overweight.
The decision not to sign Bryant could be a very important pivotal point for this team. Gordon has missed 43 of 48 games. It’s reasonable to expect that he may be suspended again this season. It is quite possible that Gordon gets injured trying to get into shape very quickly. The Browns don’t seem to understand the depth of Gordon’s issues. These decisions, like drafting Corey Coleman in the first round and then trading him the next year, as well as the whole Johnny Manziel experience add up to create many problems. These off the field decisions create on the field problems.