Watching the first episode of Hard Knocks with the L.A. Rams, I am reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink. It is obvious there is something really wrong with the Rams, but I can’t put my finger on it just yet.
I will say right off that I will be shocked if this team has a winning season.
I focus on the communication between coaches and players. How a coach communicates with his or her players is a huge thing. How a parent communicates with their children plays a huge role in the child’s development. A coach can have a similar impact on their athletes as a parent can have on their children. Players can tune a coach out, just as children can tune out their parents. A parent or a coach can build or destroy self-confidence with their words and actions.
I did not find one comment that Jeff Fisher made that I thought had any benefit at all. He comes across as very negative. This negative way of relating with his players will take a toll on the Rams over the course of the season. He made the statement: “Take ownership and trust that I know what I am doing and we’ll be just fine.” What if they do not trust that he knows what he is doing?
Fisher makes no positive comments. He provides no instruction. He comes across as someone who likes to put others down. This is not the makings of a successful coach. How could someone like this get hired? If you look at all levels of sports you will see coaches like Fisher. They try to come across as “tough.” He reminds me of the Hard Knocks with the Falcons two years ago – they focused on being tough – not winning and what it takes to win. The Falcons coach was fired after that season – I expect the same for Fisher.
Quarterback coach Chris Weinke is just as bad as Fisher. What was the point of anything he said this episode? When he is talking with Jared Goff, about being a starting quarterback in the NFL, he speaks in generalizations. What would be better was if he talked about what it DOES take to be a starting quarterback. What traits he has seen in other quarterbacks that have lead to success, or what traits has he seen that lead to their downfalls? He could mention the skill set that separates a starting quarterback from a backup. There are many ways this conversation could have gone – and it went nowhere.
Mike Waufel, working with the defensive lineman, was hit and miss. Overall, me may be a miss. It was nice the way he was working with the players telling them to keep their hands up. I also liked when he said “Get more juice out of your second hand.” Here he is talking in specifics. What is the point of him talking about fighting with the players? This is a statement someone in high school would make. He was a U.S. Marine but does he need to physically challenge professional football players to prove he is tough. I find this sad.
The only positive thing I saw from any of the coaches was the brief time that Mike Singletary was talking. He made comments on defensive lineman Aaron Donald. The best hope for this team is that Jeff Fisher gets fired mid season and Mike Singletary takes over.