Friday, January 10, 2014

Some Simple Do's and Don't's: Let's Start With Dinner...

I have some unsolicited advice for Jay Gruden as we welcome him to town, and hope earnestly that he can turn around this listing, wayward ship of bad football. And it's as simple as "Do This, Don't Do That..."

Don’t have dinners with the owner. You don’t need him as a friend, and neither does he need you as one. He’s your boss. Have your next fancy dinner, at the Super Bowl, the night before the big game.

Do have lunch with your quarterback. Let him know that even if you have to break his balls at times over fundamentals or execution, that you do have his back, and that you are both in this to make each other wildly successful, rich, famous and winners.

Jay Gruden, Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen, and Co. celebrate hiring at Morton's, somewhere in DC.

Don’t go out and purchase any wide receiver in free agency. We’ve got Garcon, who dominated the league last year with a QB who, some claim, had a “bad” season. You can make do with young, hungry, no-names filling out the Y and Z positions.

Do invest heavily on the defensive side of the football. Good defense not only wins in the NFL, but good defense shows up in all weather, is indifferent to supposedly “bad” match ups, and can be applied consistently as long as players give maximum effort.

Don’t waste any timeouts in the 2nd half just to avoid a 5-yard delay of game penalty. If you carry all 3 time-outs to the 2-minute warning every game, no matter what, you will add two wins to your season total vs. teams that don’t.

Do be aggressive on going for it on 4th down and less than 3. The league is slowly waking up to the understanding that the old school worship of almighty “field position” is silly and counter-productive. Get the ball. KEEP the ball. Score. That’s how the game is won. Period.

QB Jay Gruden and team rocking' the Zubaz style pants for the Arena League 
Don’t even think about going away from the gold pants. Especially don’t think about those horrifying Zubaz from your Arena League playing days with the Storm.

Do make an effort to reach out to the fan base, in whatever little ways you can. The last guy wasn’t just bad at winning games, he was so cold and distant, many of us are still in Redskins fan therapy over it.

Don’t just let Bruce Allen and the scouting department have their way with draft decisions and free agency. You are a football junkie, who knows this game, and knows what kind of athlete can make it. Get in there and fight, when you think it matters.

Do accept the fact that as a coach, you are always going to be biased toward players you think can play better, or are convinced just haven’t reached their potential. Thus, Allen’s job will sometimes be to save you from yourself on these guys.

Don’t set expectations too high. A lot of us would love it, if you did nothing but quietly undersell the potential for the upcoming team, and upcoming season, only to be pleasantly surprised once play starts.

Do remember that as fans, we might just start calling for your head at the first 2 game losing streak. Don’t take it personally, or seriously. It’s just that we’ve been through a lot these last 14 years.

The start of something big. We had no idea, at the time.


  1. Great stuff here Czabe. You sell yourself short...not only would you make an average NFL playcaller after some time to study, but with this kind of advice, you'd make a decent head coach, or at least a decent adviser to one!

  2. With the new rules favoring the offense (specifically passing), clock management is becoming more important than having the lead. You MUST kill the clock and not allow guys like Brees or Manning or the new breed of Kaepernick, Luck, Wilson, etc. to get the ball back. I see so many teams score TOO quickly and allow the other team to come right back down the field. When will these coaches get it? Clock management is everything.