Nicco’s Red Zone Blog | Jason Garrett

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Nicco’s Red Zone Blog
By Nicco Martinez – Our own featured writer at Silver and Blue Report and Hook’em Report and

I wanted to make a few comments on the below article. I am starting to agree with Matt Mosley on this subject. In addition to Mosley’s viewpoints, I have always felt that a unproven new coach that calls his plays is simply that much more likely to get fired because there’s no insulation between the HC and the results on the field. If you have an OC, then you can always take over at a later date if offensive production stinks. I believe Wade Phillips took over defensive play-calling duties after one season.

I think Garrett is trying to juggle putting his brother, John, into a more high-profile gig (passing coordinator) combined with not wanting to put John in the play-calling hot seat (which could lead to getting John fired.) Hiring an OC would put John (and his career aspirations) back into the low-profile shadows of being just a position coach.

Jason needs to consider the way Jerry Jones has evaluated and acted toward his HCs over the past 20 years: the pattern of approximately every four years there’s a HC turnover in Big D.

Jason should ask himself:

(1) WHY does Jason think he can last longer than most of Jerry’s coaches?

(2) WHAT might Jason wrongly do that can make him lose his job zippity-quick?

(3) HOW is Jason going to position himself to last longer than the norm?

My suggestion: Hire a scapegoat or two. This always seems to add a year or two to a HC’s job so that if something’s not right it gives him a chance to fix it instead of getting the axe. Be smart enough to be able to stand before the media in 16-32 games and say that “I have now taken over the responsibility of offensive play-calling duties. I’ve spoken to Jerry about this, and we are on the same page. I will always do what’s best for the team. Thank you for being here however I will not be fielding any questions because I have work to do.”


Will Jason Garrett be able to delegate?
Matt Mosely – ESPN

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett made it very clear at his introductory news conference that he would remain the offensive coordinator. Other head coaches/playcallers around the league (see Sean Payton, Todd Haley) have hired offensive coordinators. And Haley turned over the playcalling duties to Charlie Weis this season as the Kansas City Chiefs made an improbable playoff run. (Yes, I know what happened in the playoff game).

Todd Archer of points out that Garrett is following a similar plan that Bill Parcells used when he was with the Cowboys. Parcells had a passing game coordinator and a running game coordinator in 2005 and 2006. Payton was calling the plays in 2005 and Tony Sparano in 2006.

But Garrett’s not planning to hand his assistants that much responsibility. He has given his older brother, John, the title of passing-game coordinator to go along with coaching the tight ends, but it’s hard to imagine Jason giving up calling plays at any point during a game. And I think that’s a mistake.

Garrett is just starting to realize how many different things he has to juggle as head coach. And with all this new power that owner Jerry Jones has bestowed upon him, it’s more important than ever to be able to delegate some of the responsibilities to the rest of the staff. He’s helped himself in a big way by hiring a proven defensive coordinator in Rob Ryan, so that’s a good start. But we’ve already seen what happens when a head coach is preoccupied with one side of the football (see Wade Phillips).

I think Garrett would’ve been wise to hire a veteran offensive coordinator. Now that he has “fired” Ray Sherman, there’s not a member of the offensive staff other than Garrett who has any play calling experience in the NFL. Offensive line coach Hudson Houck has his hands full with a unit that is coming off an awful season. Maybe he’ll be named the running-game coordinator, but it’s not like he will be telling Garrett which plays to call during the game.

The NFC East now has four offensive-minded head coaches in place. But only one of them will be calling plays in 2011.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rodney Lamp January 30, 2011 at 9:02 am

It seems that whenever a coordinator becomes a head coach and tries to retain his former responsibilities, that part of the team will suffer. It happens all the time in college and the pros. Just look at last year. Phillips was there only half the year, but Dallas’ defense was terrible, giving up the most touchdown passes in the league and a lot of passing yards.

It’s not necessarily a sure thing that it’s not going to work out, but conventional wisdom is that it’s not likely to. I hope Garrett can manage it, but when you’re a head coach, you have so much more on your plate than as a coordinator. I can’t help but be a bit unsure about this.

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