The NFL, like the rest of the business world, is now controlled by crazy spaceman technology. Personnel transactions can be made from the palm of your hand. Hi-def, X-mo, and freeze-frame technology allow coaches to relive every jarring hit with more clarity than they can from the sidelines.
But this nuanced approach is a ‘trick’ that even an ‘old dog’ like head coach Mike Shanahan has embraced.
“How people study is a lot different than 20-to-25 years ago,” he said. “There’s no question about it. All of the different personnel-groups and all of the things you can do. It’s interesting when you do look back. If you really sat down and looked at the video then and compared it now, you would almost just laugh with what you’re able to do now.”
Shanahan likened the process to an elaborate (and extremely violent) game of chess. It’s the coaches’ job to move the pieces in the right way, to allow them to execute properly.
“What you want to do is take it out of the players’ hands,” he said. “You still have to block and tackle and they have to know what they’re doing. There can’t be any second guessing. You have to be physical and you can’t take that out of the game.”
Occasionally, this leads to coaches thinking too many steps ahead and having a game plan that misses the mark.
“Sometimes you think too much and you game plan too much,” he said. “You have to take it out of the players’ hands. I’ve done that before and I think every coach has. There is a fine line between letting your players play and giving them a game plan where they can be effective.”
For more Shanahan insight, check out the full video below:
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