As coaches we have to look at things from different points of view about how we work with different players. I think one of the most difficult areas is to really know how to coach for guys who have issues, just like we had at the end of last year, what did we learn to better be able to work with this guy? How can I get this guy to have the mindset and know that you’re going to play the right way, because his head’s screwed on right. If I was a player it’s an ongoing quest to get myself to understand and accept that mindset is crucial for me to really get some results.
I think that, if you do that, and I think we’ve done a good job of it in the past, you get a guy to understand what makes him a good player. I think that’s one of the hardest pieces of coaching in the NFL, to help players understand that. Sometimes I think coaches overplay the need to coach in terms of just the results the coach might get. They have to be able to coach that as well, to understand, as an offensive coach that you don’t want them playing the way they play just so they can get some results. Obviously, it’s hard enough, as a player, to win games and win games when they play hard and dominate games. Maybe that’s not their style, but you have to be able to get them to understand what a smart, hard-working play is, when you see this is a smart play and that’s what they’re capable of.
They have to be able to understand the psychology of a lot of players. It’s one thing to be able to know that certain players, if you’re just coaching them, you can just sit there and just say, “This is the way they’re wired. This is what they want to do.” Sometimes you have to be able to listen to that player and try to understand that mental aspect.
The second component is really understanding how you approach things on the defensive side of the ball. We play a lot of zone. We are trying to get some of our guys to understand that we’re going to do different things, where we want to be in our scheme. If a guy steps into the box, you can’t let him get in our run game. You want him to get in our pass game.
I think we are getting better at that, but you still have guys in there who are capable of making plays that we don’t necessarily
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