Coaches, Super Bowl LV

George in Pennsylvania writes:

Steve, will you be doing another look at the coaches for this year’s Super Bowl, as you have in years past?

Yes! It’s not really my beat, but I find NFL coaches kind of interesting. Coaching at that level requires such a wild combination of skills: football strategy, time management, personnel management, and the best characters in the field have produced their own mini-pile of literature that’s worth review.

As noted last year, it’s great to have an LA guy, Andy Reid, in the Super Bowl.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Reid attended John Marshall High School and worked as a vendor at Dodger Stadium as a teenager. He also played youth sports in East Hollywood at Lemon Grove Recreation Center

John Marshall High School has a remarkable collection of alums, from Leo DiCaprio to Judge Lance Ito to Doctor David Ho. This ESPN profile / oral history begins with a nine year old Reid messing around on Holly Knoll Drive in the Franklin Hills of LA, familiar to anyone who frequents the nearby Trader Joe’s.

While attending BYU Reid did something most Americans have at least pondered at some point: converted to Mormonism. His career and life, not untouched by pain, is worth study.

This year, my attention turned to Tampa Bay’s Bruce Arians.

Gage Skidmore for WIkipedia

I took a look at Arians’ book, The Quarterback Whisperer.

Two themes really pop in the book: Arians’ “no risk it no biscuit” philosophy, and his belief in empowering his quarterbacks. A former quarterback and quarterbacks coach, he’s thinking from that position.

Arians mentions that he has about 300 plays in his book that he’s developed over about thirty years. (How much of a variation is necessary for a play to be truly distinct from another? Good question for the football Jesuits out there).

The need for the quarterback to maintain his psychological steadiness, even a steady appearance:

You don’t need to look far to find visuals of Tom Brady expressing frustration, but I believe they’re fairly rare.

If I read between the lines of Arians’ book, I suspect Brady will have a great deal of leeway to call the plays and control the game as he sees fit.

Denis Leary’s quote on the cover notwithstanding, I have to say Arians’ book is closer to Nick Saban’s book (a fairly straightforward set of inspirational mottos and somewhat generic success reflections, of not much use beyond football) than to Pete Carroll’s book (an entertaining and idiosyncratic attempt at forging a philosophy of life).

Arians has two women on his staff, assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and assistant strength and conditioning coach Maral Javadifar, here’s a short NFL Films segment where they talk to Billie Jean King.

Both coaches are noted for their aggressive style, which will we hope make for an exciting and volatile game.

The Chiefs are favored by 3.5, if I were wagering I guess I’d have to bet on Brady, but sports wagering is not currently legal in California.

Lol it’s so typical of me to try and engage with sports by reading the books of the coaches!



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