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Talent or Coaching?


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#1 Marguide

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:07 PM

Successful teams require some mixture of on-field talent and competent coaching. A great coaching staff can make average talent play over their heads. A talent laden team can cover up a lot of sins in the coaching area.

So the question is this...Are we better on the talent side or are we better on the coaching side?

Follow up question...Given your answer, what should be the critical priorities for Dave Gettleman going forward to get us to the promised land?

#2 rayzor

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:17 PM

a coaches (or any kind of leader for that matter) job is to use the talent the have in such a way that they can reach their goal.

if they don't have the ideal talent for what they want to do (specifically) then they need to alter what they want to do to fit who they have and still accomplish their goal.

they have to be able to adapt on several levels...the overall scheme to who they have to work with and what happens on game day to what their opponents are doing or can do. they also have to be able to make quick and decisive calls on not just personnel on the field but in what what that personnel does. they have to ask the players to carry out a plan that is effective and something that they are capable of carrying out. they have to call plays to their players strengths and within their limitations.

i think we are better on the talent side of that equation. not that we've got a team of all-pros, but we've got a lot of talent. i don't think that the coaching staff does a good enough job of adapting what they want to do to who they have. the problem is more pronounced on offense and special teams, but it's still there.

#3 Jim Harbaugh

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:27 PM

The Panthers currently have an ubundance of neither.
So I gueess it's best to at some point in the future to concentrate on acquiring both.

#4 FootballMaestro

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:35 PM

The Panthers currently have an ubundance of neither.
So I gueess it's best to at some point in the future to concentrate on acquiring both.


This maybe ultimately true (especially when go through the entire roster).

However, the presence of Cam and Luke Kuechly--alone (mind you Johnson, Double Trouble, Mike Tolbert, Steve Smith and the Kraken), shines brighter than any coaches the Panthers currently have on staff (with maybe the exception of the new/old RB coach, who doesn't call plays during the game).

So at this stage, until proven otherwise, I'd say the Panthers have more talent than coaching. Though that talent is very thin, compared to other teams that are truly stocked with talent. The Panthers have it in key, important areas.

#5 rayzor

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:35 PM

oh...for gettleman what i would do is take game management out of rivera's hands if he didn't make better decisions in games. i would hire a game manager....not a game manager QB, but a coach who is an actual game manager. is any other team doing that? i don't know, but they should because that sure isn't one of his strengths. if gettleman wants to keep this staff, but give them the tools to do better, a game manager would be it.

#6 FootballMaestro

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:41 PM

oh...for gettleman what i would do is take game management out of rivera's hands if he didn't make better decisions in games. i would hire a game manager....not a game manager QB, but a coach who is an actual game manager. is any other team doing that? i don't know, but they should because that sure isn't one of his strengths. if gettleman wants to keep this staff, but give them the tools to do better, a game manager would be it.


You know, I thought about this before, in regards to Gettleman and Rivera, when he was hired.

And though I don't think Gettleman would hire a Game Manager, the way you're describing (since there's no former HC on staff now). I think he may watch film, the live games, and make suggestions to Rivera about his game management skills or what he could have done better in certain scenarios. That's what I think he may do, or not be afraid of. It's polite, but informative, helpful and timely suggestions and and advice, regarding various 'What If's', and 'Coulda Been' game scenarios. And of course this would increase, if he sees Rivera is as poor a game manager, as he's shown and we know the past two years. For some reason, I don't think Marty Hurney did or would have felt comfortable doing that.

Hopefully, that can have some impact or make some difference (but not too much or too often of course). LOL.

This is all of course, if he doesn't want Rivera to fail, then clean house and bring in his own people (Snark)?

#7 fieryprophet

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:43 PM

Let me be clear, talent makes coaching, not the other way around. Bill Walsh was a brilliant offensive mind but until he got two hall of fame quarterbacks under center running his schemes they were ineffective. I firmly believe Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of the modern era, but he couldn't adjust to the Giants very but effective gameplan in either Super Bowl, and wouldn't have near the success he has if it wasn't for the long-standing mediocrity of the AFC East aside from the Patriots, and his avatar Tom Brady running the offense.

Coaching can be incredibly detrimental to a team, literally and figuratively holding it back if it insists on using schemes or methods the talent is unsuited for, which explains much of the sheer pathetic results surrounding the 49ers under the Mike Singletary regime and its sudden rebirth under Harbaugh, but I'm not going to go so far as to say a coach can consistently make mediocre talent play better than it is. The few times that these situations arise almost always revolve around exotic schemes like the Wildcat that defenses are unprepared for, but they quickly are solved and the balance of talent reemerges.

But beyond all of that, coaching just brings out the best in the talent it has and let's the players do the work of winning games; anything beyond that is meddling, anything less than that is mediocrity.

One of the things I will gladly say about this coaching staff is that it has a track record of developing players; Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy have both improved significantly under Rivera, when Captain stays in the slot he is an excellent nickelback, LaFell has grown into the offense, Greg Olsen has had his best years, and Cam has blown away all pre-draft expectations. The aspect of coaching this staff has struggled most with is making adjustments when things aren't working, both in game and over the season. We stuck to long to the read option, we left Norman out there getting driven down the field vs. the Bears, we played not to lose in situations where we should have played to win. But, and this is also a fact none can contest, the staff did eventually adjust, and compared to prior regimes they attacked those adjustments wholesale and with urgency once they were accepted. Norman was benched, the read option was demoted, and they played aggressively (almost too much so at times) rather than settling for punts and field goals.

The key is whether those adjustments will be a permanent feature going forward, or were a symptom of desperation rather than growth. I'm not going to make judgements either way until I see the results on the field, but this is NOT an open and shut situation like so many seem to assume it is. We'll all have to wait and see.

#8 Marguide

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:44 PM

oh...for gettleman what i would do is take game management out of rivera's hands if he didn't make better decisions in games. i would hire a game manager....not a game manager QB, but a coach who is an actual game manager. is any other team doing that? i don't know, but they should because that sure isn't one of his strengths. if gettleman wants to keep this staff, but give them the tools to do better, a game manager would be it.


I like how you're thinking outside the box.

It could even be some nerd up in the booth that does nothing but advise the HC on use of TO's, probabilities of various strategies, and game management weaknesses displayed by the other team.

That individual could spend 12 months a year doing nothing but studying how to strategically manage the game.

I like it.

#9 Marguide

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:09 AM

One of the things I will gladly say about this coaching staff is that it has a track record of developing players; Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy have both improved significantly under Rivera, when Captain stays in the slot he is an excellent nickelback, LaFell has grown into the offense, Greg Olsen has had his best years, and Cam has blown away all pre-draft expectations.


You made a lot of good points, but I want to focus on the one above. I generally agree this is an area in which we've had some really great successes. But it's also been a double-edged sword to some extent.

Case in point, our defensive line. Coach Washington has done a great job with those guys, with Dwan having a career year, Hardy making a big leap and even guys like Kearse showing some sparks. Our staff has shown it will stick with guys and teach them up, and that teaching up process has obviously borne some fruit. On the other hand, we stuck with Fua and McClain as starters much longer than we should have last year, perhaps in the hope they would amount to something. So maybe they're great teachers, but perhaps not so good at evaluating ultimate potential. Another guy they have been trying to teach up is Norman, but he may well turn out to be a guy that just doesn't have the raw material.

So at least on an individual basis, I will agree that they seem to have the ability to coach guys up to their potential, while leaving open the question as to whether that potential is being evaluated accurately. Hopefully, that is something where Gettleman's expertise can play big dividends.

#10 fieryprophet

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:15 AM

You made a lot of good points, but I want to focus on the one above. I generally agree this is an area in which we've had some really great successes. But it's also been a double-edged sword to some extent.

Case in point, our defensive line. Coach Washington has done a great job with those guys, with Dwan having a career year, Hardy making a big leap and even guys like Kearse showing some sparks. Our staff has shown it will stick with guys and teach them up, and that teaching up process has obviously borne some fruit. On the other hand, we stuck with Fua and McClain as starters much longer than we should have last year, perhaps in the hope they would amount to something. So maybe they're great teachers, but perhaps not so good at evaluating ultimate potential. Another guy they have been trying to teach up is Norman, but he may well turn out to be a guy that just doesn't have the raw material.

So at least on an individual basis, I will agree that they seem to have the ability to coach guys up to their potential, while leaving open the question as to whether that potential is being evaluated accurately. Hopefully, that is something where Gettleman's expertise can play big dividends.


I think the trend with this staff is they will try to bring as much out of a guy as they can until it's obvious he's not going to progress like he needs to, and then they shut him down. Hence McClain getting dropped, and Norman benched for Dockery (who nobody had any clue of.) But that double-edged sword is part and parcel with developing players, unfortunately. If you bench a guy, you may be consigning him to his fate, so to speak, especially if he's young and his confidence is fragile. Or sometimes they need to be benched to get the message that they've got to improve or else. I think Norman falls into that category, because he did some good things, and a lot of bad things, and I think the coaches wanted him to figure it out on the field but he just wouldn't take that step, so finally they got serious and benched him. He seems like the kind of guy who would take such a move very hard, but if they do their job right they'll get him to buy in and make the progress necessary to see the field again, because the kid has talent. Hardy got a similar treatment last year, and the way he turned it on this season and praised Rivera and the coaching staff shows that there's a method to what they do.

#11 Marguide

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:19 AM

I agree FP regarding your comments directly above.

As you know, I was not thrilled that we kept Ron, and certainly the hiring of Shula hasn't exactly given me warm fuzzies either. But I have to admit excitement thinking about the continuity we'll have on defense if we can keep things headed in the right direction. There is no doubt that Ron has a very good defensive mind, and I think people also underrate the job done by McDermott.

#12 Doc Holiday

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:20 AM

Successful teams require some mixture of on-field talent and competent coaching. A great coaching staff can make average talent play over their heads. A talent laden team can cover up a lot of sins in the coaching area.

So the question is this...Are we better on the talent side or are we better on the coaching side?

Follow up question...Given your answer, what should be the critical priorities for Dave Gettleman going forward to get us to the promised land?

defense is more coaching, offenses is more players, for example offenses need a good QB, there is no way especially in the NFL to scheme around having a shitty QB.

Defense on the other hand you can have average players all around and still scheme yourself to a top 10 maybe even 5 defense with the right coach.

#13 SIGCHI222

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:23 AM

Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, yet are experienced as occurring together in a meaningful manner. The concept of synchronicity was first described in this terminology by Carl Gustav Jung a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s.
The concept does not question, or compete with, the notion of causality. Instead, it maintains that just as events may be grouped by cause, they may also be grouped by meaning. A grouping of events by meaning need not have an explanation in terms of cause and effect.

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#14 fieryprophet

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:29 AM

I will add one other positive point: in all of my time as a fan of Panthers football, this fanbase has had the worst ability I've ever seen at predicting how a season will turn out. Usually, when we feel like things are looking up we struggle, and when everyone is ready to burn the place down we do pretty well. So, I actually have a good feeling about 2013.

#15 teeray

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:30 AM

Successful teams require some mixture of on-field talent and competent coaching. A great coaching staff can make average talent play over their heads. A talent laden team can cover up a lot of sins in the coaching area.

So the question is this...Are we better on the talent side or are we better on the coaching side?

Follow up question...Given your answer, what should be the critical priorities for Dave Gettleman going forward to get us to the promised land?


This is kind of a cop out but I think it is about even. I think both the coaches and players have a lot of potential but both are still growing and learning.

Not a good answer I know.


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