FNF Coaches Talk — Andy Reid’s Player Evaluations, The 8 Types of Football Coaches, How to Be a Head Coach

Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed the weekend. Here are three stories for you.

1. How Andy Reid Learned the Don James Way of Player Evaluation (SI.com)

Anyone who watched the Chiefs put up points in a hurry this year is aware that they had plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball.

We thought it was interesting to read about Reid’s method of player evaluation, which involves factoring in the mental side of the game as much as the physical side. Reid comes the same player evaluation tree as Nick Saban.

Whenever he’s asked about the secret to his success, Saban quickly points to his formative years as a graduate assistant coach under Don James at Kent State University in the early 1970s.

It was there Saban learned not just the X’s and O’s, but a player-evaluation system that went beyond the typical height, weight and speed.

James, along with his assistants Skip Hall, Bob Stull, Gary Pinkel and, of course, Saban took player evaluation from infancy and modernized it. Their star-rating system took into account the physical attributes but also evaluated each prospect’s mental capacity.
Beginning with the James Gang, as the coaches were called at Kent State, Stull learned to look intently at what was beneath the helmet rather than just what was under the shoulder pads.

He passed this evaluation approach along to Reid, emphasizing how they needed to find out if a recruit was willing to sacrifice his personal gain for the good of the team.

“We had a portion of our questionnaire,” Stull said, “and we called it ‘tough questions.’ ”

That system helped produce successful football programs at Alabama, Washington, Missouri and Ohio State, and it has extended into the NFL. It’s assisted Andy Reid in making Super Bowl appearances with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 and now with the Kansas City Chiefs.

When he selected Patrick Mahomes for the Chiefs, Reid said the “tough questions” portion of the interview separated Mahomes from other quarterbacks. For Reid, this form of evaluation came directly from Stull, who learned it from James.

What skills/traits do you factor when you’re evaluating players?

2. The 8 types of football coach (Banner Society)

This is kind of a fun story, and one that we can all relate to.

We know no two coaches do it exactly the same, but we got a kick out the way in which this writer lumps coaching characteristics together.

Rather, there are exactly eight types of football coach.
The eight include:
  • Cop
  • Military Coach
  • Drifter/Old Prospector/Derelict Genius
  • Golfer
  • Megachurch Pastor
  • Vice Principal
  • Teacher
  • Recently Indicted CEO/Governors

Which type of coach are you?

3. How to Become a Head Coach – Ohio High School Coaches Hall of Fame Head Coach: Thom McDaniels (USA Football Podcast)

Most of us start are careers with dreams of becoming head coaches, but we don’t always know how to fulfill that goal.

After an illustrious 26-year head coaching career, Thom McDaniels is still impacting the next generation of football players and coaches. Some may mostly know him as the father of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and the University of Michigan quarterback coach Ben McDaniels. But Thom McDaniels himself truly has had a Hall of Fame career.

He earned the USA Today and Nike National Coach of the Year award in 1997. In that same season, Coach McDaniels led Canton (Ohio) McKinley to a state title and a national championship. Despite all his accomplishments, Coach McDaniels still continues to work hard to educate future coaches on what it takes to be successful.

Hear some of Coach McDaniels’ advice on this episode of the Coach and Coordinator podcast.

What advice do you give coaches who are looking to become head coaches?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk