FNF Coaches Talk for Feb. 28 — James Franklin on details, Sean McDermott on information overload, WVU coach on dress code

FNF Coaches Talk

Good afternoon, Coaches. Take a look at some of the stories we’re buzzing about in our newsroom.

1. James Franklin on Becoming an Elite Player 🏈 🗣️“It’s all the details, it’s all the little things, it’s finding a way to overcome adversity consistently.”

This is a great message for this time of year when players might be going through the motions in their training and school work. Don’t let it happen, Coaches! Hold them accountable.

Coaches — What are some of the little things that you try to enforce with your players?

2. Bills’ Sean McDermott: Coaches can ‘overburden’ players with information overload (Buffalo News)

This is something to consider as coaches look for new plays to add to the playbooks during the offseason. There IS such thing as too much. Don’t overload your players with information. Take it from Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott.

“You watch a lot of tape and you think that you have all these great ideas,” McDermott said Wednesday, while here for the NFL scouting combine. “Well, at the end of the day, it’s what can be executed at the player level in a millisecond? And the bigger the game sometimes or the more time we have, whether it’s a bowl game for college coaches or a playoff game or the Super Bowl for NFL coaches, or sometimes early in the season as you get a little bit more time leading up because you know who your first opponents are, you sometimes overburden the players with too much information and then you lose the fundamentals because they’re not playing as fast.”

Information overload causes other problems, especially in the early part of the season. They include an uptick in penalties, dropped passes and missed tackles.

“Why is that?” the coach said. “Well, part of it, I think, is we as coaches try to put too much on them, thinking, ‘Hey, they can handle it because we have time.’ Time is great, but also time is our biggest enemy sometimes because of, ‘Hey, we’re going to grind tape, grind tape, grind tape.’
“A player can’t go out there and handle what he has to handle and process what he has to process and still be the best version of himself as an athlete.”

McDermott said the best way to avoid information overload is to communicate as much as possible with assistant coaches and players.

“I think it’s an ongoing battle,” he said. “Being aligned as a staff is important, so I’ll go down to our coordinators in the office and I’ll say, ‘Hey, how big’s the game plan? What does it look like? How much of it is new this week compared to last week or compared to training camp?’

Coaches — How do you make sure you’re giving players freedom to react and not overthink on game day?

3. No shirts, no shoes, no coaching: Brown brings dress code to WVU (West Virginia Metro News)

If you want to coach for West Virginia, you better wear pants.

It’s one of the new mandates brought in by Neal Brown as he looks to reshape the West Virginia program in subtle ways. There’s now a dress code for coaches and support staff members when they go to the Milan Puskar Center.

“Some type of dress pants. Close-toed shoes. And a shirt with a collar on it,” Brown said of the complete dress code, which would also fit in at a quality public golf course.

Brown said the dress code isn’t put in place to maintain a professional atmosphere. It’s more for the administrators that might drop into practice.

“When I was an assistant coach, I was probably one of the guys who tried to fight the dress codes,” Brown said. “But then as you go through your career and you want to start thinking like a head coach, you’re like ‘Oh, you do this because what if the school president shows up? What if a donor comes through? What if a prospective athlete comes through?’
“You don’t know. I have no idea who is going to come through that door. So what we started doing was ‘let’s look the part.’”

What rules do you have in place for a dress code at practice and on game days?

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!