Joe Bussell, known on Twitter as @NFLosophy, knows a thing or two about working in an NFL front office. Bussell spent a season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the Special Events & Team Operations Coordinator. He’s had a unique opportunity of seeing the inner workings of an NFL franchise and how things operate.
Last night he wrote a piece about the biggest kept secret in the NFL: How to properly use one’s tools.
In the NFL, much ado is made about talent on rosters. The general assumption is that the more talented team will win the game. Yet every weekend, teams that are clearly less talented, triumph over teams that they should have no business beating.
The coaching staff and how they use their players. Scheme is the most obvious secret in the NFL. A team is the product of its scheme, not its players.
To help further his point, he turned to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The latest and most obvious example of this is in Kansas City. Defensive Tackle Dontari Poe drew the ire of Chiefs’ fans for his mediocre play last season. He was asked to perform duties that didn’t fit his skill set and it made him look like an average player at best. He “flashed” talent at times but never played at a consistently high level. That is, until a new coaching staff installed a new scheme and started using their drill as a drill and not as a hammer.
Bussell points out a lot of the different things Kansas City has done this season that has made them a better team even though they are using many of the same key players as they did last year.
We can talk as much as we want about the play of individuals, the addition of Alex Smith, and key small additions like Mike DeVito, Marcus Cooper, and Akeem Jordan. But the real reason for the turnaround is because Andy Reid and John Dorsey have done of better job of playing to their talent’s strength. Bussell nails it.