Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bill Callahan Talks

BigRedNetwork tipped me off to Bill Callahan's recent interview with the New York Daily News, his first since joining the New York Jets' coaching staff. (I wonder why he didn't talk to a "real newspaper" like the New York Times?) One quote jumped out at me, and it further confirms why Bill Callahan was doomed to fail as a head coach:
"At Nebraska, I'd always take the offensive linemen through the individual periods, and really tried to keep my skills sharp."
Wasn't Dennis Wagner the offensive line coach under Bill Callahan? Oh yeah, right. Didn't he have something to say about working for Bill Callahan?
"He is the head coach," Wagner said. "If he says this is what you do, this is what you do. If you don't, then you have problems within your group. It isn't always that you want to do it that way, but it's the way you're supposed to do it. That's just part of doing the things you're asked to do by the person who hired you."
Combine that with Matt Hayes revelation that Callahan took over both offensive and defensive playcalling in the Texas game, you have the textbook definition of a micromanager. If you've worked in an office setting, you've likely encountered one and seen how a micromanager sucks away the productivity of any organization.

That doesn't make Bill Callahan a bad football coach, just a bad head football coach. With the Jets, he'll be free to devote his attention towards the offensive line, and in that role, it's likely he'll excel. An anonymous colleague from his days with the Raiders admits that Callahan will do fine as long as he focuses on the offensive line:
"As an offensive line coach, he's as good as there is in the NFL. He's very, very sharp."
Which raises the question...will Bo Pelini fall into the same trap at Nebraska? He's already declared that he would call defenses initially. It's a risk, though there are mitigating factors as he's worked with all of the defensive assistants before. They all know each other and should be on the same page, which is something that didn't appear to be the case under Bill Callahan as that staff was assembled with recruiting in mind.

How Pelini adapts to being a head coach is one of the key factors that will determine how the Huskers will do in 2008.

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