Thursday, November 08, 2007


Jason Whitlock, writing for, would be the one to nail down the difference between coaching in the NFL and coaching college football, in his column on the spectacular failure Charlie Weis has been at Notre Dame:

"You have to teach kids to tackle. You have to teach them to be tough. You have to wear them out in practice and then ask them to think, make plays and be physical when they're exhausted. You do it in the spring. You do it in fall camp. And you do it to a lesser degree on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the season. When you take over a program and you're trying to instill your philosophy, the same week you're preparing for Michigan, you have to prepare a 30-play Tuesday scrimmage for your freshmen and sophomores not on the two-deep."

"... A great college coach can recognize the high-school linebacker who might be a nose tackle, defensive end or center in college. He can see the step-too-slow running back who would be a hard-hitting strong safety. An effective college coach knows what mental buttons to push on a pampered high school superstar to turn him into player who won't negatively impact team chemistry. A good college coach might look at a 6-foot-3, 205-pound, high-motor kid from a poor family and see a 250-pound pass rusher once he's been exposed to weight training, three square meals and a stable environment."
Compare that to Bill Simmons at, whose idea of tackling the NFL vs. college argument could be summed up by something he once wrote, which off the top my head, went like, "How hard can coaching college football be if Pete Carroll is good at it?" It just goes to show what value it has to have people writing about sports who do get into the nuts and bolts of the game. It's better than everyone trying to win an argument in two sentences or less. Hell, there doesn't even need to be an argument all the time.

Not that Whitlock can't do snappy... one irony is that The Big Lead called attention to his column was one of the all-time great similes: "Notre Dame is not the place to learn how to be a college head coach ... As fun as it might sound, you don’t want to lose your virginity to Jenna Jameson."

Charlie Weis with Jenna Jameson... thanks for the visual.

Weis' NFL experience not helping him now (Whitlock,
The Worst Football Coach in the Universe (Jonathan Chait, Slate, Oct. 25)

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