View Full Version : Bears GM Phil Emery and Coaching Systems

01-17-2013, 02:24 PM
I was watching the Bears GM Phil Emery introduce new Head Coach Marc Trestman and I was struck by what he thought was important. After a long lumbering introduction he talked about how philosophically they were wanting to have a Coach who could build systems around players and not the other way around.

I bring this up because of an article I was reading about how the Patriots don't use route trees and other conventional languages and how this helps them get the most out of their players skills without being married to conventional systems and are pretty much ever evolving depending on the talents they can find at the time. It's a must read if you love the NFL and x's and o's.


Speak My Language

As the players and schemes have changed, it's the way the Patriots talk that's continued their offensive dominance.
By Chris Brown on January 16, 2013

...For many years, the Erhardt-Perkins offense was known as the original ground-and-pound, a conservative, run-first offense summed up by Erhardt's mantra, "You throw to score and run to win."
With the help of his assistants, Belichick's primary innovation was to go from an Erhardt-Perkins offense to an Erhardt-Perkins system, built on its method of organizing and naming plays. The offense itself would be philosophically neutral. This is how, using the terminology and framework of what was once thought to be the league's least progressive offensive system, Brady and Belichick built one of the most consistently dynamic and explosive offenses in NFL history. From conservative to spread to blistering no-huddle, the tactics — and players — have changed while the underlying approach has not.2The most recent innovation to fall into New England's Erhardt-Perkins framework is a commitment to the no-huddle. In 2012, the Patriots were the league leaders in total plays, first downs, points, and yards — all by a significant margin. Other teams have dabbled in the no-huddle, but they can't commit to it like the Patriots can, for one simple reason: terminology. No team that uses the Coryell or true West Coast systems can adapt easily to a fully functional up-tempo no-huddle because, simply, they can't communicate that efficiently. The Patriots are built to communicate in one- or two-word designations (http://smartfootball.com/offense/the-future-of-the-nfl-more-up-tempo-no-huddle), and so, with judicious use of code words, it's simply a matter of translating what they already do into a no-huddle pace.

This marriage of terminology and technique, of efficiency and elegance, is what makes the Patriots so mesmerizing. Like NFL offenses, in recent years NFL defenses have also become too wordy, relying on long-winded calls designating scheme and technique and impractical checks. With the speed at which New England operates, the message for defenses has become clear: fix your terminology or perish. For opposing offenses, the mandate is less direct but just as imperative. The Patriots have set the standard for modern offense, and if teams are going to keep up, they'll need to change not how they play, but how they talk.

Double Barrel
01-17-2013, 02:44 PM
Belichick is brilliant. I expect more teams to try to adapt his methods in order to find similar success. Staying in a rigid system and forcing your players to fit that system seems detrimental to their individual strengths. Taking those same players and adapting systems to maximize the potential of their strengths is very smart and a seemingly obvious key to long term success.

Could this be why they inserted Matt Cassel when Brady went down and kept on rolling for an 11 win season? Cassel is obviously not the same caliber of Tom Brady, but the team itself did not skip a beat.

Great article, man. Thanks for posting it.