Join Date: May 2004
What does Ray Rhodes bring to the table?(Rah-Rah story on various links)
with the seahawks
KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) -- In only three days with Ray Rhodes overseeing the Seattle Seahawks defense, changes are evident.
Things seem more serious, the tenor of workouts more intense and focused.
"This is business," Rhodes said Thursday after a workout at team passing camp. "Business is about winning. It's not about going out on Sundays, putting on a show and getting your [tail] kicked."
Rhodes, hired as defensive coordinator in February, is back with his old buddy, Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren, who didn't want to be crippled by a weak defense after his offense blossomed last year near the end of a 7-9 season.
Seattle ranked 28th overall defensively last season and dead last against the run, allowing 152.6 yards a game. Last season, 10 running backs gained at least 100 yards against the Seahawks.
"The key thing I stressed is that we have a lot of work ahead for us and we're a long ways away from where we have to be," Rhodes said. "If we continue to work, we'll get better."
Defensive lineman Chad Eaton thinks the Seahawks already have improved. He described better communication with the coaching staff and an improved work ethic among his teammates in the short time since Rhodes arrived.
The Eagles' Dec 1995 NFC Wildcard Playoff victory over the Detroit Lions was a major achievement by their first-year coach Ray Rhodes. Much of the Eagles' success is attributed to Rhodes ability to inspire his less-talented club by instilling in it a combination of pride and discipline.
Coaching, Barry Switzer will tell you, is overrated. "It's personnel," he says "If I have better players than you, I win. It's that simple. I can dazzle you with a lot of talk about X's and O's and tendencies and that junk. But hell, doesn't mean anything. Players are what it is all about."
Tell that to the Eagles and watch them laugh. They'll tell you about a certain game a few weeks ago when Switzer coached his Cowboys to a loss against them by twice going for a first down when he should have punted. And they'll tell you that they are still alive this season, still clawing unexpectedly for a Super Bowl berth, because they've been transformed into a respectable outfit by the coaching hocus-pocus of Ray Rhodes. Superior personnel should enable the Cowboys to win Sunday's NFC semifinal game against the Eagles, but that shouldn't diminish at all the magnificent job Rhodes has done in raising Philadelphia from the football graveyard.
The Eagles simply shouldn't be in the play-offs, much less traveling to Irving. In one season, Rhodes has given the Eagles backbone, discipline, pride and a fighting spirit that makes them play much better than their talent should allow. He has rescued a franchise that finished last season with seven consecutive losses, mixed in one major free-agent addition (Ricky Watters), added a load of second- and third-tier free agents and castoffs and gotten everyone -- newcomers and holdovers -- to view him as a football evangelist preaching a gospel that produces some miraculous results.
from the packers
Rhodes later explained his philosophy on mini-camps. "What you're basically doing is just evaluating and looking at people," he said. "You don't come into it expecting a lot. I didn't come into it expecting everybody to be in tip-top shape. From an execution standpoint, you know that execution is going to be so-so - you're going to get guys working, but the sharpness of the team definitely is not going to be there this first camp."
The Packers' new field leader also expressed his expectations for the coming months, saying, "Believe me, when we get this thing ready to get cranked up - this is the first mini-camp, we're feeling everybody out - we've got another mini-camp coming up and I have let them know that the intensity level will pick up in the next mini-camp. And when we go to training camp, the intensity level will pick up even more. The guys know that we will work."
Rhodes also gave another indication that the Packers' style of play under his leadership will be different from that of recent Green Bay teams, which at times were described as a "finesse team." "I'm one of those guys that is looking for physical play," Rhodes said. "And the only way that you get physical is to get physical with the pads on and a lot of hitting. I'm accustomed to a little bit more hitting than they're accustomed to. That's the only way that you can get the toughness that you want. And that means that you've got to do a little bit more hitting than some people would like to do. But we want to get a little bit more mentally tougher and physically tougher. So we've got to do some things that might wipe the smiles off their face a little bit later."
On an individual level, Rhodes was pleased with the play of several players during the mini-camp, including two running backs. In evaluating starting halfback Dorsey Levens, who missed much of last season due to a leg injury, Rhodes was optimistic, saying, "He's on pace to get back to where he was. He had the screw removed from his ankle in January, and he's still working to strengthen the ankle, but he worked well in the camp. And he's a guy that's going to work out - he's going to get in the best possible shape he can get in."
Green Bay's 12th head coach also took notice of former University of Wisconsin running back Brent Moss, who was participating in the camp on a tryout basis. "Brent did a good job in the camp," said Rhodes. "That's something that we are discussing and I'm sure that's something that will be resolved within the next day or two."
Rhodes also got his first on-field look at second-year defensive end Vonnie Holliday, the team's first-round draft choice last April. Holliday is attempting to make the switch from right defensive end, where he spent last season, to left defensive end, a post which had been occupied by the now-retired Reggie White since 1993. But Holliday is doing well in the transition, according to Rhodes, who says, "Quite naturally, it might be a little different for a day or so for him. But he's played both sides as a collegian. And when you can have a guy like Vonnie step into the position Reggie White played, it's going to help our football team. Vonnie felt very comfortable after the first practice, after the first day out there."
Green Bay -- When the Green Bay Packers hit Clarke Hinkle Field Friday morning for the first full practice of training camp, they knew exactly what new coach Ray Rhodes and his staff expected of them.
He met with the team Thursday night at St. Norbert's College and laid out the rules and regulations of Camp Rhodes I.
"I think I've been around these guys enough so that they understand what they have to do," Rhodes said. "I know that (Mike) Holmgren ran things basically similar to the way I want to run things.
"The players know what we have to accomplish. We had a good talk last night. One of the things that we talked about was the veterans showing the young guys the way."
Under a new regime, the players all theoretically start with a clean slate. They were attentive and hanging on Rhodes' every word, according to several veteran players.
"The resounding theme was that everybody has to play and get better," defensive tackle Santana Dotson said. "That way you can make the team better."
Neither Dotson nor any of his teammates would offer specifics about Rhodes' rules. Still, there apparently aren't any gray areas when it comes to what the coach plans to demand from his squad.
"He got his point across about what he wants done this year," defensive tackle Gilbert Brown said. "That's the thing about Ray; he gets his point across."
Last edited by Wolf; 01-29-2008 at 12:45 PM.