Nice guys may not finish last in the NFL, but already it is looking as if the best "nice" coaches should hope for is the Wild Card.
Let's begin the
No-nonsense is in. NFL coaches making the biggest Week 1 statements were those tough, growling, in-your-face leaders who don't just toss around catchphrases and clichés like "accountability," "teamwork" and "professionalism." They live by those words. They demand those things. And anyone in the organization who doesn't wish to follow suit? Well, can you say,
Look at Week 1's biggest winners and losers. Is it coincidence that the nice, unemotional guys struggled, while those known for their feistiness and strong, unwavering personalities found a way to win?
Sure, we all know the quiet, professorial, gentlemanly sorts have risen to the top of the NFL mountain -- most notably
The league is being besieged by uber-individualistic, money-grubbing players. They think discipline is adhering to the no-Tweet rule at halftime. They think teamwork is knowing the kicker's name. And with so many more venues now available to express selfishness -- Twitter, Facebook, instant-messaging -- show me a "players' coach" in today's NFL and I'll show you someone who tossed the asylum keys to the inmates.
San Francisco holdout
Even the ever-revered Patriot
Are you catching a trend here? NFL players tend to act like a bunch of babies.
In truth, it's more like pre-schoolers or kindergartners. And like any spoiled children, the NFL's brats always will continue to push the boundaries of discipline -- in this me-first era more than ever -- until someone comes along unafraid to establish firm, definitive rules that cannot be broken, or else.
The first week of the season proved as much, especially in the case of the surprise winners. While laid-back "nice guy" Texans coach
Meanwhile, the unemotional and quiet
Fans enjoy the fiery, demanding coaches for the theater. But this NFL trend toward staunch disciplinarians is about more than the entertainment value of watching Singletary rant,
The same thing is happening in New York with Ryan's Jets. He arrived boastful, demanding and supremely confident, with veterans unsure what he was all about. After one very impressive week, Ryan boasted on WFAN radio in New York, "I didn't come here to kiss Bill Belichick's rings."
And you get the feeling the Jets will fall perfectly in line behind their coach, giving not an inch to the Pats.
Then there is the Saints'