The truth about hard-working NFL coaches

Earlier this week, we took aim at the notion that football coaches work harder than anyone else on the planet.

One league source with knowledge of the actual workload of NFL coaches chimed in with this reaction.

“They have more vacation time and more down time than most other industries,” the source said.

Though the expansion of free agency and the importance of the draft makes coaching a job that extends well beyond the end of the football season, most coaches still receive four weeks of vacation time, from the closing of offseason minicamps to the launch of training camp.

And while pro football coaches work very hard on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of each week, when the game plan is being devised and implemented, the source explained that the coaching staff leaves early on Thursday — and they’re out the door most Fridays by 1:00 p.m.

Still, many of them love to perpetuate the notion that coaches are sweatshop workers.

As we told one reader this week, “That ain’t workin’ . . . that’s the way you do it.”

UPDATE:  On that video, it sure looks like Creed Bratton is handling the percussion duties.

28 responses to “The truth about hard-working NFL coaches

  1. “Earlier this week, we took aim at the notion that football coaches work harder than anyone else on the planet.”
    Not even vaguely close to working harder than everyone else. Yes they work hard, but please, there are numerous jobs that require the employee to work harder than a coach.

  2. Gruden would only get 3 hours of sleep per night, and with one eye open….guarding the Black Label.

  3. It’s not called work if you are doing something that you love.
    Watching tape, devising schemes ….
    The hours may be long and the career potentially short, but it is a job many of us would take in a heartbeat.

  4. “UPDATE: On that video, it sure looks like Creed Bratton is handling the percussion duties.”
    Creed did used to be in a band ‘The Grassroots’

  5. Why is Mike Florio bitter about NFL head coaches? What a weird post. Seems like a really obscure fight to pick.
    By the way, doesn’t mention that they have basically nothing in terms of job security.

  6. Any job that had a million dollar+ salary cannot be labeled hard working unless it is extremely hazardous to your health, non stress health issues too.
    A million is not what it used to be but to quote Brandon Marshall “its hard to get out of bed and go to work in the off-season when no one is watching you.”

  7. They’re doing a job in a niche market that few others can do. Plus they’re under far more public scrutiny than your average ass-hat working 9-5. As such, they deserve the compensation they receive.

  8. afi6
    They have a contract that is job security Gruden is a taking head and the bucks are paying him how many teams are carrying contracts on ex coaches
    If I were a coach I would get a good deal then tank and collect my money when the fire me
    They have the best job security in the world
    Only better deal is a lawyer who charges 50 for a 25 dollar fed ex

  9. A “contract” is job security that many people don’t have.
    The coach, if fired, gets paid the remainder of his contract, which is often millions.

  10. I’m a lawyer making 6 digits but nowhere near the millions per year these guys make. And I work 6 days a week, 14 hours a day, 12 months a year. That’s sweatshop quality work. These guys work the same amount, if not less, for only 6 months out of the year.

  11. Favre On HGH says:
    December 31, 2009 7:09 PM
    Any job that had a million dollar+ salary cannot be labeled hard working unless it is extremely hazardous to your health, non stress health issues too.
    A million is not what it used to be but to quote Brandon Marshall “its hard to get out of bed and go to work in the off-season when no one is watching you.”
    =====================================
    Really? So corporate execs who routinely put in 60-70 hours a week aren’t working hard? Small business owners who’s business is their life aren’t working hard?
    Might want to re-think that thought process.

  12. STRESS!
    I own two businesses. And like most average Joe’s I work my ass off. Both to pay my way and to keep the rest of the undeserving freeloaders out of my pockets. Some days my head feels like it’s going to blow clean off my shoulders and my manlys are in a vise. This is all due to STRESS!
    That being said, not once have I ever gotten out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and passed out falling to the floor. Most of us average Joe’s haven’t the slightest inclination of what these guys go through. Just because they’re not in the teams facility or watching tape doesn’t mean that they aren’t working. And working hard. 24/7/365.
    I can only imagine the amount of STRESS! these guys are under.
    And I know, without a doubt, that I experience, or put myself through, a good deal more than most.

  13. This is bull!
    Wade Phillips is one of the hardest working guys in the league, he does two jobs. Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator.
    …lol, even I couldn’t keep a straight face on that one!

  14. Well, from a cynical point of view up here in the NFC North, it seems job security is the biggest motivator for coaches to work hard. Childress had the Vikings undefeated until he got his extension. McCarthy was safe at the beginning and then when the fire the coach cries started suddenly his team started winning. Smith was safe in Chicago because firing him was too expensive. Then management hinted otherwise and suddenly he wins big.
    The moral of the story is: Keep calling for the coach’s job and your team will win

  15. Man I’ve been in the Army for 15 years, been deployed to Iraq 3 times since 2003… you want to talk about STRESS… NFL coaches can kiss my @$$. I get paid peanuts for what I do. Give me a break all these NFL coaches and players get paid nicely to play a game… I hope they go on strike next year and don’t get PAID. Lets put this into context the league minimum salary for an NFL rookie is $310,000. Hummm lets see it would take me 10 years to make what they make in a single year… So if a player plays 2 years in the league thats more money than I will make my entire 20 year career.

  16. You have got to be kidding me. Coaches work a hell of a lot harder than what you have described. Beyond most Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 16-18 hour workdays, most coaches are in the office busting their asses after games on Sundays after games. And what happened to Thursdays? That’s another 16 hour (at least) work day. Get it right. And Fridays… Well God forbid they spend time with their families on a Friday. 1:00? Try 3, 4 or 5:00- and that is only if they get to work at 6 am. And Saturdays are a wash. They have walk- throughs all morning then either catch a flight or have a few cherished hours for themselves to see their wives and children before heading to hotels for team meetings. Change your heading to “NFL Head Coaches” because you certainly are not referring to underpaid positition coaches or assistants who live in apartments and have no stability or job security. And for college coaches, God Bless you and keep you safe on your recruiting travels. ps. I can’t stand when people put coaches and and players in the same pool. So when you add a quote, make it from a hard-working coach, not a delinquent player.

  17. I still bet these coaches with all their time off work longer hours on average than do the boards of directors at the S & P 500.

  18. Teams have 53 players. Many teams have upwards of 18 coaches, or one coach per 3 players, not counting administrative help such as video guys, etc. I’ve worked 60-70 hours per week for months at a stretch, and I can tell you that work performance goes down after that duration. I wonder how many of these coaches’ hours are simply “competitive” hours; that is, a bit of competition to see who is the first in the door and the last to leave. As a head coach, I’d be very concerned that I’d have any employee working 70 hours a week because of degredation in performance. I’d get that guy help or get a guy who can do the job better. How much of this is simply that long hours have become the norm for NFL coaches, an expectation rather than a necessity? Probably a significant factor.

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