Feely: On harassment, hold coaches to same standard as players

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The effort to change the locker-room culture apparently will focus on the manner in which players treat other players.  One member of the NFLPA Executive Committee believes that the effort should be broader than that.

“Coaches must be held to the same standards as players,” Cardinals kicker and 2013 NFL Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year finalist Jay Feely tells PFT.  “The most verbally abusive language always comes from the coaches.”

He’s right; but when it comes from coaches, it’s accepted with a shrug as an old-school method for getting the most out of players.  Still, the example the coaches set when interacting with players sends a strong message to the players about the manner in which they can interact among themselves.

“Whether it’s the locker room, the classroom, on the field, or with the referees coaches are always the most verbally abusive,” Feely said.

It’s not universal, to be sure.  Men like Tony Dungy make their points without disrespecting those around them.  But to the extent a culture change is need, a deeply-engrained mindset that celebrates coaches who rant and rave and act like overgrown toddlers must be abandoned.

“I was unequivocal with Roger [Goodell] when we met that it must be a uniform policy,” Feely said.  “If you don’t hold coaches to the same standards, then it’s nothing more than a P.R. campaign.”

Actually, it feels more like a risk-management campaign.  And while the league office and most teams believe anything a coach says or does can be defended under the “equal opportunity a-hole” theory, if the goal is to remove the a-holes from the locker room, the effort needs to apply to any and all a-holes who may be in there — regardless of whether they prey on some of the players or all of them.

53 responses to “Feely: On harassment, hold coaches to same standard as players

  1. Maybe the Millenials need to toughen up. Big difference between coaches screaming and players bullying

  2. Dungy? Can we stop hyping him as a great coach? He wasn’t the GM in Tampa. He won a Super Bowl thanx to Bill Polian. BTW, Dungy thoughr Joe Webb gave the Vikings a better chance to beat GB than Ponder in the playoffs a few yrs ago. What a tool.

  3. Gee coach, please don’t yell at me your hurting my feelings. What’s next? What a bunch of baby’s.

  4. Tony Dungy was also too soft to be a successful head coach. His teams never got over the hump but for the blessing of the Manning lineage. It could be argue Peyton is STILL too soft as a result.

  5. Leslie Frazier was of the Dungy school of player relations but it didn’t work for him. He was soft spoken and respectful, a fine man, and a lousy coach who never seemed to have the players attention.

    The players have been conditioned to being screamed at from the first day you put on pads. Therefore it typically takes a hundred decibels to get their attention.

    Can you imagine Roger Goodell telling Vince Lombardi that he needs to tone down the volume and the rhetoric?

  6. How about eliminating veterans treating rookies like they have an obligation to pay for expensive meals or trips?

    That builds resentment, not camaraderie, trust and loyalty. Isn’t that what the NFL and NFLPA want with its players?

  7. Welcome to the liberalization of the NFL. Soon all teams will get a trophy just for participating.

  8. Sounds like someone got his poor little feely-ings hurt… What’s next? No yelling from Marine Corp Drill Instructors? Suck it up butter-cup.

  9. You know what,if a guy is making $2.5 million dollars a year,plus per diem,medical coverage,access to endorsement money,pretty much legal immunity and receives preferential treatment in many establishments,he shouldn’t be upset at a coach yelling at him or calling him out for slacking.

  10. Ok, Looks like it is time, with all these rules changes to get rid of hitting and now this. Time to put the diapers on and let these guys get in a play pen and have mom watch over them.

  11. I don’t ever want to hear what a kicker has to say. Of course when Vanderjact had too many Jäger shots and went off on Peyton that was pretty entertaining

  12. Sissies, light-in-the-loafer players and on and on. I’m sick of hearing about it. How about just playing ball and leave all this social engineering crap out of it?

  13. Im 44…not young but not old either….and the mentality of the sports world, not to mention the mentality of this country in general, has become totally foreign to me. Coaches not yelling at players?? Really??

  14. Maybe instead of playing actual football the team captains can meet at midfield and have a chess match. And a tea party after. And everyone gets a certificate for participation. And…you get the point.

  15. What’s next, going to give these guys “time out” cards so they can remove themselves from practice for a short period when they get their feelings hurt? Why not? Military does it.

  16. Your conversations with individuals will change based on the receiver. Growing up in a family with three brothers, my Mother had to talk to us in four different ways. My oldest brother and I only responded when my Mom was authoritative whereas my younger brother only responded when he was coddled.

    Some players need a swift kick, others don’t.

  17. I have a regular job and dont get paid millions of dollars per year. Sometimes, my boss can be an A$$. But I get over it.

    Sometimes, I literally cant believe what my eyes are reading these days…

  18. I love all the idiots who don’t understand the point Feely was making. Either you let player curse again or you hold all employees of the NFL to same standards.

    Its not a feelings issue you morons. Its a double standard issue.

  19. Just make it even for both parties…if the coach ( a human) can call a player (a human) an a-hole then let the player do the same….no double standards

  20. These comments from people calling Feely or other guys wimps or babies are hilarious. Like any of you would last a day in an NFL workout. Oh, you played high school football and know what it’s like? Stop. Or the old, “They get to play football for a living and my boss is a jerk, too” line? Yeah, pretty sure your career isn’t a crapshoot that could leave your health badly damaged for life.

    Feely’s representing the players. If the players want the coaches and management held to the same standards as players in terms of decency, arguing with him because of some nonsense armchair macho belief of yours is sad.

  21. I agree that degrading a player and making personal attacks on them is rude and unacceptable. But this is the NFL, “Not For Long” for those of you who remember that quote, where the difference between winning and losing comes down to decisions made by players on the field. Let’s not forget that this is a game played and coached by men with, literally, millions of dollars on the line for various reasons. If I were a NFL coach, I would make damn sure I did everything possible to make sure my players knew what to do on game day. If that meant yelling and getting after my own players, so be it. This is an intense game played by intense people. If a player can’t take a little bit of criticism/yelling then they’re in the wrong profession.

  22. Sorry, I was a sailor and I cuss like a sailor. I try to raign it in most times, but when I am angry…there ya go. On a football field or in the military harsh language is used toward folks when they are screwing up is just how it goes. You want “office speak” work in an office. Outside the office, I am going to speak like Rex Ryan. If my workplace is on a football field, unless I am coaching junior high kids (as I once did) or high school kids or in the Navy working an UNREP (underway replenishment) I am gonna be swearing. This “kinder, gentler” world we are now living in has produced a lot of whimps

  23. Give me 6 figures or a multimillion dollar salary and you can talk to me anyway you want.

  24. Prior to attending college I worked in manual labor for 15 years. Although I have never been yelled at by a NFL coach, I can assure you that after working in that world for 15 years, Jay Feely has no idea what verbal abuse is.

  25. How long until fans in the stands are not allowed to yell “abusive” (as defined by liberals in New York City NFL office) language?

    Why does the NFL keep wanting to be like the NBA?

  26. Everyone here is missing the point. If the league wants to unilaterally trot out “policy”, it needs to be uniform and fair. Otherwise, it’s changing the rules mid-stream as it fits their needs. There is also an historic and overarching lack of consistency in collectively bargained policy and discipline that covers all parties involved. However, it doesn’t excuse the league from leaving coaches, owners, trainers, etc. out of the picture when throwing out arbitrary and capricious policy.

  27. This is the Progressive, Millenial, please don’t hurt my feelings world we live in these days.

    There is a time when the coaches need to get on your arse.

    Can’t really cookie cutter this. You can make some sort of blanket rule on “abusive” behavior, but it is actually a subjective matter.

    So, if a coach is yelling at the top of his lungs at his line for not blocking to protect the franchise QB, that coach is doing his job from one perspective, but from the Feely perspective, he would be an “abusive” coach?

    Good grief, we live in such a wussified culture, it makes me ill!!!!!!

  28. He is not talking about coaches who yell or get on top of guts in order to motivate then. He’s talking about the coaches who insult and demean the players. Big difference. The league should expect the best from the coaches since they are the leaders of a team.

  29. Most posters here clearly missed the point. Feely is representing ALL the players and is not speaking to his own experience. Roger Goodell is constantly crying about “protecting the shield” and fines and suspends players without hesitation because their behavior is tarnishing the shield and is a violation of the professional code of conduct. What Feely is saying is that if the NFL is concerned about protecting the shield then everybody should be held to the same standard and is responsible for protecting the integrity of the game…from owners and coaches (who should be teaching by example) down to players, support staff and all it’s employees. This is not about the wussification of football and the lockerroom but protecting the product. The NBA just showed the NFL that they had a set by taking Donald Sterling’s team away from him for behavior unbecoming to the league. It willl be interesting to see if Roger Goodell is all show and no go when it comes to manning up and disciplining an NFL owners who flagrantly broke the law and endangered public safety and should be behaving like a professional who gives two hoots about the integrity of the shielf!

  30. I can’t agree with Feely on this. The world is a better place with people like Jim Mora saying, “we couldn’t do diddly-pooh offensively.”

  31. Hey Feely ,

    I appreciate all that you do for the Cards but when you miss kicks in the most important games ,you deserve to be yelled at.

    You’ve chocked at the most crucial moments.

    Honestly you should quit football and look for another profession.
    Maybe become a guidance counselor so that you can speak about morale ! SERIOUSLY

    Its people like you who wine and complain that they’re “offended ” by something pity.
    People like you are ruining this country.

  32. These athletes are babied and coddled from the first time they put on a pair of spikes or cleats, and if they’re any good at all, it just gets worse.

    They grow up in a surreal world. Then, the first time a teacher, coach, drill sergeant, boss, or anyone of authority DOESN’T baby them…boo, hoo, hoo…where’s my lawyer?!

    I know I’m an old guy but the Army DI’s used to knock us around, belittle our body parts, and call our girlfriends/wives/mothers names when we messed up. Farm boys usually made the best soldiers because they grew up dealing with the REALITIES of life; birth, life, death, butchering, and reward & punishment for their efforts. The soft cake-eating Hippies from upper-class suburbia took the most work, time and indoctrination.

    BUT, after tearing us all down into one common pool of swill, they built us up as a team. We banded together more because of our “common enemy,” the DI’s. We learned to accept and appreciate our “buddies” and depend on them having our backs…in real life or death situations!

    Now we no longer have the draft and coddled “free agents” in sports. Good Grief!

  33. Don’t kickers know that no one listens to NFL kickers??? First their was the Colts punter, then the Viking punter and now this guy. You guys have already hit the lottery by making Big $$$ for a non-football position in the NFL. Just sit back, enjoy and be quiet.

  34. This is nothing new. College coaches, Ohio,football, Indiana Basketball, Rutgers, . . .have had coaches as famous for their lack of personal control and lack of respect for others, as for their winning records. So why is it a surprise that coaches who move up to the NFL promote bad behavior in their players.

    Coaches, owners, and commissioners must be held to the same standards as players. Irsay, Cuban, Sterling; Dolphins, Ravens, . . .

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