Why can’t coaches coach from home?

USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday night, NBC’s Mike Tirico worked the Buccaneers-Washington game from home. On Sunday afternoon, CBS’s Tony Romo will work the Bears-Saints game from home.

Which got me thinking: So why can’t Browns coach Kevin Stefanski work from home?

It would be easy to do. Give him a real-time feed of the game, the same as the one that Tirico got tonight and Romo will get tomorrow. The same one that ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit got for the Ohio State-Clemson game. Let Stefanski talk to acting coach Mike Preifer, to offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, to quarterback Baker Mayfield, to anyone/everyone.

It’s not hard, technologically. And it’s not unfair to the other team. Unlike players, who have to actually be on the field to play, coaches don’t have to be on the field. Or in a box. Or in the building.

Given the incredible flexibility the NFL has shown during this season of pro football in a pandemic, it’s surprising that the NFL hasn’t found a way to let coaches — especially head coaches — coach from home.

At this point, it’s too late for the NFL to let Stefanski be involved. In the (hopefully) unlikely event that the pandemic will still be an issue in 2021, it’s a change the NFL needs to consider.

Unfortunately for the league, if it happens with any of the playoff games in the remaining rounds of the playoffs, the precedent has been set: The head coach can’t have a role during the game.

17 responses to “Why can’t coaches coach from home?

  1. Save a buck. Keep the announcers at home. Either way they are for the most part biased and useless. Coaches gotta yell at ya in person. More effective.

  2. In total agreement with you on this point. It seems stupid to not allow remote coaching. To me the precedent for remote coaching has been set long ago when coaches and coordinators first started coaching from boxes which is in effect coaching remotely. All their input into the game comes from electronic communications. So why not allow coaching from home?

  3. Football is a game of next man up.

    If teams can be forced to play with their starting qb they can play without their coach.

    Also there are comptative issues involved with having the coach at home. During a live game the coaches don’t have access to film where a hc at home can easily break down footage during commercial breaks and relay that to his team. Also a hc would have the ability to stall his team if to wait for tv replays for challenges vs in stadium replays. Hell the coach could even be able to hear the rules analysis break down a potential challenge before he decides to challenge.

    Like everything else in the nfl…. next.man.up

  4. The NFL is never smart about things like this. The Browns are even dumber not to question this unless they did and the NFL refused their request.

  5. wouldn’t you need a ref there with him? To make sure he’s not calling up other coaching buddies for real time advice?

  6. very valid question and I’m sure the NFL hasn’t thought of it, or is it using it as a form of punishment for not following protocols

  7. I’m sure they will change this rule right before the game and allow Stefanski to coach. Anything to, once again, disadvantage the Steelers. I’m shocked they didn’t move another Steelers game due to the incompetence of their opponent.

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