Interviews absolutely distract from playoff preparations

NFL: AUG 25 Preseason - Chiefs at Bears
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Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan claims that interviews for head-coaching jobs with other teams does not undermine the preparation for upcoming playoff games. Callahan claims wrong.

Of course the process of interviewing for an NFL head-coaching job distracts from the task at hand. Beyond the time spent preparing for and conducting the interview(s), the coordinator spends time texting and/or calling those who may join him as a member of his coaching staff.

The best head coaches and assistant coaches devote incredible amounts of time to their jobs. By the time the playoffs roll around, every waking moment is (or should be) spent focused on anything and everything that can be reviewed, studied, brainstormed, whatever in an effort to find an edge and to prepare the team to exploit it.

It’s obviously not for everyone. It requires an all-in commitment. And that commitment necessarily becomes impacted if one of the coordinators will be interviewing for a head-coaching job with another team.

Then there’s the fact that, at home, the potential promotion and life-changing salary that goes with it becomes a major consideration. As one source with knowledge of the dynamics explained it to PFT last year and reiterated that belief during the current cycle, a coach’s spouse or significant other doesn’t ask how the game-planning is going for the next playoff game. The questions focus on whether anything has been heard about the head-coaching jobs, where a house would be purchased in the new city, and where the kids would go to school.

That’s normal. It’s natural. But it also necessarily distracts the coach from the task at hand, because the task at hand should be consuming all of his available time, from the moment his head leaves the pillow to the moment it strikes the pillow again.

8 responses to “Interviews absolutely distract from playoff preparations

  1. I agree.. So how do we fix this? It’s not the qualified head coaching candidates fault they are good and in the playoffs. While the losers can prepare better with nothing to do.

  2. It’s a double-edged sword I guess. You want to get your guy as soon as possible, but do you really want a coach that is more concerned about his next gig than he is about preparing for a playoff game?

  3. It’s ridiculous, I thought they changed that this year.

    Bottom line is that the owners obviously don’t think it’s a big deal.

  4. If the”new” coaches that are hired during the period from the end of the regular season to the end of the Super Bowl …. are assuming their duties during this period, change it …

    For example, nobody assumes a new position until after the entire season is played …. though an agreement in principle can be made ….

  5. Even if interviewing was banned until the conclusion of the playoffs, it would be like the “Legal Tampering” phase before free agency actually kicks off. Owners would interview guys informally etc. There’s probably no fixing it. Maybe that’s why Bienemy can’t get a job as a head coach. Owners out of the playoffs don’t want to wait, and coaches in the playoffs don’t want to miss an opportunity.

  6. You’re out of your mind if you think every second someone is awake should be used for any one singular specific thing. That’s just not how human beings work. And it’s also not how coaches work. They’re human beings too.

    Well, except maybe Belichick. Not convinced that one is a human.

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