If you have listened to my radio show over the years, you know one of my dreams is for a college football coach to spend his National Signing Day press conference like this:
"Man, that was a bad day. I mean we hardly got anyone we wanted. And the guys we signed, frankly, are not that good. I mean today, we didn't get better."
I want the athletic director after meeting with a football before going on a search to hire a new coach say this:
"I met with the team and wow! They don't have a clue. I mean, those guys are out there with no understanding of anything."
I want an owner of a professional team to be honest just once when introducing their new coach with this:
"I'll be honest, this guy was our 7th choice. What else were we supposed to do? This was hard to convince good coaches to want to come here so we will see what this guy can do."
We are not likely to get that kind of honesty when it comes to these press conferences. Coaches learn the key things to say to satisfy fans, the media and ownership. It's not that these people don't mean what they say. It's all about winning the press conference. Even though the team gains no victories after an introductory presser, it does fuel a fan base to either get on board or spend an off-season spewing negativity.
So let's play the game of what an honest coach might sound like if he got hired for a job and realized he may not have been the top choice and the team he is inheriting is not expected to have a good season:
Coach:"I'm excited to be here. Quite frankly, I am shocked. I mean I didn't exactly have the best record at my last place and when my phone rang offering me the job I thought my agent was playing a joke. But I am here, with a guaranteed contract, which is amazing and I will try my best and we will see how it goes. Questions?
Reporter: What type of offense do you see the team running?
Coach:"Great question. We need to be balanced. So I see us running a little and passing a little. I mean, we need to take what the defense gives us. We will have some plays where we hand it off. And we will have a few plays where we pass. But I gotta be honest, I think our quarterback is average at best, so I hope we have some big backs. But we got some plays to throw it to a receiver down the field and hope he makes a catch.
Reporter: What about your defense?
Coach: "Well, we need to pin our ears back and get after the quarterback. I am not sure what that even means, but we need to do it. We have to stop the run and and try and stop the pass. But I think we really lack a pass rush, so we might be doomed on that side of the ball.
Reporter: What kind of scheme will you play, a 4-3 or a 3-4?
Coach:"Sure, a 4-3 and a 3-4 and maybe a 5-2, or even a 2-6. We will mix it up and have some fun.
Reporter: What about special teams?
Coach: "Well, they're special. We will kick when we need to kick and punt when we need to punt. And when they kick or punt to us, we will try and run it back.
Reporter: What is your message to the fans?
Coach:"My message to the fans? Um...well, this ain't getting fixed in one year. Heck, I just got a five year deal and maybe by year 3 or 4 but this baby ain't getting fixed in a year or two. I'm just being honest. I am here because the last guy messed this place up well and we lack talent.
Reporter: When do you expect to have your staff here?
Coach:"My staff? I'm just trying to find coaches who want to come here. The group I had at my last place, heck, those guys got me fired so I need to find some new guys. But we will find a few in the coming weeks."
Reporter: Do you think players want to come play here?
Coach:"Come here to play? Probably not. I mean, I was the 7th choice for this job so how many players you think want to come here?
Reporter: How long do you expect to be here?
Coach:"You mean now, at this press conference? Hopefully a few more minutes. Oh, you mean in years? Well, I've got a five year deal so hopefully that long. I don't really know. Ok, thanks for coming, appreciate it.
Too much to ask for? Probably. But maybe someday.
Final thought: A dog's nose is like a human fingerprint. No two noses are alike.
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