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article imageOp-Ed: NFL teams player mishandling a good game plan

By Denis Lacelle     Mar 6, 2009 in Sports
For the past few days, we’ve heard interesting stories coming from the NFL. It has generated, in its own right, a lot of commotion and ire from the fans. But what do all these stories have in common? The lack of a good game plan!
If you want to win in any sport, you must have a good game plan. Some sports need a better preparation. Some are short term. Some are medium term while others are long term plans. Ultimately, the results are going to show on the field… and in your bank account! It’s when you don’t follow them or turn a blind eye to them that you’ll get burned! Although there are outside factors that may influence this, not planning properly has no excuse and will have the most detrimental effects. It amazes me that teams, like all aspects of life, do not seek lessons from history to learn what to do and what not to do.
Case number one: T.O. (Terrel Owens) and the Dallas Cowboys. Granted that T.O. is an above average receiver but the problem is that his big ego predominates more and has more destructive power for his own team than the opposing club! Didn’t owner Gerry Jones know about this? Did he bother to give really serious thought about hiring him in the first place when he knew what had happen in San Francisco and Philadelphia? (See Charles Robinson article on Yahoo Sports and Clarence E. Hill Jr.’s article on the Star Telegram )
With his recent departure, Dallas lost 3 years, which they could have used to develop potentially great wide receivers and gradually establish chemistry with its star quarterback. Instead, they just wasted 3 years out of Romo not to mention the years it will now take to become successful again.
Case number 2: the Jay Cutler incident in Denver. Here’s a top notch, Pro Bowl quarterback put between a rock and a hard place because management decided to emulate Pittsburgh by hiring an inexperienced coach at the pro level hoping he will bring you to the Super Bowl! I’ve always believed that, if “you are going to be in command, command!” as Robert Mitchum said in the movie Midway. Avoid being blamed for other people’s mistakes. Where should the blame reside then: in the coach or management who hired him in the first place? ( Read MJD’s article on Yahoo Sports and Chris Mortensen from )
They should have known beforehand what their head coach had in mind and that Cutler could possibly go. Any way you look at it, contingency plans should have been made to anticipate any kind of foul up. Instead, not only didn’t they sign Cassels ( See Elizabeth Merrill’s article on ), who went to Kansas City, they destroyed any type of credibility they had with a proven quarterback seriously questioning next year’s play contribution and performance. What do you think will happen if the Broncos don’t make the playoffs? Will the team blame Cutler to be able to justify themselves so they can look good in front of the fans? The truth of the matter is that they are keeping him because they simply don’t have anyone else! And Cutler probably knows it!
Case number 3: Kurt Warner misguided love with the Arizona Cardinals. Give lots of credit to Warner! We should have more guys like him everywhere! Things would be going a heck of a lot better in this world with honest and sincere emotions. How many guys do you know who’d refuse a couple of millions a year to play for a team that blatantly showed no respect or care about him? They were simply insulting! Here’s a guy who came this close of winning them the Super Bowl last year! They know Matt Leinart isn’t their solution and hasn’t performed until now ( Watch video commentary)! So what were the Cardinals thinking? Saving a couple of millions bucks from their salary cap? Last I heard that wasn’t a problem! It’s a good thing for Arizona that love is blind because all us other fans out there can see plain as daylight what’s going on and what signals they’re sending through the league! ( Read John Clayton’s article at )
These types of fumbling from upper management leave us to wonder who’s really at fault here and what really should be done. While some teams have good players and don’t treat them well, others prefer gambling on plugging holes and hoping their ship will still float and perform with problem players. Aren’t there enough great players coming from the college ranks? These players all want to prove they belong and can perform! You’ll also get them signed at a much better price and return also!
Yes! It’s winning or losing with a game plan. But the problem isn’t only the plan but the guys who make them…
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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