Being an agent I get to hear players and coaches talk about the league in private. They talk about which coaches they love and hate, who's smart and who's dumb, who knows what they’re doing and who doesn’t. The chatter you don’t get to hear would surprise most fans. In listening to coaches and players over the years, here are some “What if” scenarios that may surprise you.
What if…. All players were free agents after this year and could sign wherever they wanted. Where would they go?
Considering that the head coaches stayed put and all the QB’s did as well, and the contracts were equal; these are the teams players would most likely choose:
Seattle Seahawks: The state of Washington has no state taxes so most players would receive an automatic 5% to 10% raise. Pete Carroll makes football fun and laid back but he still motivates and wins. And, they’re the “it” team right now. Players around the league talk and compare. Players talk to each other about training rooms, practice routines, locker room chemistry and finger pointing within their organizations. Players will come here for the organization.
Miami Dolphins: Players want to go to this team more for Miami than they do the Dolphins. Florida also has no state taxes, a decent cost of living and many players’ workout, vacation and train there in the off-season. Florida also produces the most NFL players, and players from Florida prefer to stay close to home. So just for the fact that so many NFL players are from the southeast they would likely flock to the city they could live in and play in year round.
Tennessee Titans: If you never been to Nashville you’ll find a city with Midwestern values, southern charm and well balanced in every manner. It’s centrally located to players who are from the midwest, east coast, and/or southeast. It too has no state taxes and a friendly cost of living. I’ve had a few players move there after they retired. There’s entertainment, great food and it’s a good place to raise a family. These traits help to overcome the lack of success by the team as of late.
Green Bay Packers: NFL players really respect a winning QB. They respect Brees, Rodgers, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. Players talk about these guys with the utmost respect and favor. Offensive specialty players know they will have more success if they have a good QB. Rodgers is a QB who is ego-less, tough and fun to play with. Word around the league is that Green Bay is a special place and the players get treated very well.
In talking to several current and retired coaches lately the subject of who were the best head coaches ever came up. So here is another fun what if based off these conversations.
What if… You could hire one coach out from behind the TV camera to coach and build your team for three years? Here are our choices: Tony Dungy, Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Steve Mariucci, Brian Billick, and Jimmy Johnson.
My choice without question would be Jimmy Johnson. I don’t care that he’s 71. Players love playing for him, he’s tough but fair and can motivate. He has an eye for talent and knows whom to hire as assistants. I would let him run my draft as well. The coaches and players who worked and played for him are constantly singing his praises and any coach in the league would love to work for him.
Who would you hire?
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