“You’re right, playoffs are out of the picture for us now.” Whoops.

Does anyone else smell a clearance sale?

Dear Chan Gailey,

Hey, you’re in the news.

You gave a poorly planned answer to a question posed on WGR this morning and opened up a new round of “look at the clueless head coach.”

Jeremy White: “With 3 games left at this point, and 8 losses, of course, it’s looking like a season where you’re going to miss the playoffs. What do you get out of the next 3 games?”

Chan Gailey: “You evaluate a lot of things. You try to get better. You try to become a team that improves upon last year. You try to improve your record upon last year and you’re trying to get better. That’s what you do as a pro. That’s what I grew up— you work your rear off and you try to get better every time you walk out there and that’s all you can do. You’re right, playoffs are out of the picture for us now so what is in the picture? It’s working to get better and do your best every time you walk out there and be a pro. And that’s all you can do. That’s all I know to do.

I think I know why you said it. More on that later.

Still, next time, don’t say that.

It’s not as simple as trotting out “I believe that this team can win the Super Bowl.” An expression of self-confidence in the face of overwhelming evidence showing it to be misplaced won’t play well. It’ll come across as oblivious and absurd. It’ll get laughs and put you in a worse spot than this one.

Try this approach.

“It does look that way and we’re disappointed. All we can do is get to work on preparation for Seattle and try to win a football game on Sunday. And until I see that ‘X’ next to our name in the standings, that’s the approach. In fact, even if that ‘x’ does show up, our approach remains the same. We’re a professional football team and our job is to win on Sunday.”

An incredibly high percentage of a head coach’s job revolves around communication.

You can’t fail these little tests and expect to command respect.



Brad Riter

P.S. I’ve got some math to do but I have a hunch that a loss to Seattle won’t eliminate you either. More on that later, too.


1 Comment

  1. See, this is why coaches/players are so scripted and vague — often mildly dishonest — when dealing with the media. You get one blunt and honest coach, and he sounds like a buffoon when he slips up like this.

    You’re right in saying that Chan just should have said something cliche like: “All we can do is focus on next week, beat Seattle and re-evaluate from there.” Jeremy’s question was a bit of a trap, but Chan’s smarter than that (I think/hope/wish).

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