I was reading Joel's post about Haley discussing the receivers "being the same guy every day". It struck a chord because we have heard Haley use this phrase many times. I was pretty sure I had heard it before in connection with the Parcells way. Some time back, I came across Parcells 11 Quarterback Commandments. It was reported by Ed Werder of ESPN that this list was given to Tony Romo by Bill Parcells in 2007. Romo is purported to read this at the beginning and end of every season.
Whether or not Haley has actually given Cassel a written copy of these or not, it would seem that Haley's continued use of those words indicates that it is a living document that Parcells influenced coaches understand and employ.
I have included these commandments after the jump.
BILL PARCELLS' 11 QUARTERBACK COMMANDMENTS
Tony Romo Reads Them Religiously
1. Press or t.v., agents or advisors, family or wives, friends or relatives, fans or hangers on, ignore them on matters of football, they don't know what's happening here.
2. Don't forget to have fun, but don't be the class clown. Clowns and leaders don't mix. Clowns can't run a huddle.
3. A quarterback throws with his legs more than his arms. Squat and run. Fat quarterbacks can't avoid the rush.
4. Know your job cold. This is not a game without errors. Keep yours to a minimum. Study.
5. Know your own players. Who's fast? Who can catch? Who needs encouragement? Be precise. Know your opponent.
6. Be the same guy everyday. In condition, preparing to lead, studying your plan. A coach can't prepare you for every eventuality. Prepare yourself and remember, impulse decisions usually equal mistakes.
7. Throwing the ball away is a good play. Sacks, interceptions, and fumbles are bad plays. Protect against those.
8. You must learn to manage the game. Personnel, play call, motions, ball handling, proper reads, accurate throws, play fakes. Clock, clock, clock, don't you ever lose track of the clock.
9. Passing stats and td passes are not how you're gonna be judged. Your job is to get your team in the end zone and that's how you're gonna be judged.
10. When all around you is in chaos, you must be the hand that steers the ship. If you have a panic button, so will everyone else. Our ship can't have panic buttons.
11. Don't be a celebrity quarterback. We don't need any of those. We need battlefield commanders that are willing to fight it out everyday, every week, and every season, and lead their team to win after win after win.
As you can see, #6 says "be the same guy everyday". Haley's use of this phrase is no coincidence. Many of the things on this list sound just like things Haley has said.
Some other observations that were made by David Plotz back in 1997 when Parcells had just taken over the Jets are interesting comparisons. I believe that Haley is a slightly 'softer' version of Parcells, but still a true disciple. For example:
Parcells runs his training camps and practices with a drill sergeant's discipline: He abuses and needles players to inspire them. Last season, for example, he infuriated one malingering rookie by calling him "she." ("She," wide receiver Terry Glenn, recovered and went on to break the rookie record for catches in a season.)
I have posted about this before. Haley didn't exactly needle D Bowe like this, and he certainly didn't disparage him in the press, but I think that Bowe had no question that he was not getting where he needed to be based on Haley's treatment of him.
Parcells takes over bad teams because he can mold them in his image. Winning players won't accept the kind of bullying Parcells dishes out. Losing players have no choice. With the Patriots and the Jets, for example, Parcells demanded that players spend most of their off-season in training: Those who resisted--and some always did--got cut or traded.
Now, I wouldn't call what Haley does bullying, but I think that there are some fans that would. Don't you find it intriguing to know if this is why nearly EVERY player on the team showed up for OTAs, and why so many have stayed in condition during the off season? Given the Haley/Parcells connection, I have to think it IS the reason.
This connection to the way Parcells ran his teams is why I believe that Thomas Jones is our starting RB this season. I see Jamaal Charles as the Kevin Faulk of the Chiefs. Parcells had an affinity for Jones type backs. Curtis Martin and Otis Anderson are subjects of other posts I have made explaining this part of the Parcells Erhardt-Perkins offense. It may change up slightly because the Wildcat was not an option that was being used back in the Parcells days, so that may make a difference--we already know Haley is an innovator. Who decided to use a zone blocking scheme with this offense? Haley was the first.
So, ok, if Haley does all he can to mimmick Parcells, what can we expect this year if he succeeds? Well, there are a few things to watch for.
Parcells has had the most disciplined teams in the NFL. Parcells' teams commit fewer penalties than almost any team in the league...They have fewer disciplinary problems, because Parcells weeds out the bad apples. They have fewer injuries, because Parcells so emphasizes conditioning. And, while this sounds like a cliché, it's undoubtedly true: Parcells makes his players believe they can win, so they do.
Haley talked quite a bit about penalties and negative plays last year. I would think you will see the Chiefs commit very few penalties this year. There will be some pretty intense drills coming up in camp about committing penalties. The last part about making players believe that they can win may be one of the most important factors to this season. Haley could not pull this off nearly as easily if it wasn't for Crennel, Weis and all the rest. These players believe that they can win, so they will. Why wouldn't they (from their prospective), with leadership of the magnitude that they currently have at the helm? Much more so this year than last year. Haley now has his choice of coaching staff in the house, and the Super Bowl rings that these guys own would fill a soup bowl big enough to satisfy a hungry man. The Chiefs have every reason to believe that they will be the turnaround team of the NFL this year.
Parcells is football's turnaround artist, the "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap of the gridiron. In the '80s, "the Tuna" took over the hopeless New York Giants and led them to two Super Bowl victories. Between 1993 and 1997, Parcells transformed the New England Patriots from bottom-feeders to AFC champions. In the entire history of the NFL, only Parcells and Don Shula have coached two different teams to the Super Bowl.
Obviously, this has changed since this article was written. You can now include Dick Vermeil, Dan Reeves and Mike Holmgren to this list. What is most interesting is that NO coach has won Superbowls with two different teams. Each of these five won with one team and lost with the other. Now, I know that Haley wasn't the HC with AZ last year but he did lose that game as OC in a very close contest. AZ, by the way, is another turnaround team that went to the superbowl a short time after Haley began work there. Could last years loss at the hands of the very good and also very lucky Pittsburg Steelers qualify as Haley's Superbowl loss? The similarities continue to build.
Football is a sport of myths, and there is none more powerful than this one: They don't make 'em like they used to. Remember when they played both ways? When they didn't complain about a pulled hamstring? When coaches were men like Lombardi, not headset geeks? Even the sourest old-timer, however, will admit that at least one man in the NFL is made like they used to be: Bill Parcells.
Parcells has passed on his bag of tricks to a handful of Coaches since his days as the 'turnaround artist' in the NFL. Haley is one recipient. So far, Haley's track record is positive. It gives us as fans reason to hope. After several years of torment, I have accepted Haley as the harbinger of a new winning philosophy in Kansas City. My hope? My hope is that Haley finds just enough magic left in that old bag of tricks to field a winner. If you read between the lines in Haley's body of work to this point in his career, it would seem that all the necessary elements are there to have a great season. Let's just hope he doesn't read the instruction manual wrong when he says the magic words.
If Haley mistakenly reads the wrong spell, and you see a frog on the sidelines wearing Charlie Weis's headset for the Monday Night opener, we may be in for a L-O-N-G season!