“They Couldn’t Get Out Of The Locker Room Without Us.”
I have a close friend who I have known since the first year I coached football. That year would be 1983 for those of you wondering. My friend who is still a coach at a BCS school used to have a saying.
He would say “They couldn’t get out of the locker room without us.” The “they” he was referring to were the players. He would say it when someone would go overboard on giving talented players all of the credit for success.
He came from a football coaching family so I figured this is where he got the saying from. I never thought much about it back then but it has stuck with me throughout the years.
The amount of credit given to coaches and players is always a delicate balancing act. Good coaches generally give credit to the players or assistant coaches. Good players often will credit the coaches or teammates.
This can work in a different way however when it comes to looking at why a team is successful. The players are more talented today than they have ever been. Anyone watching Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill or Aaron Donald can see that.
However, we often hear coaches reference these players while saying things like “Well if I had that player I would run that play or defense too!” We think coaches have to be careful here. We need to remember that the talent level is normally relative to the two teams playing.
You are correct in assuming that you do not and will not have Devin White in your linebacker room. You know what? Your opponent does not have Derrick Henry in their running back room either.
Good coaches always look at their team roster and the opponent’s roster first. Then they find a way to protect themselves against their weaknesses while exploiting the other team’s weaknesses.
There are many NFL and major college schemes that can be run at the high school level. You won’t run them as well as the pros but your opponent won’t defend them as well either.
So at the end of the day, it obviously takes both good players and good coaches. No coach would want to imagine taking the field with inferior players at every position on game day.
However, there isn’t a good player out there who does not benefit from the schemes and coaching they receive. Just in case you don’t agree, just think of a game day without any coaches…
My guess is my long time buddy would be right. They might not ever make it out of the locker room without you…
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