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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day Tradition

Each year on July 4th we post The Rules For Winning in the NFL.

1) Do not draft a "versatile" player in Round 1 of the draft. "Dominant" should be there, not versatile.
2) Left Tackle is a rare commodity. A good Left Tackle is better than a great ______ (fill in almost any other position).
3) WRs are a dime a dozen. Do not waste resources here; pick one up when you are close to the prize. They are always available.
4) "Linebackers, I collect'em." - Bill Parcells.
5) Pitchouts do not work in the red zone.
6) Repeat after me, Do not go for the 2 pt. conversion until there are 6 minutes left in the game. If there are more than 8 minutes left in the game, it is a 99% certainty that it was the wrong decision.
6a) The Mike Tomlin Rule- The only thing worse than violating Rule 6 is violating Rule 6 AFTER a penalty makes it a 7 yd (or 12! or 17 yard) attempt.
7) The Devin Hester Rule- If there is a special teams player in the end zone on a FG attempt, it is probably a good idea to fake the kick.
8) Do the unpredictable. Once you are predictable you are dead.
9) Trading down in the draft is good.
10) Investing all of your resources in one player is (now, more than ever in the era of free agency) a mistake. Eli Manning, Herschel Walker, Ricky Williams... the teams that do the best are usually giving the pick and getting multiple players.
11) "Read and react" is for losers. Set the tone, dictate terms of engagement, let others copy your SB blueprint. By the time you copy someone else's, the league has figured out how to adjust, so you are wasting your time.
12) Let the clock wind down to 3 seconds and kick your FG. I have never seen a team muff the (3rd down) attempt and kick on 4th down with the extra time that you left on the clock. I HAVE seen plenty of teams kick the FG and give the other team the oppty/win when they got their hands on the ball again. (ie Dallas Mon Night 2003)
13) The 2 week layover for the SB makes for a lousy game which improves the chances for the favorite.
14) Special teams are always underrated.
15) The only thing the prevent defense prevents you from doing is winning.
16) The only thing the prevent offense prevents you from doing is winning.
16a) The Kenny Holmes Rule- the only thing worse than the prevent offense is the prevent offense when your defense is exhausted/impaired by injury.
17) Players are told to play for 60 minutes. Yet who benches the head coach when he only coaches for 50?
18) The Fassel Rule of Prevent: It is always the coach's fault when a large lead is blown/the game is lost.
19) The Fassel Rule of December: Practice in December w/o pads- your players will appreciate it and win many more games for you with their fresh legs.
20) The Bill Walsh "Quality Win" (winning by 11+ points) is a necessary objective at all times because it enables you to win MORE games that are more hotly contested.
21) After 1st and Goal from the 1-2 yard line, if you fail to score a TD on your first three tries, kick the FG on 4th down.
22) The Carl Banks Rule- You cannot simply turn it on and turn it off in the NFL. Play every game and maintain/improve on your high level of play.
23) Second round draft picks are the best value in the draft. No sizzle, all steak.
24) # of headcases <= strong head coaches. (If you have a strong head coach you can have up to 1 head case in the locker room. If you have a weak head coach you cannot have any. A strong head coach with 2 head cases means a locker room infestation and problems.)
25) The Phil Simms Rule- You must stretch the field on offense. If you do not/cannot pass the ball >20 yards down field, LBers and Safeties will choke off your offense.
26) Defense wins championships.


Lou Spevack said...

#8 is our biggest concern this year. Unpredictability can help our rookies make an impact. Can Gilbrown change his stripes?

Pastime Princess said...

Never get tired of reading those rules

CRob said...

You are way off at #10. Eli Manning was worth every player and/or draft pick that the Giants gave up to get him. Giants won a Super Bowl by beating the 18-0 Patriots. Eli was Super Bowl MVP. Andrew, by lumping Eli in with Ricky Williams and Herschel Walker you have some football knowledge wanting. Seriously, Giants could go another 4 years without making the Playoffs and this would still have been a great deal by Ernie Accorsi et al.

Andy F. said...

CRob- I respect your opinion. As a lifelong Giants fan, you must realize and respect that I know full well that Eli delivered a championship to our team. So why would I still "lump" him in there? The answer is to be consistent. And to not look back and be a Monday Morning QB. It does not matter whether Eli wins 10 titles and goes to the HOF or if he is the next Ryan Leaf and is out of football by 2007. The trade was poor value and Accorsi was emotionally attached. Manning already (thru Archie) notified the CHargers he wasn't playing for them, and yet the Giants still overpaid. And Accorsi said he would have taken Roethlisberger at #4 if he did not get Manning. So if you want to have the lookforward option and go into Year 4 and comfortably say that Manning worked out, I'll go one better and look forward and say that I'll take Roethlisberger and the extra 1st Round pick and the extra 3rd round pick and the extra 5th round pick. And I won't even go further and assume the Giants take who the Chargers took (Merriman and Kaeding), because then it gets even sillier. But the point goes back to value. It was not a value trade. Most of the trades where you trade up like that and pay up to get the player you covet, it does not work because you are going for something that is still UNKNOWN at the time. To contrast this with what the Bears had to give up to get Cutler, that trade may work out or not, but at least you KNOW what Cutler IS, a Pro Bowl QB with NFL skills. Unless God whispers the future to you, ALL of these picks are the unknown to one degree or another when drafting, so you better be disciplined or else you are going to waste your resources. Reese has been drafting for the Giants for 3 years and he has not made the aggressive ALL-IN bet, and for good reason. Ricky Williams, Herschel Walker, Eli Manning, all nice players. And Eli will get better too. But to move three spots for a 1,3,5? Too much. The draft tables (which are already way inflated at the top, the top where rookie salaries are prohibitive) say the Giants gave up a #3rd rounder NET on the deal. Before you say it was worth it, remember Roethlisberger already has two titles .. and a third rounder?... well, the following year the Gmen got Justin Tuck in the 3rd round, and he played a HUGE role in us winning that "Manning" title, sacking Brady twice and causing a turnover. EVERY DRAFT PICK COUNTS. 45 guys win a title.

Adam said...

Great article. And in response to Eli being the Superbowl MVP, he was a completely undeserving winner.

Yes he led the game winning drive, but the real MVP was the defense, in particular the d line. The most prolific offense in league history was in shambles bc Brady could never settle in the pocket. The QB just gets the award when no single player stands out.

To be honest, as a bears fan, I see Eli as comparable to Rex. Both have plenty of physical talent, but struggle with the mental aspect of the game. Obviously Eli has made more strides than Rex, but there were multiple plays from that season, and particularly that game, that reminded me of questionable decisions Rex made.

Andy F. said...

Thanks Adam. And thanks to the NY Times, Windy City Gridiron, Fark and Daily Norseman for posting the Rules.

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