How a NFL staff divides the game planning duties
John Keim of The Examiner did an interesting piece on the Washington Redskins offensive staff and particularly how offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has decided to split up the game planning duties on a week to week basis.
Shanahan admits that dividing up the responsibilities isn;t something that he did as a young coach, but has come to realize that there just aren't enough hours in a day to accomplish everything by himself, which is why it is important to surround yourself with quality, hard working assistant coaches that you trust.
“When I was younger I tried to do everything. You’re so excited to have the opportunity to be a coordinator that you want to work at every single area as hard as you can. But you start to go crazy because there aren’t enough hours in the week. So I’ve gotten better at divvying up stuff and allowing others to help me. Just getting to know them, you start to trust them more and they start to know what I like. It becomes more efficient when you work with the same people.” he explained in the Examiner.
So now every Monday, each offensive coach has an area to break down. Receivers coach Ike Hilliard handles first and second down tendencies, three receiver formations and the two minute game plan, quarterbacks coach Matt LaFluer does third down and empty sets, tight ends coach Sean McVay plans the red zone and 22 personnel sets (two tight ends, two running backs) as welll as first and second down. Running backs coach Bobby Turner takes care of goal line and short yardage situations, assistant offensive line coach Chris Morgan is in charge of pass protections and making sure they are sound against all of the opponents blitzes.
Mike McDaniel and Richmond Flowers, the quality control coaches, break down the overall defensive alignments and tendencies and enter it in the computer so that coaches get down and distance and situational stats and percentages. Offensive line coach Chris Foerster and Shanahan break down film on their own and help with the overall game plan.
This is really good stuff. Having a set system where your staff has a set of responsibilities for each week is a great idea. Clearly defined roles are a great way to keep things as efficient as possible and ensures that each assistant on staff is not only invested in the game plan, but also helps the team utilize each of your coaches strengths while also letting them grow within the profession.
If you're not breaking down the weekly responsibilities amongst your staff like Shanahan, you and your staff should definitely take a long look at it.