When it comes to hiring a new coach, the Arizona Cardinals need more than just someone to lead the team; that someone must also change the culture.
The Arizona Cardinals suffered through a losing culture over the past 75-plus seasons, winning a handful of playoff games and division titles in that span, with one Super Bowl appearance. Sooner than later, they needed to hire a coach willing to change the culture to help the franchise end its losing ways.
So what was it that caused the last regime to fail? There were too many egos in the locker room, with perhaps quarterback Kyler Murray having the biggest. Quarterbacks often act as the face of the franchise, so when they can’t control their own egos, it’s easy for an entire team to fall into that trap.
So how does the new head coach change things in the desert? Here are three ways.
1 – Hold players accountable
Statements made during his introductory press conference is one reason I liked general manager Monti Ossenfort from the beginning. It’s almost like he sent a warning to the current players, and those the organization will later pick up via free agency and the draft.
The new Arizona Cardinals coach, before anything else, needs to state their expectations for the players, and the potential consequences of not meeting those expectations. They need to hold players accountable if they’re lazy during training camp and practices, are late for meetings, or if they have any off-field incidents.
2 – Encourage team-building outside Arizona Cardinals headquarters
Here is one common denominator I’ve seen throughout the better teams in the four major pro sports leagues. Their players aren’t just together on the field or in the building, but also off the field.
Whether it’s vacations or even playing golf, the most routine activities can help build team chemistry. This is something Mike Kafka, Lou Anarumo, or whoever is leading the team needs to not only encourage once, but to routinely advocate.
3 – Follow a blueprint and adjust accordingly
Monti Ossenfort previously worked with arguably the greatest coach in NFL history, so he should know a thing or two about building a winning culture. Of course, the Patriots Way won’t work for everyone, and following the full blueprint itself won’t work for the Arizona Cardinals.
But following the blueprint and adjusting accordingly, with the new head coach putting their spin on it that, in turn, also works for the players, is a good idea in and of itself. Follow a proven model, adjust, turn it into your own, and you might just have a winner here.
Article Source: Sean Payton: Cardinals’ ‘culture in the building has to be better’ by Jess Root
Want your voice heard? Join the Raising Zona team!