The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘There’s Always a Reason’

Posted on | July 25, 2021 | Comments Off on ‘There’s Always a Reason’

Among the cardinal principles of military science is unity of command — the man in charge is the man in charge, and bad things happen when command is divided. If we think about the Civil War, for example, the Union effort struggled until Lincoln put U.S. Grant in charge. Before the spring campaign of 1864 opened, Grant and Sherman met to coordinate their planned offensives, east and west, and it was this coordination, made possible by Grant’s authority as overall commander, that finally broke the South’s resistance. We can also consider the problems experienced by Germany in World War II as exemplifying this principle in reverse. Hitler constantly interfered in the dispositions of his generals, and in the defending against the Allied invasion of 1944, the Germans had a divided command in France, with Rommel in charge of the immediate beach defenses, but with Rundstedt in overall command of the theater. Rommel knew that the crucial point was to stop the Allies on the beaches, and wished to bring in the armored reserve for that purpose at Normand, but Rundstedt — under the absurd belief that the Normandy invasion was a feint — refused to release the tanks Rommel needed.

Football is like warfare — either the coach is in charge, or he’s not. If the ownership and management interfere in the coach’s plans, this undermines his authority, and a good coach will not tolerate such a situation. You could ask Nick Saban about this. In 2003, Saban took LSU to the National Championship, and a year later, he was signed to be head coach of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, a team that hadn’t accomplished much of anything since Don Shula’s heyday in the 1970s. They had gone 4-12 in 2004, but in Saban’s first year, they went 9-7 — a significant improvement. The next season, they sank to 6-10, and Saban knew what the Dolphins needed, namely a quarterback. He had one in mind, too:

Nick Saban’s NFL head coaching career lasted all of two seasons but the former Miami Dolphins head coach might have stuck around longer if team doctors didn’t fail Drew Brees for his physical. . . .
“Look when the Miami Dolphins were going to sign Drew Brees, Drew was coming to Miami when I was the coach there. He was going to be the quarterback. That’s all we needed,” Saban said at the Texas High School Coaches Association’s annual convention on Tuesday, via 247sports.
“We just went 9-7 and all we needed was a quarterback to be a playoff team. We were going to sign Drew Brees as a free agent. Dr. (James) Andrews operated on him and I went to Birmingham to see Dr. Andrews, and he said it’ll be fine. Our doctors failed him on the physical. (Drew) was there to sign with us.”
Saban went on to say that he actually told Brees’ agent at the time that he would wait three days before breaking the news so that a deal with the New Orleans Saints could happen. It was at that point that Saban decided it was time to leave the NFL.
“So, I decided right then when that happened that we don’t have a quarterback in the NFL, we’re not going to win. I’m getting out of here. I’m not staying here. I’m not going to be responsible for this,” he said.
“That doctor didn’t know his a– from a handful of sand. Drew Brees plays 15 more years, wins a Super Bowl, goes to nine Pro Bowls. And we didn’t take him in Miami, where he wanted to go. Some things you can’t control. When we left there nobody understood why. Well, that was why. There’s always a reason.”

See? They hired him as a coach, but they didn’t trust his judgment. What kind of madness is this? Nick Saban doesn’t know quarterbacks?

Miami’s loss was Alabama’s gain. Roll Tide.



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