distance to avoid being sprayed by spewing tobacco juice. Coach Howard grabbed my arm, pulled me close.
The coach paused just for a moment. Then, with an air of majesty, like a king knighting a subject, Coach Howard extended his mammoth right hand onto my shoulder. With his hand resting on my shoulder pad, Howard looked at me, while still managing a sideways glance out across the rest of the team. He asked, "Chaw-ley boy Say, do you believes in magic?"
Bewildered, I stammered, "Well . . . er, I guess, Coach . . . Yes sir."
Howard then released his hand off my shoulder, reached up above my head and snatched at and grabbed something invisible in the air and then he simulated throwing pixie dust into my face.
Then Coach Howard announced, "Well . . . POOF! You are now a furst-team qwaurtaback!"
Now, that's some good coaching. Problem solved.
Head coaches really don't get heavy into the daily job of training or disciplining their players on specific techniques that are applicable to the position they play. That's what his assistant coaches do.
The younger the player you coach the closer you get to pure coaching. The young players pay attention to what you are saying. In high school and sometimes in college, you can actually coach techniques.
The high school player is still malleable. He hasn't established many bad habits that you cannot get them out of. The basics of the game that is to be coached at all levels and at any age involves three areas. The eyes, hands, and feet.
These three "rocks" are tangible areas where the player can never get too good. They can always improve:
Eyes. The eyes are nothing unless they see something and then feed that something into a processing bin and spits out conclusive information that is to your benefit. The more experienced player, the more he can digest with his eyes. I call it "seeing into the future".
Hands. When I say "to coach hands" I am referring to hands as weapons and how they play a role in the physical component game. Strong hands are imperative for the football player of today.
Feet. Being light on your feet encompasses your entire body. Balance and weight distribution are key to staying on your feet and positioning.
These are the three pure components to coaching. They are forever. A coach can always coach one of these and get improvement out of a player.
Coaches start coaching because they love the game and because they want to help a player get better with his eyes, hands and feet, so he can maximize his potential.
Coaches yearn to experience the accomplished feeling when a young player actually incorporates his coaching points into how the player plays and there is marked improvement enough to experience success.
In the Pro game, the strategy of attack, week to week changes in a game plan, becoming aware of the tendencies of the opponents, automatic checks and weaknesses of the enemy become what occupies the majority of the coaches time.
Coach Parcells is far from coaching the pure components (basics) of football at this stage in his career. He concentrates on his strategy and understanding the flow of a game.
He prides himself on managing a game properly. Evaluating and knowing the strength and weakness of every one of his own players weighs heavy on him.
But most importantly, he must sway the collective minds of all of his players to be ready each week, because there are no easy NFL games. This week is no exception.
Just like a player, Coach Bill Parcells can get distracted. This week he finally gave up.
After answering questions about Terrell Owens's antics captured on camera, dealing with an erroneous "suicide" attempt and explaining why the offense can't get the ball to T.O., he announced that he would not answer any more T.O. questions because, "I am tired of it."
Part of the coaching requirements going forward in this era will be to become accomplished at spin control, re-directing and dodging media blitzes.
Based on the way they handle the press, politicians are capable of holding down a head coaching job. It wouldn't hurt for the head coach to have a