In the spirit of Independence Day, we declare these truths to be self-evident, that not all players and coaches are created equal… THE RULES FOR WINNING IN THE NFL! Please comment, detract, add your own. These rules can be amended (doubtful, but possible!) by your feedback.
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 8 minutes left in the game. If there are more than 10 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 great.
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) Drafting RB in Round 1 is a poor allocation of resources. For every Adrian Peterson there are a slew of R1 picks that have not worked out in recent years for a host of reasons. Platooning, the shortest career span of any position on the field (3 yrs), A PASSING LEAGUE… drafting almost any other position is going to yield a better result.
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) The Fran Tarkenton Rule– “If you want to keep points off the board and keep people from lighting you up for 300 and 400, 500 yards, you’ve got to be willing to go and have sound fundamental blitzes with 5, 6, 7 and even 8 people coming!”
27) Drafting dominant interior Offensive Linemen/Tight End in the middle to the end of Round 1 is a strong value proposition.
28) Use the Tight End in the red zone.
29) Defense wins championships.