What I watched today made my stomach turn! The game between the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks had to be an example of one of the worst coaching decisions I have ever witnessed! It was risky enough to play RG 3 the past few weeks in the first place. However, when he initially re-injured his knee in this game, the coach should have pulled him.

It is up to the coach to make decisions that are in the best interest of the player as well as the team. What you want is a player that begs to stay in the game because then you know you have a player who is willing to compete at all costs. This does not mean you allow him to! Would you let your kids play in traffic just because they said they could do it without getting hit by a car?

The Redskins had a capable back-up who had already won two games for them. RG 3 was 60% healthy at best. I don’t care if he is a first ballot Hall of Fame player, if he’s 60% he will never be as good as the guy who is 100%. Defenses will go in for the kill when there is a player who is obviously not at his best just like lions that will always pick out an obviously injured gazelle. Additionally, what type of message does that send to your team when you keep a guy in the game who is not even close to 100%? Is it because you didn’t trust your back-up due to the fact that he was a rookie?  If that was the case, the Redskins should have had a veteran back-up.

Quarterbacking starts with the feet. If the QB’s back leg has a lateral collateral injury, he will never be able to push off of that leg and transfer his weight to his front leg when throwing the ball. This affects accuracy and RG 3 was as inaccurate in this game as any game he has played in. If an NFL head coach can’t see that then I have to ask myself if he is capable of making proper decisions that are in the best interest of his players?

There is a reason why we say “it’s all about the kids” here at My Football Mentor.

In the press conference following the game, Mike Shanahan indicated that as he get’s to know his Quarterback better it will be easier for him to make decisions as to whether to keep him in the game or not. To me, that is one of the most pathetic excuses I’ve ever heard! Watching the game from my couch, never having met or ever spoken to RG 3, it was easy for me to see that he should not have been in the game after re-injuring his leg and I don’t get paid $5,000,000 a year to figure that out!  Great coaches will know the hot buttons or personality of a player within a matter of a few weeks much less an entire season!

The head coach is 100% responsible for the outcome of a game like this based on a very bad coaching decision in my estimation. If it turns out that RG 3 has more damage in his leg then the head coach is responsible for that as well. Why is this the case and why would I not blame the QB who said he could play and wanted to remain in the game? Because the buck stops with the head coach and he is hired to make these decisions.

I can guarantee you that, even if Cousins had been inserted when he should have been, and they lost the game anyway, the coach would have garnered a tremendous amount of respect from his players for protecting the best interest of his star player and giving the team the best chance to win. From that point forward, the players would know that they have a coach that has their best interests in mind.  That is the type of coach that players will play their hardest for!

So, coaches, understand that everything is about the players! Show that you care for their best interests. If you take this approach to coaching your players will do anything to win for you! As a coach you are a parent for your players. Don’t let them play in traffic just because they say they can!

Coach Van Tassel

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