NFL's 'Name That Head Coach' Game: Napoleon Bonaparte, Bill Belichick and...?

John B. HaffordContributor INovember 23, 2010

I want to play a little guessing game.  I will give you a rundown of one active coach’s life and philosophy/mannerisms and then you can see if you get the right answer, so to speak.  Here we go:

This active coach grew up actually studying football as a hobby.  Sometimes he studied alone, but most of the time he spent studying with his NFL scouting father.  There was a big field next to his house where he and other kids would play.  That same field would be used by professional players his father was signing to the team he represented.  This made it possible for this currently active coach to experience the game on a professional level first hand at a young age.  He was later on an active and talented athlete at a prestigious university. 

In the NFL, the team he played for won two super bowls with him, but he was not a starter.  In the time that he played for this team, he was mentored by one of the NFL’s, and College’s, all-time greatest coaches.  He retired from playing and became a coach.  He got his head-coaching job by succeeding a defensive-minded head-coach.  On a personal note, he keeps his answers short and to the point with the press and has a very business-like PR approach.

Who is this currently active head-coach?

 Are you thinking Bill Belichick?  You would be right…sort of.  The man I am speaking of is Jason Garrett.  And people wonder how the hell he changed the culture in Dallas so bloody fast.  It’s simple: Garrett is cut from the same cloth as Belichick who, in turn, is cut from the same cloth as Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Precision, precision, precision.  That’s what it boils down to for Garret: be precisely prepared, be precisely on time, and be precisely dressed to code.  That’s what it is all about for Belichick and that is what it was all about for Napoleon. 

Napoleon’s approach was to drill until his men couldn’t drill any more.  He laid his plans out clearly and took a “no-huddle” approach.  There were few commanders under him whom he implicitly trusted to carry out their missions and to those commanders he gave the most responsibility. 

The same can be said of Belichick’s relationship to Tom Brady and Wes Welker.  The same is going to be said of the relationship between Garrett, Kitna, Bryant, Romo and the rest of the coaching staff and many other players.  Garret will expect everyone to be precise, to be great.  Napoleon accepted nothing less than greatness from his commanders and men.  Belichick accepts nothing less than greatness from Brady, Welker, and the rest of the Patriots.  Garrett has ordered his Dallas Cowboys to be great in everything they do, from practice, to playing, to dressing. 

With his mind-blowing head-coaching debut against the Giants, he is showing the nation and the world that he will accept nothing less than greatness.  The only thing better than that is his team not accepting anything less than greatness in their games.

In a nutshell, because of this swift and monumental “culture change” in Dallas, the remaining games might as well be considered trap games for the Cowboy’s opponents down the stretch.  Why?  New coach, new game plans, new drills, and new intensity. 

It is my feeling that, because of Garrett’s attention to film and detail and his Napoleon-like command style, the Cowboys will make their remaining opponents pay dearly for even considering stepping onto the field.  In short, my prediction for the season is 8-8, maybe 9-7 and Garrett keeps his job for the next five years, at least.