The Jets tweeted a thing. A thing that probably shouldn’t have stirred up as much conversation as it did, but in the age of Twitter, small things — like a crazed defensive coordinator spouting off silly cliches after mini-camp practice — being blown out of proportion is commonplace.
Ultimately, Williams’ statement is benign. This isn’t Brian Schottenheimer trying to #EstablishTheRun at all costs. It won’t affect the Jets’ defensive play-calls in any way. New York’s gameplan for New England isn’t going to be a piece a paper with “There’s no I in TEAM” hastily scribbled on it. Had Bill Belichick or Pete Carroll or Sean McVay said this, we may have collectively rolled our eyes but the tweet would have been largely ignored.
It means nothing.
The problem with the message starts and ends with the messenger. If you don’t know Gregg Williams’ history, he’s the guy behind the Bountygate scandal in New Orleans. He once told his team “kill the head and the body will die,” and, based on the rest that speech, I don’t think he was speaking in metaphor. Whether “kill the head” falls under the category of culture or strategy is beyond me. You’ll have to ask him.
Here’s what Williams had to say about the whole “culture >>> strategy” thing:
“The reason I keep getting hired is culture,” Williams said. “Culture beats strategy any day of the week. It’s about how you find ways yourself to be tougher, how you find ways to play harder, play smarter for longer than any opponent you go against. All the scheme is, is a way to surround the ball, surround the formation. Then it’s find ball, see ball, get ball. But it comes from an attitude. It comes from a personal understanding of what it takes to play this game at this level at the highest level.”
Well, then, why do you keep getting fired, Gregg? Why has it been nearly a decade since you coached in a playoff game?
Williams’ lack of success or inability to hold a job isn’t proof that culture doesn’t matter. It does. Rather, it’s proof that culture is just one piece of a very large, complicated puzzle. Winning is hard, especially for Gregg, because there is no magic formula. Culture is not enough. Strategy is not enough. Culture AND strategy don’t matter without the proper personnel. And, really, those two things go hand-in-hand. Getting players to buy into a scheme is important, and that probably falls under the culture umbrella, but if the scheme isn’t sound, it doesn’t matter if the players are psyched to play in it. And even if the scheme is great and the culture is there, none of it matters if the players aren’t good.
I’ve already spent too much time discussing this ridiculous topic. There is no way to quantify culture — we can barely quantify scheme and that’s something we can actually define — which makes any comparison, well, pointless.
Culture matters. Scheme probably matters more but there’s no way of actually proving it. One thing I’m sure of: If I ran a football team in 2019, I wouldn’t want Gregg Williams in charge of building either for my team.
Latest from Italy on Moise Kean buyback situation: Everton have stuck to their plan
Tuesday July 30, 2019
Moise Kean to Everton is the story of the day and may end up being one of the best transfer deals of the summer. Everton have been hunting for a replacement for Romelu Lukaku for the best part of two years and capturing the 19-year-old represents that. For much of the window, it appeared they […]
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