It was a typical Monday afternoon for Joe Gibbs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On one side of the field, the NFL’s head coaches had just finished a game against the Dallas Cowboys, and Gibbs was taking notes.
On the other side of that field, there was a young man in his early 20s.
The Buccaneers were trailing 17-7.
Gibbs was standing in his parking lot, trying to keep up with the game and take notes.
He looked up at the young man and said, “Hey, what you doin’ here?”
The young man turned to Gibbs and said: “Coach, you’ve got to tell me if I can’t come here and practice tomorrow.
I have to tell you, you’re not doing it right.”
Gibbs looked at him, shook his head and said no.
He said, If I can only get this kid to understand that I’m not trying to bully him, that’s the best thing that I can do.
“Gibbs walked away.
After the game, Gibbs took a few minutes out of his day and said to his assistants, “I’m going to give them a lesson on fearlessness.”
He told them he was scared of what he saw in the young coach.
And then he walked back to the car and drove off.
The NFL, and its players, have long struggled with the idea of being feared.
This week, the commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell, acknowledged that coaches sometimes don’t have the confidence to tell their players when they are not 100 percent.
“I think coaches are sometimes afraid to speak up. “
There’s no excuse for that,” Goodell said.
“I think coaches are sometimes afraid to speak up.
There’s no reason to fear that.”
And while the NFL may be a little bit safer, the fearlessness has been lost on many coaches.
This is a big change in the way the league operates.
When the Cowboys were on the verge of winning the Super Bowl, the coach of the team, Jason Garrett, was fired after he said he wouldn’t coach the team to victory.
(He later apologized.)
When the Jets were playing the Cardinals, the head coach, Todd Bowles, had to be separated from his team after he had to sit out the entire game.
And when the Seahawks were playing Seattle on Sunday, Seattle’s head coach said that he didn’t want to play the game because he had a fear of the rain.
The fearlessness of these coaches, this lack of self-awareness, is not just a problem for players, it’s a problem of coaches.
“The fearlessness is the most important part of being a coach,” said Kevin Sherrer, who coached defensive backs for six years at Michigan and was the defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia.
“It means, for example, that a player won’t take a knee during the national anthem.
“So the fear is real. “
The coaches don’t feel like they’re doing anything. “
So the fear is real.
And it’s also why I think the league needs to get rid of fear. “
That’s why I don’t think coaches should have to worry about it.
And it’s also why I think the league needs to get rid of fear.
The only way to have fearlessness in the NFL is to stop the fear.
But you can’t stop the coaches from feeling it, either.”
This fearlessness comes from the players themselves.
According to a survey by ESPN, 59 percent of the players surveyed said they have a negative experience with their coach during a game.
But they’re not alone.
According the survey, more than two-thirds of players say that their coach has been disrespectful to them.
One coach said he feels like a “disgusting, disgusting human being” who “doesn’t deserve to be on the field.”
Some coaches don.
The biggest problem, of course, is the fear of what will happen to the players.
“When you look at all the guys who have been injured, and you look back on what they did on the sidelines, it has been the same thing,” Sherrer said.
I mean, they’re trying to play, and they’re out there trying to do their jobs.
They’re not trying, “It’s going to be a game.”
That’s not the way it was in the 1970s.
Players had an NFL game on TV every week.
In the late ’80s, when the NFL was a new business, it was all about the television business.
The league was growing so fast that the league had to go to the owners and say, “This is not going to work.
We have to change the game.”
They said, ‘We’re going to have a team on