What Cooley wants in a Redskins coach

December 30, 2013

(Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Several hours before Bruce Allen’s afternoon press conference — in which he said former head coaches, NFL coordinators, and college head coaches would all be considered during the search for Mike Shanahan’s replacement — former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley talked about his preferences for the opening.

No, he didn’t name a single name. But he had certain views on organizational priorities.

“My opinion is that you find a personnel guy, and you find a group of people that can bring in the right players first, and then you find a head coach that’s a manager,” Cooley said on ESPN 980 with Scott Jackson. “You’ve got to have a guy that can sync everyone together; you’ve got to have a guy that can take in everything. I hate a guy that just says this is my system, and I believe in it, and I’m gonna die by it. I want a guy that can evolve, I want a guy that can adapt, I want a guy that understands players….

“You need a guy to manage everything,” Cooley continued. “You need a guy as a head coach that can manage your staff, can manage your OC, that can manage the clock. Your head coach is a manager. I mean, he is. He’s a baseball manager. Most don’t install plays, most don’t call plays. They shouldn’t; the good ones don’t have to do that….

“I don’t care who the head coach is; I want a guy that’s able to manage people,” Cooley said still later. “I want a guy that’s able to understand people. I’m gonna get a damn good football guy for my offensive coordinator. He’s gonna be an offensive guy. He’s gonna be able to coach that quarterback. He’ll bring in the right people to surround him.

“But as a head coach, I need a manager. I need a guy that can deal with the media. I need a guy that can squash the problems. I need a guy who’s able to be honest with his players, to truly have an open-door policy like Joe Gibbs had, where you say if you want to talk about something, I WILL be honest with you. Mike tried to do that with his players, and that’s what the head coach HAS to do. Because you’re dealing with 50 20-35 year old men, all of them making over 500 grand.  You’ve got to be honest with ‘em. You can’t call ‘em in and flim-flam them around. I want a guy that has a policy that says, let’s take care of stuff.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Sarah Kogod · December 30, 2013

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