I previously posited a theory about how a quarterback must look like a quarterback in order to be good at that position. There is a certain confidence that they must instill in the men around them, and physical appearance is a part of that. This was part of my argument as to why Colt McCoy shouldn’t start.
I’d now like to add a wrinkle that I can’t believe didn’t spring to mind earlier, but is clear as day: Pat Shurmur does not look like a leader.
I don’t believe that one needs to look like a winner to be a good football coach, but it helps. Winning coaches who don’t look like leaders exist but they really did it in spite of their looks. Tom Coughlin jumps to mind, as do Sean Payton and Jimmy Johnson. These are guys who you now think are coach-looking guys because they’ve been so successful. Shurmur…not as much.
There is an intangible quality that those other guys have. You’ve seen Tom Coughlin and his bright red, screaming face. You’ve seen Sean Payton and his tiny-mouth-of-calm-
I don’t know if he’s ever going to be a good coach. I do know that it’s easier to play for a guy who instills confidence. I just wonder if there’s something he could have done. Imagine, maybe, that he became a ballsy coach instead of a passive one. Maybe from the outset he made a habit of going for it on 4th-and-short (I know, that’s a serious stretch of the imagination). This would be the kind of thing that, while it’d definitely bite the team in the ass now and then, would make me think, “Okay, maybe it’s ill-advised, but this dude is confident. Alright, let’s do this.”
Instead, fans get the feeling that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, because he was on the losing end of a series of punnett squares.
So that’s it. I’m done with him. We all know he’s canned after the season, so he’ll probably coach the Browns to a few surprise wins down the stretch to really piss everyone off and confuse the issue. But if he does, it’s a lost cause of confidence.
Jerry Rice used to say, “Look good, play good.” He mostly seemed to be referring to the cleanliness of his jersey and whatnot, but he also became completely ineffective when he stopped shaving his head and did balding corn rows in his hair.
Looks matter if you want to be the best. You don’t have to be pretty, you just need to belong.
Get a makeover, Pat.