I wonder why Jon Gruden

does not have his little pen drawing circles under players feet and the vision display he used to use to show how great a coach he is. Oh, wait, he did that after the fact which I could have done. He may in fact be a very good coach but I am glad to see the Raiders fall flat as his decisions so far look sad.

I think almost any coach at the NFL level could have drawn those plays and done that show. I do know that all of the offensive coordinators could do that. Of course, it is still about the Jimmys and the Joes.

I can tell you that there was a time in my sports writing career that I was convinced that Barry Switzer was the smartest coach in the world of college football. I was also convinced that Jimmy Johnson was not near the coach that Switzer was.

Well, I was watching Barry operate at Oklahoma in the peak of his recruiting prowess. And, Jimmy was at Oklahoma State where the talent was not nearly as good, most notably in the offensive and defensive lines. Both teams had good backs, but Oklahoma had GREAT linemen on both sides of the ball.

It was proven over time that Jimmy was just as good (or better) than Switzer. In fact, Jimmy was one of the best of all-time. I sure couldn’t see that during his time at Oklahoma State. There were times when they tried things that fell flat and that’s on offense and defense.

When Jimmy got to Miami almost all of the same stuff worked brilliantly. It was the same coaches because his staff pretty much stayed intact. All of a sudden, Jimmy had the same type talent that Switzer had put on the field, and often better. Oh, did his teams play well.

Jimmy’s teams at Oklahoma State featured some great offensive talent, but they were just so-so on defense with some notable exceptions. Leslie O’Neal from Little Rock Hall was an exception. He was a true phenom at defensive tackle. But most of the time, Jimmy didn’t have top defensive talent at OSU and they couldn’t stop teams like Oklahoma and Nebraska. When he got to Miami, the defensive talent made a huge leap and his teams suddenly looked like NFL teams. Well, they had NFL talent.

I learned in those years that there are lots of great coaches, but the ones who win at the highest level are the ones who get the best players. I am convinced that you don’t out scheme too many teams at the Power 5 level. All of those teams have good coaches. Some just have better players than the others.

I remember being disappointed when O"Neal did not sign with Arkansas and a tight end, I forget the name, went to Oklahoma, or Oklahoma State. I surely agree with your premise that to be a great coach you have to have talent on the field.

No doubt. And that is what “Chucky” is doing. Cleaning house w a complete rebuild in process. Raiders are way under the cap and have three 1st round picks for 2019. He pretty much has total control of his roster, won’t be any excuses if he doesn’t win. We’ll see.

This is so true. It’s one reason it’s easy to get down on our situation (bc we don’t have a ready made recruit base).

It’s even true of the now-deified Saban. He was very good before he got to Bama, but he was nothing like he is now (even at LSU). He won the NC at LSU, but his other years their were pretty pedestrian by modern LSU standards.

In those other seasons he was 8-4, 10-3, 8-5 and 9-3.

At MSU he was 34-24. There were some who grumbled when LSU hired him. He was 3-2 vs us (and HDN) at LSU.

Obviously he was good but his move to Bama has been the ultimate right time/right place for him and Bama.