Regeln sind da um gecoacht zu werden

Auf Pressekonferenzen mit Bill Belichick können dir die Füße einschlafen. Belichick versteht es wie kein Zweiter, unliebsamen Fragen durch Ignoranz auszuweichen. Das hat ihm den Ruf eingebracht, nicht der umgänglichste Mensch unter der Sonne zu sein. Dass es den anderen Belichick auch noch gibt, bewies der Mann, als er am Dienstag auf die Frage einging – Coach, wie bringst du deinen Spielern das Regelwerk der NFL bei? Belichicks Antwort sei hier ungekürzt abgedruckt:

I think it’s a really good question, but it would entail probably a pretty lengthy answer. There are so many different levels that that question encompasses. Let’s start with rookies coming into the league. The first thing we do is teach them the rules in the National Football League and in particular make them aware of the changes between the college rules and the pro rules, which there are a significant number.

And we don’t really assume because we have no way of knowing how educated or uneducated they are on the rules, if they even are the same between the two – between college and professional football. So, it starts there.

The NFL comes in and they go through all the rules changes with the team and the coaching staff, they meet with the coaching staff in the spring, which is a very informative meeting, and then they meet with the team in training camp and go through the rules changes and it’s usually done during the time when the officials come to work the few days of training camp that they do for each team.

So, that’s also good. It creates a good dialogue between the officials, the players and the coaches, and gives coaches and players an opportunity to ask questions. Sometimes the dialogue goes back and forth – how’s this being coached, how’s this being officiated and so forth. All of that is done with the intention of trying to get everybody on the same page.

Each of our position coaches devotes a significant amount of time in the spring and then also in training camp, particularly in individual, one-on-one-type drills where a lot of times there are only two or three guys on the screen instead of all 22 so you can really get a good, close-up look at a lot of rules like that – the holding and illegal contact and offensive pass interference, defensive pass interference – all those kinds of things.

So that’s covered very much on an individual basis, specifically to that position. Obviously, the offensive guard doesn’t have to know everything about pass interference and vice versa, but it’s important for them to know the things in their position and how the game is being officiated. And then those things are also pointed out in various other team or individual settings as they become pertinent over the course of the year, whether it be a particular play or particular opponent or that type of thing.

And then I talk to the team on a regular basis on situational plays, which involve officiating, timing, utilization of timeouts and so forth and so on, so that’s probably on a regular basis from training camp all the way through the end of the season – call it once a week or something like that – somewhere in that vicinity. Sometimes it’s more than that, but always trying to keep our team aware of situations, and a lot of times we change the situation a little bit just to extend the conversation about a play.

So this is what happened, but if something else or if they hadn’t had timeouts or if the ball was here, or the ball was there, just try to understand and comprehend totally what we’re doing from a team standpoint or an individual situation. The whole sideline, ball security, whistle, all those kind of ball possession plays, those are very important for everybody to understand and we stress those a lot. Any time the ball is loose, like it was in last night’s game, try to make sure everybody understands what they can do, what they can’t do.

And of course once you get into the kicking game, you can multiply everything that happens on offense and defense exponentially because you not only have the possession plays, but then you have all the plays that happen when the ball is kicked, and those rules sometimes are, well they are different than plays of possession like a runner or a receiver or a returner who’s carrying the ball.

There is the whole handling of the ball and the kick and did it cross the line of scrimmage and so forth and so on. It’s a lot for the officials to understand, it’s a lot for the coaches to understand, and it’s a lot for the players to understand. But in the end we try to look at the rule book as a useful tool, something that can benefit us if we know what we have to work with, how to make the best of a situation based on the way the rules are written and try to maximize our opportunities there.

But that being said, there is still a lot happening in a short amount of time. It’s challenging for all of us – players, coaches and officials. I don’t know if that really answers your question. We could probably talk about that one for weeks.

H/T Ben Volin

Belichick ist so anders als alle anderen Coaches. Interaktion mit Belichick ist wie Kaffeemaschine: Kommt Scheiße rein, kommt Scheiße raus. Aber wehe, du gibst dem Mann ein sinnvolles Thema. Er ist ein absoluter Footballfanatiker, und es ist beileibe nicht das erste Mal, dass der Coach aufblüht. Bei allen Vorwürfen von wegen Ausloten der Grenzen ist und war Belichick immer ein Mann, der über ein phänomenales Wissen über seinen Sport und die Historie seines Sports weiß – und der über viel Hochachtung der Urväter des Sports besitzt.

Belichick mag als Belicheat verschrien sein. Aber er besitzt auch Hochachtung vor den Regeln des Spiels – denn kein Coach verwendet so viel Zeit dafür, das Regelwerk und dessen Auslegung den Seinigen einzuimpfen.


Für mehr Belichick siehe: Ode an Bill Belichick.

3 thoughts on “Regeln sind da um gecoacht zu werden

  1. Und weiter:

    Frage:

    Q: Why are the first 15 plays such a big deal as far as how the game might go?

    Belichick:

    BB: Well, I think it depends on the game. I don’t think that’s necessarily true every week. I think some weeks it’s true, some weeks it isn’t. It just depends on the way that team tries to approach it. Some teams have a game plan, whether it be on offense or defense, and they kind of start out playing that game plan, like Dallas did. You could see that game plan the first series. Halftime adjustments, I mean that’s ridiculous. Why wait till halftime?

    There it is. The first series of plays you can see what they’re going to do, so you better start dealing with it. There are other teams that maybe anticipate that you’re going to play a certain way and they script the plays, and a lot of times the scripts are to break their tendencies like, OK we’ve done this so we’re going to start the game and show this but do that. We want to get the ball to this guy because we want to try to get him going, so we’re going to put this play in. So maybe those first few plays are just how they want to start the game. Maybe that’s not really the game plan at all. Maybe that’s just they want to break their tendencies, they want to show you something, they want to throw a deep pass to back the corner off so they can throw in front of him. They want to throw a quick pass to get the corner up so they can throw behind – I mean whatever.

    So sometimes those plays are significant in terms of, OK here’s the way it looks like they’re going to play us. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes a team will come out and play zone coverages the first few plays to see what kind of formations you’re using, see kind of how you’re trying to attack them offensively, and then once the game gets going, then OK, here they are, let’s go after them – that type of thing. It doesn’t always declare that way.

    A lot of times those first few plays are just a little bit of mirage. You’ve got to be careful about this is what it’s going to be when really that’s not what it is at all. That’s just the way they want to start the game. That’s not really the way they want to play the game. I don’t think there is any set book on that.

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