Stability Scores Super Win … Monday Cup O’Chiefs

Right down to the final play Sunday night, the outcome of Super Bowl 46 was in doubt.

Right down to the Hail Mary throw from Tom Brady’s right hand that dropped down perfectly in the end zone and got batted around enough that it should have given the Patriots a chance to grab the ball.

A diving Rob Gronkowski was a second too late, the ball fell to the ground and the New York Giants were NFL champions for the second time in five seasons.

The 21-17 victory for the G-men at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis was testimony to ability and not only in the physical ability to play the game at the highest level, but ability in other avenues as well.

Like stability. Last week amongst the millions of words that were generated by players, coaches and officials from both teams during the hype-week in Indianapolis, one spoken thought was very memorable. It came from John Mara, co-owner of the Giants. He was asked about his team’s 2011 season, where they went from 6-2 to 6-6 and again there were calls for the firing of head coach Tom Coughlin.

Mara was asked about how Giants ownership handled the situation back in November, where the football word was waiting to see if Coughlin survived. Rather than make a move, he did nothing.

“I look at the other successful franchises in this league – the Patriots, the Steelers, Green Bay, Baltimore – that’s what they have, they have stability,” Mara said. “They don’t make big changes every year. You try to get the right people in place and you try to let them do their jobs and then you try to have some sense of stability. There’s enough turnover in this league as it is and if you can keep your key people in place and have some confidence to let them do their jobs and ride out the ups and downs, then I think you have a chance to be successful. If you start making impulsive changes, I think that’s recipe for disaster. We’ve tried to avoid that.”

Are you listening Clark Hunt?

The young man that has been put in charge of the Chiefs by his family is intelligent. He’s been around the game long enough to have a good understanding of what generally works. He’s identified the Patriots Way as something he wants to emulate. He’s attached his name to the ways of the Pittsburgh Steelers and wants to be like the black and gold.

The fact is this – the ability of the Patriots to win and win often, and the Steelers history of winning and winning frequently and the pair of Super Bowls won by the Giants in the last five years, it’s all success built not on specific business plans and views on building football teams.

Those champions were built on stability.

It’s about acquiring players with ability and then pairing that talent with an able and stable coaching staff. It’s giving players and coaches a stable environment in which to grow and achieve. That takes vision and intelligence. But mostly it takes guts.

When things go wrong, the easy way out is to fire a coach. If Giants ownership had followed the Hunt way, New York would not have won a first Super Bowl, let alone the second trophy that became theirs on Sunday in Indy. They would have jettisoned Tom Coughlin and rebuilt. Maybe they would have been successful. Maybe they would have stumbled out like the Chiefs have over the last four five seasons.

It seems impossible to believe that Coughlin could have ever been in the same position as Herm Edwards or Todd Haley were in their times with the Chiefs. But he was. He had fans and media campaigning for the end to his reign in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and earlier in the 2011 season. The Giants were 6-2 and everybody was a genius. Then came a four-game losing streak, a 6-6 record, then 7-7. The view from outside the building was that Coughlin had to be fired.

Giants ownership said no. The team was allowed to work its way out of the situation. The coaching staff and roster came together, buttressed by the organization’s stable environment.

And now this week they’ll have a ticker tape parade in New York City as Super Bowl 46 champions.

11 Responses to “Stability Scores Super Win … Monday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • February 6, 2012  - Denzil says:

    Thank you, Bob. Let’s hope similar sanity is bestowed upon the Chiefs organization in the coming and following seasons.

  • February 6, 2012  - Milkman says:

    Hind sight is always 20-20. Good article, Bob. And while you make some very good points, the truth is Hunt had no choice but to make a change THIS time. It was very evident that there was an unstable relationship between Hunt’s general manager and head coach. One of them had to go. There is an arguement to be made that Hunt fired the wrong man. One of Hunt’s mentor franchises, the Pittsburgh Steelers, did just the opposite when they had the same situation and retained Bill Cowher. We all knew how that worked out. It is starting to look like Pioli is incapable of forging new successful relationships without HIS mentor. This must be why he keeps plucking fruit from that Patriot tree. Yes Bob, our team needs stability. It also needs leadership strong and smart enough to make the right decisions.

  • February 6, 2012  - johnfromfairfax says:

    This year should tell us a lot. The Chiefs are not a team without talent. We just need to practice what we preach and actually provide the stability necessary, spend the money required to acquire talent and show the guts to make some bold moves to provide the personnel and depth to continue improving. Tall orders for an owner and GM that have given us more questions than answers.

  • February 6, 2012  - RW says:

    Jr. Hunt is like a franchisee who can’t follow a tried and true formula and keeps messing with the recipes of his menu items. Until he’s gone in whatever way, the Chiefs will continue to be what they are.

  • February 6, 2012  - chewbone says:

    The Giants have the better team on paper. Overall better defense, better WR’s, better RB’s and yesterday a better QB. 30 out of 40 passes by Eli was beyond belief and several of them weren’t dink and dunks. Makes the Phillip Rivers trade for Eli look really smart!

  • February 6, 2012  - Bruce Engel says:

    The Chiefs are looking a whole lot more like the Charger way than the Patriot way. I have to wander just how smart Clark really is. He has been romanced by that idiot Pioli and is acting more like a teenage girl than the President of an NFL Team. I have said all along that the Patriot’s success had nothing to do with Pioli.

  • February 6, 2012  - Blake says:

    Bob you can continue to blame Clark and Pioli for making a change and firing Todd Haley, but if they don’t like each other and work good together it will never work. It is getting really, really old when every day you keep blaming Clark Hunt…

    I didn’t think the Super Bowl was that good, I didn’t think the commercials were very good at all, only a few that I liked. There was too many dropped passes and missed tackles to be a good game. But that is just my opinion…

  • February 6, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    But Blake, the beer was cold and the finger food was hot. If the Chiefs aren’t playing in it (we know how often that has been) that’s all that counts in a Super Bowl game. Getting rid of Haley was probably a good change but having a new OC five years in a row is not. Keep the beer cold and the finger food hot.

  • February 6, 2012  - txchief says:

    The difference in the Giants situation and the Chiefs situation this year with their coaches is enormous. Perhaps the most imporatint difference was the track record of the coaches. Coughlin has proven many times that he knows how to get the most out of his players and find ways to win games. Haley proved practically NOTHING with the Chiefs other than an inability to work with management, players and other coaches. The dramatic increase in effort the players had after Haley was dismissed is undeniable. Letting him go was the right thing to do for the franchise, players and fans. Firing Haley is just the latest excuse to bash Hunt and Pioli on this site. The next will be the “failure” to sign a certain FA/coach or draft a particular player. If those don’t work, some will criticize the particular shades of paint used to stripe the parking lot or the brand of ketchup and mustard used on the hot dogs at Arrowhead!

  • February 6, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Hey tx, a bitching fan is a happy fan. And where in the hell DID they get that ketchup?!

  • February 6, 2012  - napahank says:

    Stability is not only important, it is the KEY to success. HOWEVER…stability begins by having the “right” people brought in to begin with (coaches and players) and then doing whatever is necessary to hold on to them.

    The problem with Haley was that he and Pioli were never a match so he should never have been hired by Pioli to begin with. That was Pioli’s fault not Haley.

    Pioli has to have the skill to bring in the “right coaches” and the “right 53″ and then hold on to them for stability to occur.

    Speaking of stability, what Pioli does with Carr and Bowe will tell us a lot about his view on stability. Remember that the NE way included jettisoning a player (ex: Seymour) even if they didn’t have a superior player to replace them with.

    Vermiel’s goal was always to hold on to his own players for stability and he influenced Carl enough to get his way. His problem was that he didn’t inject draft picks into the rotation to accommodate aging players.

    Stability has to start somewhere and I hope it begins in 2012.

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