Dynamics of the NFL, the draft and coaches
Recently I've been taking a bit of a look at the way teams try to gain success. What I've been able to deduce is that in order to be successful the NFL Draft really is the key.
After McKay became the GM of the tampa bay buccaneers he pretty much overhauled the team's process of drafting players. No longer, was there going to be such an emphasis on the coaches input, instead the scouts, who spent all their time studying prospects would sway the ultimate decision.
During this time McKay used his strategy of taking guys with good character and solid production (rather than upside). He took Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks with his first two picks and went on to uncover such gems as Ronde Barber, a guy who most scouts thought wouldn't go on to the fame he has. While he had his failings with guys like Kenyatta walker and a myriad of receivers his draft classes were largely solid.
When the team acquired gruden though, through the orders of Jay Glazers sons. The team managed to get over the hump and win a superbowl. Afterwards however, everything changed. Chucky was given pretty much executive control of the draft and free agency. He brought in guys like Pittman, he wanted Turley and Seau and basically didn't care about the cap problems that the team was in for.
Once he did this, he basically ran McKay out of town when he jumped ship for Atlanta.
Since this time, Tampa has had problems with the Salary Cap, has struggled to get back to the superbowl, or even the playoffs and win for that matter and has seen the team always take guys that Gruden is in love with in the draft.
Now, I'm not here to bash tampa bay, just to raise a point. With guys like Jerry Jones, Al Davis and Dan Snyder firing and hiring anyone and everyone at the drop of a hat, why don't they just look back to history and say to themselves hang on... The most successful franchises in recent years:
Philly, New England, Seattle, Carolina, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Baltimore have all built their franchises through the draft. The majority of their bread and butter players who the franchise is known for were selected by people in the scouting department who're generally allowed to pick, though often with solicited input from the coaches, who they want and who would fit.
I understand the commitment to winning, but when will these type of people realise that chasing down championships with money isn't the answer.
The key obviously has been to draft well, taking guys who can help the team later and adding through free agency players who can accentuate the talents of the draftees is the best strategy?