The term “hot seat” is usually used to describe those in positions of authority or leadership that had better start producing or may find themselves out the door. “Hot seat” should be a common descriptive term of the everyday responsibilities and obligations of an NFL General Manager. Each and every decision process or procedure you go through can crank up the fire under your organization, so you better think it through with a well thought out plan.
For new NFL General Managers Reggie McKenzie and Ryan Grigson, they’re already on the “hot seat” and may not even know it. No, they’re jobs aren’t in jeopardy at this point. But I can promise you they’re already feeling the simmering pressure of the position they’ve just recently attained. In The Football Educator’s last post, we spoke about the importance of the establishing their vision and some clear cut goals for their organizations starting with their initial press conference and first day on the job.
Now they’re both well into their first weeks as NFL General Managers and both would be well served if they have covered the following checklist;
Finish Head Coaching/Key assistants list and begin search procedures (if required)
- Finalize interview requirements, perspective, questions & key points of emphasis
- Submit interview requests
- Begin interview process
Meet with Coaching Staff (if retained)
- Establish the directive, guidelines & expectations
- Roster review (rankings) & need area
Meet with Football Operations
- Meet with Directors & departments (as group & 1 on 1) - Request inventory (written in detail); who, what ,why, how, when… of operations
Meet with Personnel Team
- Review current evaluation status; FA & Draft prep
- Begin to mesh new program with current procedures where possible
- Establish timeline for preparations, deadlines & meetings
- Lay out general plan to Personnel Team for Free Agency & Draft
Meet with Football I.T.
- Mesh new database/reports with current abilities where possible
- Request support & establish needs for upcoming personnel meetings (video & computers)
Request permission for potential hires
- Cap, College Scouting, Pro Scouting, etc…
- Others not under contract with clubs
Ryan Grigson spoke about the importance of “leadership” in his search for a head coach and wasn’t going to emphasize offensive or defensive expertise as the sole criteria for selection. The NFL General Manager should become the consummate leader for his club and can’t focus primarily on player acquisition and contract negotiation.
That’s why these initial days and weeks within the Raider and Colt organizations are so vital to making solid decisions across every facet of operations and ensuring lines of communication are open and honest. Because as the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Next The Football Educator outlines the first month and first quarter for these new NFL General Managers.