New NFL GM’s – What’s your first month, first quarter plan?

Every destination has its own journey and nothing could be more true than the rebuilding of an NFL franchise.  Today’s sports environment demands immediate action; from the fans, from the media, from the ownership.  Coaches feel this pressure more than anyone, results are measured by wins & losses, not necessarily the development of an atmosphere and culture to build a successful record.  That’s often times put on the shoulders of the General Manager and his selection of who that head coach might be to assist him with building a winning organization is often priority number one.

Initial Preparations

The last few posts I’ve looked at what both Reggie McKenzie and Ryan Grigson might focus on as new NFL General Managers over their initial press conference, first day on the job and into their first week.  But short term priorities shouldn’t be their primary concern, it’s the long term plans they implement over the next month and quarter that will lay a foundation for a culture of successful change within both the Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts.  Without a well thought out road map, the pressures of that immediate gratification, demanded by the outside interests clamoring for instant results, can quickly lead everyone off track.

Over the Long Haul

Both of these first time NFL General Managers would be wise to have already thought through this journey, set their compass and headed out with the necessary supplies/resources to get to where they hope to go.  Is it really any wonder that the New England Patriots and the New York Giants are headed to Lucas Oil Field for Super Bowl XVLI?

Take a look at some of the clubs in the NFL and their own journeys over the past ten, twenty and heck, even thirty years.  It’s safe to say that many are “lost on a road to nowhere”.  McKenzie and Grigson must find a way to clarify the journey for their new teams, and do it in a manner that is understood by everyone.  Only then will they be able to lead their clubs down a consistent and stable path to success.

First Month

Implement Personnel Plan

  • Free Agency & Draft Prep – Logistics for FA contact & visits, Review & implement INDY plans, Review & implement draft meetings
  • Prep & execution of meetings
  • Conduct  Cap & Cash Reviews – Current contracts & offseason plan

Review Department Inventories

  • Establish plans & procedures with Directors – Via review of their own written assessments

First Quarter


  • Roster Evaluation & upgrade via FA & Draft – Draft evaluations, meetings & draft day procedures, Free Agent recruiting, visits & signings
  • Begin implementation of new program for ‘12 season – College; plans & procedures, grading, reports, timeline, etc…, Pro; plans & procedures, grading, reports, timeline, workouts , etc…, Weekly Reports; waivers, tryouts, emergency lists, etc…
  • Salary Cap tracking; daily, yearly, League & Team comparisons, who responsible for what
  • Evaluate Scouts, Personnel Assist’s through FA & Draft Process – Renew or release

Football Operations

  • Evaluate current ops & implement new plans; video, equipment, operations, trainers, turf, etc…

 Salary Cap

  • Establish cash & cap budgets.
  • Finalize & implement entry plan for ’12


  • Meet with key veteran leaders for support & feedback

Coaches (New)

  • Have coaching staff finalized and on track for preparation of mini camps & OTA’s
  • Ensure that staff has relocation concerns taken care of & in order
  • Ensure that staff has any and all I.T. requirements finalized or in process

Is your own club “lost on a road to nowhere”, or do they have a road map to success?

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