Today’s NFL GM – One and done?

TGC one and done as NFL GM

The NFL offseason is upon us and focus now shifts towards the front office executives in charge of rebuilding their rosters in hopes of dethroning the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.  Much has been said about the job that GM John Schneider has done in building the Seahawks into professional football’s powerhouse with his craft use of the draft and free agency. The Future is NOW The past two seasons have also seen rookie GM’s … [Read more...]

Not a lot of shades of gray for Panthers’ GM Dave Gettleman

TGC Dave Gettleman

The more things change the more they stay the same.  I worked with Panthers' GM Dave Gettleman for a number of years in the Denver Broncos organization, both as a peer and a supervisor.  Gettleman came to Denver when Bob Ferguson was named Director of Player Personnel under the Wade Phillips regime.  Ferguson and Gettleman had worked together under Bill Polian in Buffalo putting together perhaps the greatest run of success with nothing to show … [Read more...]

Sports Negotiations – Contentious conundrum of NFL contracts

TGC sports negotiations

I was never formally trained in the art of negotiation prior to becoming a general manager in the National Football League.  There was really nothing in my professional background or experience that might lead you to believe that I would ever be successful in selling a roster opportunity in exchange for multi-millionaire dollar deal.  Most might argue that this responsibility would be best left up to attorneys, wise in the ways of spinning … [Read more...]

NFL Rule Changes – Some habits are hard to break

TGC Crown of the helmet rule

In an effort to reduce the number of head injuries that occur on the field, NFL owners approved a new rule this week that will penalize players for striking opponents with the crown of their helmets. The rule will prohibit runners and defenders from lowering their heads and hitting with their helmets when outside of the tackle box — the area of the field between the two offensive tackles. Such hits will result in a 15-yard penalty from the spot … [Read more...]

NFL Draft Preparation – “Failure to plan is planning to fail”

TGC Failure to plan is planning to fail

How many scenarios are accounted for in NFL draft preparation to ensure a team is well prepared in the event that a highly rated player, one who has been targeted as the team's top prospect, is selected just before they are on the clock? The Football Educator thought this was a rather intriguing question and one that deserved a closer look as we continue to dissect the various aspects of draft preparation. If there's a positive One positive … [Read more...]

NFL Player Personnel – The Balance of Power

TGC Balance of Power

One by one they parade up to the podium at Lucas Oil Field; General Managers and Head Coaches.  Some look a bit grizzled for the many long seasons that put the wrinkles and gray hairs in place, others look as if they just crossed the stage at their high school graduation. Fresh starts Each tries to put on a fresh face of positive enthusiasm, answering any and all questions with the vaguest of vagueness and happy at the moment for being … [Read more...]

NFL Draft Preparation – Best value vs Team needs

TGC Tight Rope Walker

There are numerous avenues a General Manager can take when piecing together an NFL roster.  Veteran free agency is a quick fix system that usually requires a substantial investment on the club’s part and can lead to fiscal disaster if your evaluation is errant.   Most argue the prudent route to take is through the NFL Draft; selecting young talent and then developing within your own organizational structure.  That’s hard to argue with.  Certainly … [Read more...]

NFL Draft Preparation – 5 Points for GM’s & Head Coaches

TGC Baalke and Harbaugh

I recently received a great question via Twitter asking how to handle the Head Coach – General Manager dynamic in the War Room during the annual NFL Draft.  It’s important to note that inherently built into this relationship is a dichotomy of thought from a short versus long term perspective. As I’ve mentioned before, coaching is responsible for the here and now.  The focus is immediately on the present; preparation, execution, results.  … [Read more...]

Pro Football Front Office Management – Finding the right fit

TGC Wrong piece of the puzzle

It was one of the worst parts of my job as General Manager of the Denver Broncos.  I’d call down to Player Personnel and ask one of the guys to go to the locker room and summon a player up to my office.  There were normally two reasons why players ever came to see me; to sign their contract and to be told they were being released. The last piece of the puzzle. Every player that I ever added to the Broncos roster was one that I had genuinely … [Read more...]

New NFL General Managers – 6 tips for the first 30 days

TGC Bank of Microphones

Michael Kanazawa, a corporate strategy and transformation expert wrote an interesting piece a few years ago regarding getting off to a fast start in the first 100 days as a new leader.  He states, “By the end of 100 days everyone will be done sizing you up as a leader, the organization will either be on a new trajectory or settle back down in to the current track, and you will have set the stage for your next 2-3 years as a leader.” Korn … [Read more...]