Jason Whitlock explains why NFL teams should be cautious about hiring Patriots assistants

Video Details

Ray Lewis and Kristine Leahy join Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock to discuss the lack of success enjoyed by former Patriots assistants as head coaches.

COLIN COWHERD: Whitlock, should teams be leery of hiring Belichick assistants?

JASON WHITLOCK: 1,000%. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. We see what happens with Belichick assistants when they go off on their own. It's like Sampson losing his hair, or me losing a Chicken McNugget. I'm a different person.

And so, I just don't-- if I'm the Giants, and I could have virtually any coach I wanted probably, other than Belichick or Nick Saban, or, you know, guys that can call their own shot, why are you going to the tree that doesn't produce great fruit? It doesn't make sense to me.

- Well, one of the things I learned as a kid-- because I saw it happen to the universities I loved-- proximity to brilliance doesn't equal brilliance. I mean, we've all seen like Bill Clinton, and then you see his brother. And he's not quite Bill Clinton. We've seen this before with our presidents and our top minds, is the brother, the sister isn't what you think.

And, I mean, I look at it and football's-- there's a lot of decisions in football. Not just like the game plan and film, but operations and running a franchise. When you're a head coach, you've got take care everything.

Let's say there are 60 decisions a day for a head football coach. Let's say there's 30 for a coordinator. All it takes is to make the wrong decision twice a day, that's times seven-- 14 a week, times four-- 48 bad decisions a month. Over the course of a year, it's 600 decisions, right? So my point being is--

JASON WHITLOCK: It's 64, but continue.

COLIN COWHERD: Yeah, my math is crappy.


But the point is, once you have to make all those decisions as head coach, only takes a couple of bad decisions a day, and it becomes 600 bad decisions a year. And Ben McAdoo suddenly, after about a year of them, he doesn't know what he's doing.

- A bunch of coaches are great coaches. But there's not too many alphas. Bill Belichick is an alpha, right? And so when you start to come away from that, and you leave there, you try to go to these different places, and you tried to make this thing work like Belichick once made it work. But you're not Belichick.

And that's probably where-- and I've watched not only guys come from Belichick, up under him, but guys that leaves other great minds. That when they go other places, it's never the same.

Players are the same thing. You can have a player up on the great players, but when they go elsewhere it's just not the same. And that's because it takes a certain type of alpha to run the Patriots program like Bill Belichick runs the Patriots program.

- It's a combination of that, and that that type of alpha also has to have control. And the only way that you can have control is if the people underneath you are not as valuable. You almost have to de-value them, or make sure that they're not as important so that they're relying so heavily on you that you know that you have control over them.

- That's an interesting point, but I'm not 1,000% sure I agree, because--

- He would never hire someone that could threaten him, or who would challenge him.

- Bill Parcells hired Belichick.

- There's an exception.

- And, you know, we've seen guys come off of Tony Dungy's tree.

COLIN COWHERD: Nick Sadan's hired--

- Or guys coming off of Bill Walsh's tree, or guys coming of-- we see-- I'm not refuting your point, because it's fascinating, I really need to think about it, but you know that may be a flaw in the Belichick system or scheme that others don't have.

- That's what might be the flaw.

- But he has to make sure--

- That might be the flaw of the Patriots.

- He has to make sure that he is more important to them than they are to him.

- Couldn't I argue that all of Belichick's assistants, they just don't have Tom Brady. How good was Belichick without Tom Brady?

- No, no, no, I'm going to go a bit, because look. Bill Parcells, Bill Parcells didn't win any Super Bowls without Belichick. Belichick's been great every place except for Cleveland. And again, I'm not diminishing Tom Brady. But Bill Belichick is a great coach. And I think the evidence of it is how his assistants struggle.

- There's a difference between great and having to have control. I think you can be a great coach without being a control freak.

- That's very true, and that's why I go back to the-- listen, that's why I keep going to the alpha thing, because you have to-- there are certain personalities that can run teams, and have success running teams. Right, there's guys who are organizers, that can come in there and, hey, give great rah, rah, rah speeches. And they're good with paperwork.

And then there's football coaches like Bill Belichick. And it's hard to follow that.

- Here's what I would say, and I really like your point, but I think sometimes you don't develop fully when you're working with greatness because Belichick makes it so easy.

If the head coach comes in and provides all the answers, or a lot of the answers-- I saw it, Marty Schottenheimer was an excellent football coach, an excellent football coach. And he had an assistant named Gunther Cunningham that worked as a defensive coordinator for him that was great when Marty was there overseeing what he was doing and helping him. Once Gunther got out kind of on his own, without Marty or whatever-- and so when someone else again--

We had a little funny thing comparing this to the Jackson 5. Tito, Marlon, everybody sounded good when Michael was out there. And Michael made it easy, he was so entertaining.

COLIN COWHERD: Well, you know, in the corpor-- yes, the corporate world. We've all worked in the corporate world. Certainly, Jason you and Christine and I have, Ray you were playing football, but that's corporation. In the corporate world, you often elevate-- the best salesperson gets elevated to management.

But what makes a great salesman doesn't necessarily make a great manager. Salesmen are energy, high-five, steak tonight, drinks with you, hanging out. On manager, I need a grown up who goes to bed early.

So sometimes what makes a great coordinator-- a crazy intense guy that can relate to Ray Lewis-- he gets the head job and Ray's--

- And it's not the same.

- It's not the same thing. I've got to relate to everybody, not just Ray.

- Absolutely, 100%.