III – Communication is the defensive coordinator’s cornerstone
The third fresh take away is the level of commitment by new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley to communication. Communication is more that direction. Communication is more than a monologue. It’s more than an occasional motivational speech. Communication implies the two-way exchange of ideas and information, and that is what Staley emphasizes on his defense.
Coaching is not simply drawing X’s and O’s on a chalkboard, blowing a whistle, and watching players blindly execute the play as designed. While that may be the most effective way for a rookie or player with little field experience, it certainly is not the recommended approach for a veteran like defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
So what’s the big deal? Communicate for crying out loud, right? Well, it’s a big deal for the Rams, whose ranks are filled with so many late draft and undrafted prospects. Filled with young raw players, eager and in need of coaching up to the NFL level.
That’s not a natural ability for most coaches. But Brandon Staley sees that as one of his primary roles. Opening his book of wisdom, experience, and personal life trials for young players to benefit from. That openness helps the team on many levels. It creates a positive flow of information from the experienced to the apprentice. Yet, it offers even more benefits when the information must flow the other way to troubleshoot or reassess plans. Open communication gives young minds equal footing with sage veterans to pose questions, give input, and create their stake in the outcomes of their defense’s success.