I think it is time to evaluate Gary's performance this year. We have had a little time to reflect, and the season is still fresh in our minds. I propose the following criteria to evaluate him:
1-Setting needs and priorities for the draft, and preparing for the draft
2-Developing overall game strategy. This should be a joint effort with the staff, but Gary should make the final decisions, and settle any differences of opinion.
3-Putting staff together. This would be primarily the OC and DC, and they then make recommendations for the assistants, although Gary should have some say in those hirings as well
4-Player morale and team unity. Gary should set the overall tone for this. Staff selections, and the types of players who are selected and kept on the team have an impact. Also playing into this is how he deals with injuries, salary, and how well he represents his players with the front office.
5-Non-routine game decisions. The topic of JMay's excellent series, Kubiak's Konundrums. Critical play-calls such as 4th and 1 decisions, game clock management, challenge flags, etc.
6-PR. How well does he handle the press and fans.
My grades and a poll after the jump.
1-Setting needs and priorities for the draft, and preparing for the draft. I think Gary's preparation and analysis for the draft are outstanding. He and Smith do a great job in my opinion. Many times I have seen us collectively scratch our heads on his decisions, but most of the time they work out. Certainly our draft and free agency this year was outstanding. You can argue that a lot of the success in the draft was due to Wade's influence, but give credit to Gary for listening. Don't forget that the ultimate responsibility for these decisions are with Gary and Smith. Final Grade: A
2-Developing overall game strategy. Contrary to last year, this year the team did well on their first series, both offensively and defensively. We had a lot of scores on our first offensive possessions, as well as a lot of 3 and outs on defense. Half-time adjustments were also very good. To me this says a great deal about our preparation and game planning. There were 2-3 games where I feel we were outcoached, but it wasn't by a lot. Final grade: A-, maybe an A
3-Putting staff together. This is my main area of criticism with Gary. Wade was a great hire, but how much of that was due to Gary? I think Gary puts too much importance on having staff compatibility, and therefore he only tends to hire people he has worked well with in the past. Although it is important for the coaching staff to work well together I think he needs to consider a broader group of candidates. Have enough confidence that you can tell how well someone will work out with the other coaches based on your interview process. Gary seems to interview prospective players well enough, he should be able to evaluate coaches just as well. If they arent working out, get someone else. Gary seems to learn from his mistakes, so maybe Wade's hiring will be an eye-opener for him. Final grade: Incomplete. Just dont have enough info to evaluate him yet. I think this may become more clear over the next couple years.
4-Player morale and team unity. Considering how well this team responded to adversity this year, I think Gary clearly deserves an A+ here
5-Non-routine game decisions. In my opinion, Gary did a much better job this year. Still room for improvement, and I think he will. Final Grade: B
6-PR. I think Gary does a great job with the media. He does above average with the fans. I think he needs to be a little more open at times and put away the coach speak with the fans, but overall I give him a B+ here.
Overall grade: A-
What are your thoughts?