Rick Smith And The 20/70/10 Philosophy

I'm gettin' real tired of you duckin' me, Rick! - Jamie Squire

Let's take a look at Rick Smith's core philosophy in valuing the players on his roster. Adopted from a super successful CEO, it helps Smith build his roster without any emotional attachment. Where does nearly-departing Connor Barwin fit in?

Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith was recently reported as having said that he considers Connor Barwin one of his core players. Barwin's people will supposedly meet with the Texans' brass in Indianapolis during the Combine to begin or reestablish discussions about a new contract.

What's most interesting to me is what Smith said about Barwin. The eighth year general manager has said before that he uses former General Electric CEO Jack Welch's business philosophy of 20/70/10. It's explained here by Peter King in an interview with Smith from June of last year.

GE boss Jack Welch's 20-70-10 philosophy: the top 20 percent of your employees are standouts and must be nurtured. The majority, the 70 percent, are the working class -- needed but still able to move if the right situation arises. The lowest 10 percent have to be churned and replaced, because a company always is looking for ways to get better by importing new blood. "If you have a 53-man roster, maybe you've got 10 or 11 core players,'' Smith said, "and then 25 to 30 role players, and then you're always looking to churn the bottom of the roster.''

I know Smith's philosophy has been discussed here before, but it's worth discussing again as we move into yet another offseason. For Smith to name Barwin as one of his "core players" is pretty significant.

I thought the Texans would let Barwin walk without much of a fight, like Mario Williams did last year. By keeping emotion out of the equation, Smith hasn't been afraid to let key players go before. Along with Williams, DeMeco Ryans and Eric Winston found themselves outside of the 20% last year and played elsewhere in 2012, but their respective fill-ins left much to be desired. Perhaps the lack of readily available replacements increases Barwin's value in Smith's eyes?

Do you believe Barwin is a top 10 player according to the 20/70/10 model? Is fellow free-agent-to-be Glover Quin on this list? Here's my list in order of importance to the team:

1. Matt Schaub
2. Duane Brown
3. Andre Johnson
4. J.J. Watt
5. Brian Cushing
6. Chris Myers
7. Johnathan Joseph
8. Antonio Smith
9. Arian Foster
10. Glover Quin
11. Connor Barwin? Danieal Manning? Shiloh Keo??!

In today's NFL, I believe the two most important aspects of a football team are the passing game and stopping the opponent's passing game. My list reflects that. Barwin would've been a bit higher after 2011, but his decreased numbers in 2012 put him on the cusp this year.

What's your 20% list, BRB? Leave it in the comments!

In This Article

Topics
Teams
Players
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Battle Red Blog

You must be a member of Battle Red Blog to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Battle Red Blog. You should read them.

Join Battle Red Blog

You must be a member of Battle Red Blog to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Battle Red Blog. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker