Guest Contributor — Wings
Is the Disconnect Dead?
Cagers have presented various theories about the reason for the new alignment and possible issues. Having worked in a powerful organization filled with “political” implications, I want to pose my theory. I reflect on two recent posts and the Mike Smith history of controlling everything related to “game day” as illustrations and foundations.
Chop Buster – “it’s always been my belief that the HC should have final say on the 53 man roster. He’s the cook and should have say on the ingredients.”
Dewey – “I’m trying to decide if I need to get excited about the draft again or not. For instance, Pioli thinks we need player A, Dimwit agrees but believes we won’t get player A at #8, we need to move up. What happens?”
A. Blank has elevated major decision-making related to player personnel to ensure there is a common understanding of where the team is heading. A. Blank will be involved (lead) in any major decision as defined by the reporting of the new Head Coach and T. Dimitroff to him. The understanding comes when personnel decisions are made when all parties are present. In the past, Blank probably operated more of a ad-hoc “referee” than as a facilitator of arriving at the best decision.
Under Mike Smith, the disconnect has always been noted by the Cage. The disconnect was described as the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing. Mike Smith controlled the sidelines with an iron fist. He played the players he wanted to play. Evidently, he told Dimitroff the type players he wanted, and Dimitroff complied to some extent. After he was fired, it was reported Mike Smith (and Nolan) wanted to build the defense from the “inside”, whereas Blank and Dimitroff wanted to develop outside pass rushers. A bad mix of player talents was the result.
It is really ironic that Blank said that Dimitroff (and himself) gave into Mike Smith. Why would the owner have to give in? Probably, because Thomas Dimitroff is weak in standing his ground to make a decision that is best for the organization, and Mike Smith evidently had equal standing as Dimitroff in making decisions. The Cage mostly believes Dimitroff should have gone out the door with Mike Smith. In keeping Dimitroff, the organization has not been stripped of all things that work in positive ways. A totally new organization would require several years to reach maturity.
In the past, the two elements (head coach and player personnel) operated like rogue agents independent of each other. The team evolved into a team with explosive type players (JJones, MRyan, ASmith,etc) slowed by old school strategies (Smittyball) and weak players (SJackson, the new tight ends, etc) who did not fit very well with the direction. No real needs were fulfilled such as the defensive and offensive linemen because these needs were not readily noted and agreed on.
To answer Chop Buter: the new Head Coach will have say in the ingredients, but the Head Coach will not have FINAL SAY as Mike Smith did.
To answer Dewey: the decision will be made by a common thread of judgement and agreed on by the criteria of the organization, not by an individual’s emotions. Safeguards will ensure Pioli’s input is not marred by Dimitroff.
Is the Disconnect DEAD? I think it is but only Time will tell.