The League

Dick Vermeil
Former Head Coach

Dick Vermeil

Has won the Super Bowl, the Rose Bowl and multiple coaching accolades.

Team Killer


First off, I wasn't confronted with this kind of player problem very often in my career. Part of the reason for that is we stressed the importance of team and what it would take as person to be a successful player over time. So we delayed the development of a big attitude by coaching and avoiding that personality type in the evaluation process -- we were very careful not to bring in a bigger than life, bigger than the game players.

As far as Chad Ochocinco goes, I think there is a little bit of showmanship in him and it's a little bit entertaining and adds a spark from time to time. But that only goes so far and often goes too far. Anytime you have an individual who spends so much time working on their showmanship it negatively affects the football team. Their teammates get tired of it, the fans get tired of it, and the city gets tired of it. Continual attention seeking distracts from the organization. Does it make them bad people? No, just people with personality flaws, maybe they didn't get enough attention when they were younger and now they seek every possible way to get it. But these kind of ego problems can tear a team apart.

Wide outs are particularly prone to this bigger than life attitude. They're on stage a lot and the position they play puts them in a position to be recognized individually more than just about every other. Good coaching and drafting is the key to help teams avoid that.

By Dick Vermeil  |  December 11, 2009; 11:32 AM ET  | Category:  Cincinnati Bengals Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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It's plainly obvious none of you, save the beat reporter for the Bengals, know anything about Chad.

Posted by: josh19 | December 12, 2009 2:33 PM

I thought that the point of football was for the guys on a team to play as well as they could so that they could win a game and enjoy the win together. I believe I've seen something like that in the locker room shows after Super Bowls. But we seem to be getting a bunch of players now who see doing their jobs as reason for making themselves the center of attention. Sam Huff has it right: "Do your job and get back to the huddle or the sideline."

Posted by: jlhare1 | December 12, 2009 7:25 PM

I agree with the coach here. Football antics are really out of control these days. Especially at the pro level. In order to stick out, #85 has to pretty much run a stage act. It works, he gets constant attention. What's bad is that football is a team game and is supposed to advance team ethos. And ethics. Vermeil is right about how such behavior takes away from team and puts too much focus on one player. I'd go a step farther and add it also shows poor sportsmanship, if there is anything like that around anymore. Today, the first thing a player does when doing their job (making a tackle, or catch, etc) is run away from the play and their teammates, or separate themselves from the action in order to focus tv cameras on them. That's pretty selfish, I think. It also shows poor sportsmanship. It has to end someday, or else we'll all have a hard time taking the game seriously. I don't understand why the NFL allows such antics, as it is not going to help the game in the long run. If people can't take the game seriously, pretty soon it'll just be a joke and people will stop supporting it. Finally, I don't think this is about knowing #85, who really cares who he is. It's about his behavior and how it effects the integrity of the game.

Posted by: ideabook | December 13, 2009 12:37 AM

Yeah, I predict a massive drop in NFL's viewership if players continue to celebrate and Chad Ochocinco changes his name again. America will not stand for this. If there's one thing America loves, its boring, dry, entertainment figures.

Posted by: babalugats | December 13, 2009 1:16 AM

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