Coaches Were Simply Going by the Book


While studying for my final exam to become an NFL head coach, I was flipping through one of the required texts, “Losing by the Numbers: A Coach’s Guide to the Prevent Defense.” I came across a difficult passage that read, “While the prevent defense is usually sufficient to lose a game all by itself, someday you may encounter a situation where your offense has built up such a huge lead by scoring 30-plus points in less than three quarters, that it truly does seem insurmountable. In such an instance, you must immediately stop calling the plays that allowed your team to score all those points and get creative by becoming ultra-conservative in your offensive play calling. This should stop you from scoring more points and also limit how long you keep the ball, thus giving the prevent defense sufficient time to work.”

I was not completely clear on this concept until I saw both of Sunday’s playoff games, where the Browns and Giants implemented this strategy to perfection.

P.J. Gendell

Beverly Hills