Friday, October 18, 2013

the last book I ever read (Nate Jackson's Slow Getting Up, excerpt seven)

from Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile by Nate Jackson:

It is a difference in schools of thought. One school, Blade’s school, trusts the instincts of the pro football player, because he trusted his own when he played. He allows more improvisation. He supplies the general parameters and steps back. The nuance of the game’s technique is decided by the player’s athletic instinct.

The other school, the one more common in the NFL, is the more rigid, systematic assembly line of angularly identical patterns. It believes that every football play has one right answer. If you choose the question you get to choose the answer. It is a tightly structured philosophy and has evolved steadily over the years. Blade and Kube both played in the NFL, but they had very different experiences. Blade was a wide receiver and played in every game. Kube was a career backup quarterback who knew the system inside and out but rarely got to play. With all of that studying and no playing, the game becomes conceptual, and as a coach, Kube trusts the concepts over the instinct of the player, who comes and goes. But Kube skillfully toes the line between player-speak and coach-speak, and knows how to communicate in terms we understand. And he serves as the prefect buffer between the rigid offensive system and our often unsystematic instincts as players.

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