Will Blackmon Offers Advice To Kingsbury, LaFleur

There are a few things that Kliff Kingsbury and Matt LaFleur should do – and should not do – to win over the locker room

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
January 10, 2019 - 10:15 am

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Matt LaFleur and Kliff Kingsbury have a couple of things in common: They’re both 39, they’re both NFL coaches, and they have no prior experience in that area.

How is that possible?

“Blame Sean McVay. It’s his fault,” Super Bowl champion and NFL Network analyst Will Blackmon said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence, laughing. “The fact that he finished his second year and he’s 32 years old and has had a lot of success. But what people are forgetting – yes, he’s really good and offensive-minded, but he has hired a really strong staff. That’s what’s really important. He brought in Wade Phillips, who’s coached, what, 40 years? Then he has Joe Barry, who’s a former D-Coordinator. He kept Coach (John) Fassel, who’s one of the best special teams coaches in the NFL. So he has a really strong staff that’s not only helping him, but letting him just call plays.”

Blackmon, 34, won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants playing for Tom Coughlin, who, at the time, was 65. In other words, older than LaFleur and Kingsbury.

Being a 30-something, however, doesn’t mean you can’t be a great coach. After all, look at McVay.

“Just be (yourself),” Blackmon said, when asked what advice he would give to young head coach. “That’s the main thing. Don’t come in here and try to be Joe Gibbs or Vince Lombardi. Don’t come here with these speeches that you’re going to promise this or do this. We’ll find out real quick that you’re a fraud.”

Coaches don’t want that. They lose credibility, and then players stop listening.

“Come in there, present yourself, show us that you have a plan, and the magic thing is, ‘I want to help you succeed,’” Blackmon said. “If we hear that from a coach – ‘We want to help you succeed’ – then you already have us. You’re good. What coaches don’t realize – or what a lot of people don’t realize – is that, yeah, it’s the NFL, guys are getting paid, but everyone wants to be taught, everyone wants to be taught – everyone wants the answers.

“A lot of coaches end up hiring their friends or their homeboys or guys that they’re loyal to,” Blackmon continued. “They’re not necessarily good coaches, but they can trust them because they’re their friends. And then all of a sudden you found out no one’s really doing their job, and it backfires. It’s important for them to hire really good coaches regardless of age. Are you a good coach? Yes or no?”