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‘What Collectively Allows Us to Be Successful’ Drew Petzing

Syndication: Arizona Republic Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

If you haven’t watched new Cardinals’ OC Drew Petzing’s introductory press conference, I believe that you are in for a compelling treat.

Before I comment any further, please do yourself a favor and watch the entirety of this presser. And while you are watching it, you might want to ask yourself, if this was a job interview, would you want to hire Drew Petzing? What would be the reasons why, or why not?

DP = Disciplined, Poised

OK, so my answer to these two questions are: (1) a resounding yes, I would hire this coach in a heartbeat. (2) here are the reasons why:

  • His command of the English language —- DP is as articulate and clear as an effective communicator needs to be.
  • His innate intelligence —- the seasoned way in which he presents himself and his ideas, combined with his exemplary restraint with regard to answering what would appear to be “loaded questions.”
  • His focus —- DP has only been on the job for a couple days and look at how zoomed in (in real time!) he is on the tasks at hand —- and how niftily aligned he is with MOJO’s core values.
  • Case in point: look at how DP handled the questions regarding individual players —- the coach didn’t blink, nor did he take the bait —- in fact, he said something that was so impressive that I felt compelled to rewind the tape and write down his answer verbatim.
  • His answer was: “What’s going to be a big piece of our identity is we are not going to point out individual success, we are going to talk about what collectively allows us to be successful.”
  • Obviously, this modus operandi is about as Belichickean as one will find.
  • Reporter: “Coach Belichick, can you talk about how brilliant Tom Brady was in this game?”
  • Belichick: “You know, I thought the whole offense played well. It was a collective effort.”
  • DP spoke, just as JG did at his intro presser, about how important it is to build a rapport with each player, not just with regard to football, but with regard to getting to know each player as a person so as to learn about the hills and valleys they’ve had to travel through to get to where they are today —- and furthermore, to know precisely what their present and future aspirations are.
  • DP said, (paraphrased) “it’s important for a player to know that I have his best interests at heart.”
  • Adaptability —- DP would not indicate what his style of offense will be because he will make that determination based on the strengths of his personnel. As he indicated, he will need to be with the players on the practice field for a while before he can start catering the style of offense to the players’ strengths.

Hone Runs By Gannon in this Presser:

  • “I am not going to put a timetable on Kyler’s return. We will play him when Kyler is fully rehabbed and ready to go.”
  • “As coaches we are going to challenge each other to help each other grow, that’s why it is important for us to have open minds.”
  • Case in point: when JG asked DP about how to put the most pressure on an opposing defense, JG said he disagreed with DP’s answer —- that is —- until DP showed him some video evidence to support his answer —- which after seeing, JG was enlightened to the point of realizing that DP’s answer had significant merit. JG then thanked DP for “expanding my brain on this one.”
  • “When we are in meetings the players will be very interactive. I don’t want the details of the meetings to be regurgitated, I don’t want them memorized, I want them understood.”
  • “We are going to make meetings competitive.”
  • “We are going to explain what the standards are so that each player understands how important it is to be accountable and to perform his role at the highest possible level.”
  • “I am big on giving each player a specific role, because then each player will know exactly what the expectations are.”


The pedagogy that JG and DP are aligned in facilitating is perfectly aligned with the modern trends in education —- as applied to effective teaching and learning in the 21st century.

The ultimate goal of the pedagogy is for the teachers to set a positive tone (“light”) and establish standards of excellence —- so that the students will not only take ownership of the curriculum —- so that they will eventually feel compelled to drive the curriculum themselves.

During yesterday’s Red Rain podcast, I opined that Monti Ossenfort is not just building a coaching staff —- no, it’s so much more than that —-he is building a highly intelligent young faculty.

In essence, Monti Ossenfort is the Dean of Faculty and Jonathan Gannon is the Dean of Students.

A poem that I believe, in spirit, describes MOJO’s pedagogy is “Retreating Light,” by American Pulitzer Prize winner, Louise Gluck:

Retreating Light

You were always very young children,

always waiting for a story.

And I’d been through it all too many times;

I was tired of telling stories.

So I gave you the pencil and paper.

I gave you pens made of reeds

I had gathered myself, afternoons in the dense meadows.

I told you, write your own story.

After all those years of listening

I thought you’d know

what a story was.

All you could do was weep.

You wanted everything told to you

and nothing thought through yourselves.

Then I realized you couldn’t think

with any real boldness or passion;

you hadn’t had your own lives yet,

your own tragedies.

So I gave you lives, I gave you tragedies,

because apparently tools alone weren’t enough.

You will never know how deeply

it pleases me to see you sitting there

like independent beings,

to see you dreaming by the open window,

holding the pencils I gave you

until the summer morning disappears into writing.

Creation has brought you

great excitement, as I knew it would,

as it does in the beginning.

And I am free to do as I please now,

to attend to other things, in confidence

you have no need of me anymore