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'Players,' not 'plays'


It's coachspeak, and often times that requires translation.

The coach says a "play here and a play there" would've changed the outcome of the game, and the implication is that not making those deciding plays was an unfortunate oversight. You know, it's kind of like the difference between my savings account and Warren Buffett's. If only I had remembered to buy that Berkshire Hathaway stock. Why didn't Buffett forget?

"It comes down to making plays. The opportunities have been there to make plays. With the opener in Carolina; make one more play," Jack Del Rio told reporters this past Monday. "It is our goal to become a good football team, and we have to recognize the need to make plays in that situation."

It's not like Del Rio's the only coach who practices coachspeak. They all do. Tom Coughlin would take a game apart play by play, then tell you how a five-yard, false-start penalty on the first drive of the game was the turning point.

Chuck Noll constantly referred to a lack of execution. You know, the difference in the game was they executed and we didn't, which made you think, why did they elect not to execute? How dare that seventh-round guard from Ouachita Baptist not execute his block against that All-Pro from Notre Dame?

Tampa Bay's John McKay actually turned the term against a sportswriter, who asked McKay, "How do you feel about your team's execution?"

"I'm in favor of it," he said.

Sportswriters were even talking in coachspeak.

Yeah, 20 and 30 years ago "execution" was the buzz word. All losses were explained by a "lack of execution." But this is the year of the "Playmakers." These days, it's all about "making plays."

Call it anything you want. What it means is winning, and all teams that win tend to have one thing in common: They tend to have more Pro Bowl players on their roster than teams that are losing.

Yeah, it's chicken and the egg stuff, but the simple fact of the matter is that if the other team has more players capable of "executing" and "making plays," you're probably not going to win. The real trick is finding the right players.

That's where the Jaguars are in year one of this "New Era in Jaguars Football." A "play here and a play there" is another way of saying "a player here and a player there." That's what the Jaguars need. When they find those "players," they'll make those "plays."

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