New coaches often talk about having players “buy in” to the team they are trying to build. Players have to believe that the system they are contributing to is worth personal sacrifice. They have to be accountable to their actions and understand that the play of one man affects the whole. They have to trust each other, and they have to trust their coach.
Buying in is not close to sufficient to win football games, but it does seem to be necessary. To my untrained eyes, many players have not bought in to the greater whole at NovaCare — mainly on defense.
Let's look at a test case: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. DRC came to Philadelphia this off-season as a young, talented player needing a home. Arizona was apparently not the right place for him, maybe this would be. But what does he see when he walks in the door?
Rodgers-Cromartie is almost immediately demoted to nickel back. He’s asked to play in the slot, a position he’s never had to handle. Who’s telling him to make this u...