Diagonals Guru: Imitation is the greatest display of flattery

Diagonals Guru: The greatest attributes cannot always be measured and Dak Prescott is a clear example

MIAMI – Imitation is the greatest display of flattery.

Johnny Unitas basically invented the two-minute no-huddle offense that is now commonplace in the league. Needless to say, that “innovation” is here to stay. Analyzing videos is a sine qua non in the NFL and when coordinators and coaches observe something that caught their attention, they try to test it and add it to their playbook.

Increasingly, concepts are “borrowed” from universities and applied to professionalism. The “Wildcat” offense was invented in the 1920s and the Miami Dolphins resurrected it in 2008, when they stunned the Patriots at Foxborough and won the division that year that Tom Brady was injured most of the season.

While some teams still use that formation sporadically, it is an ephemeral concept, unlike, for example, zone loading or cornerback nickel, which are now an integral part of the league.

The point remains, however: the NFL imitates everything it can, including people, or at least tries. Cornerback Troy Vincent played 15 seasons in the NFL and once famously said, “If Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are doing something that works, have no doubt that we are going to give it a try.”

When a different mind comes to the league, there is an obsession to replicate it.

The Los Angeles Rams hired Sean McVay and made him the youngest head coach in history at age 30. Initially, this action was met with unpleasant criticism and adjectives. After McVay showcased groundbreaking concepts, a photographic memory and a 24-8 record in his first two seasons, which included a Super Bowl appearance, the rest of the league fell into an unhealthy obsession.

In the blink of an eye, they forgot how search processes worked in the past and only focused on two concepts: youth and offensive mind.

Then came the hires of Zac Taylor, Matt LaFleur and Kliff Kingsbury, despite the latter, for example, having a 35-40 record at the college level at the time of signing.

It was a curious couple of years, until fashion died down and many started calling “the search for the next McVay” a mistake.

None were more vocal than current New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, who said at the time, “Good coaches come from everywhere. They have defensive or offensive minds, regardless of their origins or style and whether you simply focus on looking for someone young and offensive, you’re going to miss out on interviewing so many brilliant and deserving minds. “

That “McVay Mania” has subsided a bit, though that didn’t stop the Los Angeles Chargers from looking for someone from the Rams staff.

Brandon Staley was the defensive coordinator for the Rams last season, when the Los Angeles team’s defense finished first in points and yards allowed.

The Chargers signed Staley, 38, and so far he has struck me as the greatest success of all “young firms.”

Many coaches wait their whole lives for their big break and when it comes, they want to hold on to it so much that they end up training in fear of losing it.

The illogical risks seem exclusively to be reserved for those coaches with history and back, who know that if their decisions are questioned, it will not cost them their work; Bill Belichick surely came to mind taking a chance on the fourth down on his own turf not to return the ball to Peyton Manning, yet Staley trains fearlessly, empowers his players and genuinely, I think, may be the right man to leave. behind all the dramatic moments that have haunted the Chargers franchise in recent years.

There are already three consecutive games in which Staley decides to take a chance on the fourth attempt (7 of 8 so far this season) without hesitation and wins duels that were closed in the last quarter.

Confidence moves mountains and Justin Herbert and company have responded in spades. There are those who will claim that he inherited a very talented squad and a quarterback who has the flavor of a future superstar and while it is true, I have seen this story too many times, and believe me it does not always have a happy ending no matter how talented they have on the squad.

Staley’s aggressiveness is a breeze of fresh air and while he is technically from the “McVay family tree,” he has already made his own sketchy stamp and more than anything else, he has demonstrated his ability to be a positive leader.

Instead of obsessing over labeling, look for good leaders, because the reality is that many geniuses are the worst teachers; everything comes so naturally to them that it is difficult for them to teach it.

Getting a men’s locker room to follow you to the last consequence is a much harder gift to come by, and after just five games, Staley has already proven himself the right man to straighten out the Chargers’ boat.

Staley is in the driver’s seat for Coach of the Year, because in the blink of an eye he has transformed the losing and toxic mentality that hovered around the halls of the Chargers.

As the legendary Ted Lasso would say – if you are not watching the series, I highly recommend it -: “Believe” (Believe).

* Home teams are second


As I always say, it is never good to play every game. In other words, there are some that are best missed. Therefore, I decided to add this section, to publicize my six favorite teams with a bet line. Opinions are welcome, since the idea is to add an attribute that is beneficial to readers. The order of the teams is not accidental and the predictions do not affect the total statistics.








There are many of us who are in this type of competition. In this case, the bet line does not matter. Just do not repeat any equipment throughout each week. Of course, these forecasts will not affect the overall statistics either. In parentheses, the teams chosen so far.



At the request of many, we add the landline with a line from Week 11 of 2013.



I have always said that I am not a fan of teasers, since they come from the word tempt and are called “sucker bets”, but, at the request of several of the readers, we added this section. Here, as there are three teams, the line is modified by 6 points, but you must hit all three to collect. Below, I name the three teams with the altered lines in parentheses.

1-DETROIT LIONS (+9 and a half)

2-MINNESOTA VIKINGS (+7 and a half)

3-LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (+9 and a half)


At the request of several of the readers, we include an entry and exit match for each week.


2-LOWS OF RAMS-GIANTS (50 and a half)

Total statistics (With + Without + Teaser + Additions and Discharges): 116-59

With Bet Line: 51-29 (11-5)

Without Bet Line: 57-23 (12-4)

Surprise of the Week (no line): 4-1 (0-1)

Fixed of the Week (no line): 5-0 (1-0)

Fixed of the Week (with line): 4-1 (0-1)

Power 6 (with line): 19-11 (3-3)

Teaser 3: 3-2 (1-0)

Ups and downs: 5-5 (0-2)

Suicide Pool (no line): 5-0 (SF, CLE, DEN, BUF, NWE)

Opinions or comments: Via Twitter / Instagram / Facebook @SebastianMCESPN Please read this legal notice before submitting your comment.

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