A message to NFL football coaches, from a surprising source

Many years ago, I was up in Albany, New York, where the New York Giants then held their pre-season training camp.

After the morning session, I was in the office of General Manager George Young while he finished up some work before we were to go for lunch.

Looking out of the window, I noticed the offensive line coach walking by. I mentioned him to George and said, “He’s a good coach, isn’t he?”

George grumbled and said, “He’s OK,” then added, “but he keeps complaining and asking me to get him better players. Those are the players you’ve got,” George would tell him. “You’re the teacher. Teach them.”

George had himself been a teacher, of history. I wonder now whether he knew something Abraham Lincoln had said* in praise of Ulysses Grant, after the Union, under Grant’s leadership, had taken Vicksburg:

“He isn’t shrieking for reinforcements all the time. He takes what troops we can safely give him…and does the best he can with what he has got.”

*From Ron Chernow’s great biography of Grant.




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