Why Bills Hiring of First Female Coach Was Overdue, But Not For the Reasons You Think
Kathryn Smith was hired by the Buffalo Bills to serve as their special teams quality control coach Wednesday, making her the first female full-time assistant coach.
— #NFLPlayoffs (@SNFonNBC) January 21, 2016
Many would say this was long overdue because of female empowerment, the fact that women can do everything a man can do, girl power, etc., etc.
I’m not going to contest any of that, mainly because I’m not sexist, but also because I’m not a huge idiot asking for a bunch of angry tweets.
Of course, women can do things men can do – and vice versa. Outside of physiological differences, we’re all human and we can all do things that other able-bodied humans can do.
— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) January 21, 2016
Some have argued that women wouldn’t make good football coaches because, outside of very few instances, they don’t play competitive tackle football at a high level.
My argument that hiring a female coach in the NFL is long overdue is because there have been plenty of non-football players finding their way on coaching staffs across the league – they’ve just always been men that didn't play the sport at a competitive level.
I’m completely fine with the argument that any coach that never played a full-contact sport at a high level is a questionable hire at best, but not because they have male or female genitalia. Coaches that haven’t played football at a high level (any college) don’t know what it takes to play at that level, much less excel. So asking their players to follow their tutelage is akin to me coaching an Olympic wrestler just because I wrestled in high school.
Similarly, I get sick of hearing NFL analysts talk about a player’s heart or how their technique isn’t good enough, knowing most of them have absolutely no idea what it takes to even be on a team's practice squad.
The only caveats I use for the never-been-in-the-trenches coaches are coaches that are the children of successful coaches. Even then, it’s tough for one of those coaches to demand things from their players that they themselves have never attempted, much less completed.
Then again, Bill Belichick never played in the NFL, but he played in college and his father was a longtime college football scout.
Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley also proves me wrong, as he never played college football, yet he was the Kansas City Chiefs head coach for three seasons. Then again, he was a ballboy for the Steelers as a boy, which probably gave him an early look into the game that hundreds of current players likely never had at an early age.
I believe Kathryn Smith has a chance to be very successful in her stint with the Bills – and I commend Buffalo for making this hire. But I do condemn the Bills and the other 31 NFL teams for taking so long, while also hiring male coaches with the same limited playing experience.
Very cool and overdue - Bills hire 1st full-time female NFL coach, Announce Kathryn Smith as Quality Control-Special Teams coach
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 21, 2016
While being the “Quality Control Coach for Special Teams” doesn’t sound like a job that needed much NFL game-play experience, it’s still going where other females haven’t gone before, and we’re glad to see that.
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