To have success as NFL team, everyone needs to be rowing in the same direction Dan Leberfeld

This team’s reported internal battles should be a teachable moment for other NFL teams.

In order to have success in the NFL, and have a strong football culture, everyone in the building needs to be rowing in the same direction.

According to Detroit sports talk host Mike Valenti (97.1-FM), no one outside of Detroit Lions GM Bob Quinn was in favor of taking Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah at No. 3 in the 2020 draft.

“Your head coach didn’t want Okudah at 3. Bob Quinn decided, ‘I’m the smartest guy in the room, I don’t really care what anybody has to say, I’m taking Okudah at 3,’ ” said Valenti. “Nobody wanted this kid at 3. And if you’re asking me – oh, and it gets better, from what I’ve been told, your coach wanted (DT) Derrick Brown, that’s what I keep hearing. Player personnel, it was (QB) Tua (Tagvailoa) or (LB Isaiah) Simmons.”

It’s hard to win this way. A house divided cannot stand.

This is why the late, great San Francisco 49ers coach/GM Bill Walsh used to say: “We are only competing against eight teams here.”

In other words, most other organizations aren’t aligned properly, aren’t in lockstep, and this hinders their ability to be successful.

In order to be successful, everyone needs to be on the same page, and you can’t have “subcontractors.”

“It’s not good to have subcontractors on a football team – this guy runs the offense, this guy runs the defense, this guy runs the personnel department,” said one former NFL GM.

In New England, there are no subcontractors.

“Nothing goes on in that building that [Bill Belichick] doesn’t approve,” said VISN’s Mike Lombardi, a former Patriots executive under Belichick.

The bottom line is if you don’t have everyone singing from the same hymn sheet in an NFL football operation, it’s hard to compete for a championship.


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