There is a Herm Edwards quote making the rounds this week, as Herm Edwards quotes sometimes do. This particular utterance came after his Arizona State Sun Devils upset Michigan State with a late, time-consuming field goal drive.
This information is of the utmost importance to understanding what Edwards was talking about when he said what, taken out of its context, looked like the dumbest thing imaginable in his postgame press conference.
But if you watch the press conference, you can see Edwards is talking about his team’s game-winning drive, and explaining why he approached it the way he did, which was to eat up the last 4:55 of game time before kicking a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Here’s the full context:
Edwards goes on to make a fairly thoughtful critique of popular contemporary football strategy, which prioritizes possessions and speed at the expense, Edwards thinks, of situational strategy.
There are as many ways to win a football game as there are to skin a cat (I assume this is a large number), but whether you care for Edwards’ style or not, what he actually said was not the buffoonish thing it appeared to be as it made the rounds on Twitter.
When he is the coach of your team, Edwards is frustratingly conservative, with a pathological infatuation for field goals. That, combined with all the goofy stuff he said as an entertainer on ESPN, gives him a reputation that precedes him as his quotes enter the churn, and nothing goes down smoother than confirmation bias.
Herm Edwards has said some dumb things in the past, and I imagine he’ll do so again in the future. But, like him or not, what he said about points wasn’t dumb.
Besides, he was right.