By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
If Leach were a basketball coach, he'd fast-break every possession, hoist countless 3-pointers and try to be the first team to 130 points. As a baseball manager, he'd play four outfielders, never sacrifice-bunt and lead the league in homers and errors.
But as an NFL coach, would his shtick stick?
With one exception--not surprisingly, the league-best Colts--NFL teams and coaches are just varied versions of themselves, each with no distinguishable identity, playing within a touchdown of each other in a pot of homogenized parity. As predictable as Parcells is, if nothing else, Leach would keep us entertained with his peculiarity.
The critics of Leach's lunacy point to the ultimate failures of the Houston Oilers' run-and-shoot offense of the late '80s. That system struggled near the goal line and in the playoffs, but today's NFL is much more accommodating for pass-happy schemes. Quarterbacks can't be touched in the pocket, and receivers can't be touched in the secondary. Alabama's physically superior defenders manhandled Tech's receivers, but in the NFL the Tide would've accumulated countless "illegal contact" and "interference" penalties.
"Sure it would work," an NFL scout at the Cotton Bowl said of Leach's offense. "Our rules have been handcrafted to foster the passing game. It would take some time because he'd have to draft certain types of players with unique skill sets. But in time, his offense would be prolific."
To some, Leach is the football Antichrist.
Us? We just want him as our football anti-Tuna.