I got to thinking immediately after I roundly ridiculed Dr. Charley West for posting yet another story about Rich Rod earlier today, and I've reconsidered. I want to add my 2 cents right now......
Rodriguez is an insane competitor and one word characterizes his greatest flaw: ego.
He feels he has always had to prove himself from his days as a high school football player to his walk-on days at WVU as a safety/corner and even during his coaching journey, whether it's Glenville, Tulane, Clemson, WVU and Michigan. Although he has faced serious obstacles and doubt, he has also found success w/ pretty much each and every one of these courses. In addition, he was a very good student while at WVU (not Bob Huggins intelligent, but not bad). Therefore, he has found success despite numerous challenges, whether it's lack of physical ability to play major college football (he still made WVU's team) or lack of facilities/players/etc. (that he experienced at Glenville State and offset w/ his invention....the "Spread" offense that created the leading all time WR in all divisions in total yardage....WR Chris George). This success, unfortuantely, also helped create the monster that is his ego. It is highly probable that he suffers from an inferiority complex to, not a small degree, but to a moderate to major degree. This has created a situation where he wants to be in control of all aspects of everything, wants everything yesterday, and wants to be appreciated and loved at all times. He is not one who is modest and able to deflect praise and attention well. Quite the contrary, he is one who NEEDS to absorb such acclaim to fuel his ego even more.
What can a difference in ego do for you? Please refer to the following 2 case studies.
When Rod came to WVU he immediately scrapped everything that was Don Nehlen football, despite players like Brad Lewis not having a chance in hell to succeed in the Spread offense. Some said that it was because he didn't know anything but the spread....I call BS. He did this because he is so 100% sure that his way is the ONLY and RIGHT way. Why would he do this? Why wouldn't you stick to an offense that fits your players skill set NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!! This was a big criticism I had of Bill Stewart last year too. He said that he wanted to pass the ball more, despite this not being the strength of QB PW (although PW was underrated passer for sure). You fit what's best for your players, not the other way around. Another coach tried this on the NFL level and his name was Steve Spurrier. He had a cup of coffee w/ the Redskins, miserably failed and is coaching a 2nd rate football program in Columbia, SC.
Mike Tomlin is a disciple within the Tony Dungy tree. He came to the Steelers after leading the Minnesota Vikings defense to the #1 run defense in the NFL. What he was taught was the 4-3 Tampa 2 (cover) defense that led the Bucs to the 2002 NFL title. He came to the Steelers knowing that he wanted to eventually install this defense sooner rather than later. However, he also saw that the Steelers had one of the best defensive coordinators ever in the architect of the Zone Blitz scheme (3-4) in Dick LeBeau. Most importantly, he saw that the Steelers had the personnel to fit the 3-4 zone blitz scheme already in place. He kept it in place and the Steelers went to the playoffs in his first year (and should have played in the Divisional round save for a missed holding call on a long David Garrard Jacksonville run). Since becoming the HC of the Steelers, he has drafted Lamar Woodley (going to be one of the best OLBs in league this year) and Lawrence Timmons (starting ILB) and is keeping the 3-4 zone blitz w/ Coach LeBeau indefinitely.
These are 2 examples of how magnitude of ego can totally dictate decision making and ultimately, outcomes of a football season. RRod allows his ego to be the lead factor in terms of decision making, coaching, etc. whereas Mike Tomlin set his ego to the side and put the best interests of the team, matching their respective skill sets to the defensive scheme.
One has a championship ring.......the other doesn't.