I have watched with interest all the commentary about various players - who Mike Tomlin should play, or not play, or put on the roster, or kick off the roster. We all have our ideas, and of course that's part of what makes it interesting. For instance, I was on the Redman bandwagon after seeing some good stuff in the pre-season, but as someone wisely noted, we don't see these guys practice. We don't know what their work ethic is, how much native ability they bring to the table in the first place, or how well they can produce within the system. As I thought it over, I realized that it was much like my job.
I'm a choral conductor. My 'roster' has 24 slots. I hear the auditions and I have to make choices based on a number of factors that wouldn't necessarily be obvious to most people. Very few people that I hear are perfect. A perfect singer would have a beautiful voice that "plays well with others," would be a consummate musician both in terms of musicality and skills, would take direction well, would have a strong work ethic, would never get ill (or if they did would be able to sing well anyhow), and heck, as long as I'm at it, would be seriously good-looking, especially if they were a guy. Like Coach Tomlin, I would have a better chance to find this if I had unlimited funds to work with. Although the comparison between what he has to spend on his roster and I have to spend on mine is so disproportionate as to be ridiculous, nonetheless the issue is the same - since the resources are limited, you allocate them in the way that you think gives you the best possible end result. And then you stand behind it - and stand or fall depending on how successful you are, given what you had to work with. I suspect that my choices are not always obvious to someone outside of my group or even outside of my head, but there are good and (I think) sufficient reasons for all of them. So if I seem unduly sympathetic to the coaches I guess that would be because I know how it feels to be the place where the buck stops.
Let's hope that the latest round of changes hit the perfect formula for special-teams success, because I have to admit that if, say, my tenor section sounded as bad as special teams have looked this year, I would probably have a fit - or, should I say, 'unleash hell?'