Jason Garrett has long been lauded as a cerebral coach. The former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current head coach was an Ivy League quarterback who attended both Princeton and Columbia. It’s safe to say he’s pretty well educated. And it sounds like he’s trying to pass some of his education along to his players.
According to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News, Garrett saw wide receiver Miles Austin running a route during practice in Oxnard, Calif., on Wednesday morning and began quizzing him about the Pythagorean theorem. Why? Because based on the way Austin ran his route, Garrett felt the theorem could help explain to Austin how he could have done it better.
“It’s an important thing to understand,” Garrett said of the theorem. “If you’re running this route from here to get to that spot, it’s going to take a little bit longer [if you're at the wrong depth]. … So we talked about Pythagoras.”
Garrett apparently does quiz his players on things, but Google defeats any real research they would be forced to do.
Though geometry and NFL players doesn’t seem to mix, Garrett’s lesson does make plenty of sense. The only challenge is making sure he’s not talking over his players so that they will be able to understand his point. When Garrett eventually gets canned, I bet this will be one of the things people point to as an explanation for why he didn’t succeed as a coach. Think about it: the guy knows geometry, but he can’t figure out that icing a kicker is a bad idea.