Bear with me on this.... we'll see if I can make it coherent enough for anyone else to make sense of it.
Unfortunately, this will only make sense if you've seen the HBO series "Band of Brothers." If you haven't see this thing yet, you need to. It's one of the best films about WWII that is out there.
On the other hand, if you've seen the Band of Brothers a couple dozen times like me, you know a lot of memorable characters from the series. Each one has their unique traits, flaws, and abilities that define who they are.
Maybe I'm just crazy, but I feel like last 3 coaches almost fit in perfectly with the 3 commanders of Easy company.
First off, you have Dave Tippett, known as Lt. Winters in this case. He took the group, built up an excellent defensive system, and had them compete at a high level on a regular basis. He did an amazing job, and all of the players respected who he was, and the system he had built. In BoB, Lt. Winters was the first (real) commander of Easy company. He was a brilliant strategist, earned the respect of every man serving under them, and led them on to greatness (They earned several medals while he was commanding). But eventually, the company had to move on. Lt. Winters was promoted to Battalion executive officer, and Lt. Dike wound up taking his place. The one flaw in comparison to Tippett, is that obviously Tip wasn't promoted. He was, however, removed from position of coach simply because it was time to move on, and time for the team to try and go in another direction. A direction, that, unfortunately, would take us to Crawford.
Crawford was hired (based on what I've heard) as a recommendation from some people that Joe knew. At first he seemed like a decent fit, but then the troubles of last season came about. And that was when he disappeared. He left the players to do things on their own, instead of taking charge in the locker room and leading the way. And while that may be okay to some degree, eventually things will completely fall apart, especially when under duress. Crawford is our Lt. Dike. Dike became the captain, even though he wasn't the original, best choice. He never really seemed to fit in. He didn't earn the respect of his men. He always seemed distant. For the most part, that was fine. Until they got to Bastogne, and fought the Battle of the Bulge. Whenever the crap hit the fan, he would completely disappear ("You stay here, and I'm going to go for... help!"). He let his men do whatever, without making any real decisions. The plans that he came up with were half brained, and never made any sense to his men (The Stars' "offensive strategy"). The biggest example of that is when they were leaving the woods, and had to take the town of Foy (beating the Minnesota Wild to make the playoffs). It was supposed to be a relatively easy thing to do. The Germans forces were heavily outmatched, and prepared to leave once the going got tough. But Dike, who had never really led his men, had no idea what to do. When they were in the middle of a field, he panicked and froze. His half brained idea was to have one squad (aka Jamie Benn), and attack the entire village from the rear, without any real support. Obviously, this was not going to work.
(Here's where the analogy breaks down a little bit... The Battalion XO saw what was happening, and sent in Lt. Spears to replace him in the middle of the battle. Unfortunately, Joe couldn't just fire Crow mid game, and hire Gulutzan to win the game, so we missed the playoffs. But I figure it's close enough.)
When Lt. Spears came in mid battle, he quickly assessed what was going on. He stopped the half brain plans to attack the village from the rear, and organized his group of men into the most efficient way possible. They were quick, methodical, and effective. The best part of all is the Spears led by example. He was regularly talking with his men, listening to what they had to say, and incorporating their strengths to make the company even stronger. The men respected him, and he respected them. After all, they were just happy to have a real commander again.
So in comes Gulutzan, to save the Stars' day. He forgets about the "offensive strategy" that Crawford was trying to put in place, and builds a system that works to all of the players' strengths. He listens to his players, and works closely with them. He leads the way. And while I know it's still preseason, there's no denying that he seems to be extremely effective so far. Maybe he can be the one to lead us on to victory. Who knows.
Maybe that's a stretch of an analogy, but it seems to fit perfectly for me. What do you guys think?