Jason Garrett can learn accountability from Rick Carlisle

February, 29, 2012
2/29/12
10:09
AM ET
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle made several visits to Valley Ranch and Cowboys Stadium during the NBA lockout, watching practices and sitting in on meetings with Jason Garrett’s staff.

Garrett ought to get out to the American Airlines Center some time, at least to watch a Carlisle postgame press conference.

Carlisle could teach a clinic in how a coach can hold his team accountable by publicly setting the tone with himself. He provided another lesson after last night’s loss to the Nets, criticizing the Mavs’ performance for most of the game but blaming himself for their failure to score on the final two called plays.

The most notable example of Carlisle’s coaching accountability seminar was him falling on the sword after the Mavericks’ historic collapse in Game 4 of their first-round series in Portland last season, pointing out that his failure to adjust defensively on Brandon Roy was the primary reason the Mavs blew a 23-point lead.

Having said that, Carlisle didn’t let his players off the hook, wondering whether the Mavs continued competing after it appeared the win was in the bag. His willingness to admit fault, however, gave him credibility to challenge his players.

We all know how the Mavs responded, rolling through the rest of the playoffs en route to the franchise’s first championship ring.

Compare that to Garrett after his worst performance as a head coach. He offered nothing but weak rationalizations during his press conferences after the clock-management crisis in Arizona.

Garrett doesn’t call out his team publicly, either, preferring not to imitate a style that was so successful for Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells. Garrett opts to never admit or assign fault, striving to make his press conferences as meaningless as possible.

Maybe Garrett is too busy preparing for the draft and free agency to make it to a Mavericks game. If that’s the case, he at least needs to read this Carlisle response to a question about why he thought it was important to pin the blame on himself for the ugly end of last night’s loss.

“If I’m going to get on their ass about not being into the game early, then I’ve got to be willing to take the heat when the two plays at the end of the game don’t work out,” Carlisle said. “It’s accountability; that’s how it works.”

That’s how it works at the AAC. How’s Garrett’s way working at Valley Ranch?

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