RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann thinks that soccer and American football should benefit from each other, hailing as exemplary the “discipline” of NFL players.
“The 33-year-old is an American football fan, and confessed that he stayed up late on Sunday night to watch the matches between the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs, and half of the game against New Orleans Saints by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers until “common sense prevailed” as the next day he had to sleep and work.
“Timmo Hardung, our general manager, is a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers, so that’s a bit rubbed off on me,” Nagelsmann said at a press conference ahead of his Leipzig Matchday 17 meeting at Union Berlin on Wednesday. “Their history is very interesting and different from most of the other clubs in the NFL. My heart beats a bit for them.”
It is perhaps unsurprising, regarded as a wise tactician, that Nagelsmann appreciates the degree of detail involved in American football matches.
“This sport is very interesting,” he said. And I think we can learn a lot from football in the United States, and our players can learn a lot from soccer as well. Especially in terms of their discipline in learning the playbook of the team and implementing it. I certainly think that’s an environment that can be strengthened by soccer.
The game is based on an enormous number of games, and players have to know a lot of technical words and then behave on the field accordingly. They have to do all that incredibly fast, which is exceptional.
“Nagelsmann acknowledged that the way American football is organized in the United States contributes to that: “You normally only have one-year contracts in the NFL, but if you make the wrong run three times, you’re out and you don’t get a new deal. That means you always have to, as a player, push yourself to the edge.
Nevertheless, he again stressed his appreciation for the “incredible discipline of the players in understanding the entire playbook and the runs they need to make very accurately.”
Still, Nagelsmann said that, as is normal in soccer, he would like to see more freestyle moments of individual talent in the NFL.