SBD/June 12, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With NFL Network Analyst, Former GM Charley Casserly

If Casserly isn't on the NFL Network set, he's likely watching game film
It is safe to say CHARLEY CASSERLY knows a thing or two about the NFL, having been a front office exec in the league for over two decades before tackling the TV world as an analyst with NFL Network. The former Redskins and Texans GM, who now doubles as a professor at George Mason Univ., spoke with THE DAILY about the heightened scrutiny on people in his former position, why it is so important to strive for versatility in one's career goals, and how he talks himself off the ledge when a certain baseball team has a rough outing.

Evolution of the GM office...

GMs are under more pressure and less patience is given to the position, and I think that’s all wrong. There are times when you’re going to go through tough periods, you’re going to go through rebuilding, and I think patience and understanding that not every decision is going to be perfect (is important). But the fact is, if you have a good plan and have good people, you’re going to succeed.

Technology's impact on the NFL...
I was on Competition Committee for a long time, and the thing we were concerned with was we wanted to limit what you could do during a game. Yes, you have all the technology available to you during the week, but it costs money. We didn't want to just open things up for that simple reason, it’s "STAR WARS," it’s an issue. To me, there was a financial end to that, and all of us felt the same, so that’s why we wanted to limit what technology could be used during the game.

It's a Hard Knock life...
I wouldn't be comfortable having them in a meeting when I’m talking about players and talking about personnel decisions or describing players. I think that’s something very private. I certainly wouldn't be comfortable with them in a room when I’m releasing a player. There’s a certain dignity the player has, and I think you try to respect it and keep it in that situation. I do know this: when we were in Houston and we opened with Dallas in 2002, they had "HARD KNOCKS." There were two or three things they said in there that we found as motivating tools for our football team. All of us, when we heard, said, “Hold on, now this is something our players have got to hear.” Did that play into us upsetting them? I don’t know, but that was part of the motivational tool.

Most of my time at work is spent thinking about...
I spend a lot of time watching tapes. And when I’m doing that, I’m kind of brainstorming to evaluate players, evaluating the different schemes that are being run. That jumps me to ideas to whatever we might be talking about for the segments of the shows that I have. So that spurs a lot of the ideas.

Best advice I've ever received...
It’s when I was in college, and I was going to coaching clinics because I wanted to coach, I had a high school coach give me this advice. He said, “Be able to do more than one thing.” And right off the bat I think I followed that all my life. When I was a general manager, I had a weekly television show, so what I always wanted to do at the end of my career was television and teach at a university. As a general manager, every year I would have a period for self improvement, where I would read some books, make some phone calls, and then I kept a binder summarizing the books, so then when I looked at getting into teaching -- I had academic qualifications.

First media I consume each day...
Sport-Scan, it’s a religion in the NFL. I read it every day. What it is, is for every city, every football article in every newspaper that city had is published. It’s subscription-based, every team in the NFL did it, and so I read that every day. That starts me off and it gives me what’s happening in every city every day, and they've also put in some different dot com articles that covers Yahoo, NFL.com, ESPN.com, CBSSports.com.  

How I relax...
Go to the movies, love that, my wife and I. And going to (Nationals) baseball games. When they’re winning, it’s great. When they’re losing, I gotta say, "You know, I don’t work for the team, I have to take this differently." One of my hobbies is the baseball team here.

Beltway's best bites...
Clyde’s in Georgetown. Anybody you sit down with will find something they like. Also, McLean Family Restaurant in McLean, Virginia. It’s an old-fashion family diner, but there for a long time, great sandwiches, great breakfast. It’s an old kind of diner, everything imaginable is there. The food is good, the service is fast. 

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