Bugel, while recognized as one of the greatest line coaches ever, posted a 20-44 record from 1990 to 1993 as coach of the ever-hapless Cardinals and 4-12 in his lone year with the Raiders (1997). But after more than four decades in the business, Bugel knows how to build a winner.
“I think our team realizes that talent doesn’t just win; you’ve gotta have chemistry,” said Bugel, who owns Super Bowl rings from the 1982 and 1987 Redskins. “You can’t build chemistry. The players have to do that. It took a lot of tragedies, but the [2007 Redskins] finally realized that you had to be [close]. We’ve got the same team right now, a real good locker room. These guys are able to practice good together. We don’t have any [jerks] out there.”
And out there, the field, is where Bugel still belongs. Zorn, who brought in new men to coach the running backs and help with the quarterbacks, wanted Bugel to remain in charge of the linemen. In fact, Zorn allowed Bugel to keep all his terminology. He didn’t want to force a new system on a coach and players who helped produce a top-12 rushing offense and an average of 26 sacks allowed in each of the last three seasons.
“I think I’m doing something good to be around that long,” Bugel said. “I love it. I still do. The teaching aspect is good. Get players who listen and you’re in good shape.”