How a 5-year plan became 5-win plan or goodnight
Anthony Seibold will have to display mental strength few men possess to walk the plank for 10 weeks and survive.
It's going to be brutal. Ten weeks of withering scrutiny where the entire rugby league world is keeping a morbid count on one man's desperate journey to a safe haven or oblivion.
The Broncos have set a pass mark of five wins from 10 games for Seibold to keep his job in what I believe is the most pressurised short-term assignment ever given to a Queensland-based club coach.
Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. Every game of every round Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Seibold arrived in Brisbane with a five-year contract and a five-year plan. Suddenly it's a "five win plan'' or goodnight. Every building block he tried to put in place for future seasons now means nothing.
Already fan websites are buzzing with predictions on "winnable'' games.
It will be the focus of every Seibold press conference and if the fifth loss occurs the first question at the post-match press conference will be something like "so is this it … the end?''
It's savage stuff. Seibold will be doing well not to crack under the pressure of it all and it reinforces the fact that coaching the Broncos is as much about coping with scrutiny as it is about coaching a football team.
There is such a thing in sport as the ECS - Exhausted Coach Syndrome - where a coach becomes so consumed and fatigued by the fight to save his job he struggles to deliver a clear and coherent message to his players.
It is one which has swallowed up many a coaching career in the past and which Seibold must try and avoid.
A common suggestion after the Broncos humiliation by the Wests Tigers was for Seibold to make a statement by sacking senior players but that logic is challenged on two fronts.
The first is that the time to do that was over the past month when the Broncos had a relatively soft draw - even though they lost three from four games.
Do you really want to be rolling the dice against the machine-like Melbourne Storm this Friday?
The second is that apart from Tom Dearden, who is an average defender, there is barely anyone of quality to choose.
To think that the change of one or two players would alter the fate of this rudderless team is to underestimate the challenges confronting them.
The jury is out on the wisdom of the Broncos decision to give Seibold a five-match pass mark but it will, at least, lay bare what the players really think of him.
Gentlemen, it's over to you. If you want your coach to stay, fire up.
Broncos board won't have to conduct detailed player interviews in search of their inner thoughts. Actions will say much more.
If, as the rumours tell us, there is a disconnection between this team and the coach, it will be patently obvious in the players' commitment levels over the next few weeks.
ON A KNIFE'S EDGE
An interesting thing about the five-match pass mark given to Seibold is what happens if things get tight.
Say the Broncos win four games and lose the last match of the season to the Cowboys on a field goal like they did in the 2015 grand final?
Could one kick of the football cost a man his career?
Messy times indeed.
NOT YOU AGAIN
Everywhere Broncos fans turn their heads they find sights to niggle the hard core fan.
Last Friday night it was Billy Walters, son of Broncos great Kevin, tormenting the club he grew up idolising.
This Friday they confront the great Cameron Smith, who somehow slipped under the Broncos radar, along with Cameron Munster who had one trial with Brisbane but was discarded because scouts did not like the look of him.
Originally published as How a 5-year plan became 5-win plan or goodnight