Saturday, January 09, 2016

Coaching scramble

I wanted to give a run own of some of the coaching moves:

The biggest shock of the season was the Colts keeping Chuck Pagano. I have never particularly been much of a supporter of Colts owners Jim Irsay. He strikes me as honest and earnest guy trying hard to improve the Colts, but not the smoothest operator. He however made the right move. It was weird he let Pagano coach out his contract – coach could have left for any team this offseason – but the fact he and GM don’t get along is a terrible reason to fire a coach. Good coaches are hard to find, people don’t have to be best friends. And Pagano may be the more talented of the two anyway – he got a lot quite a few wins out a roster full of players who peaked 5-10 years ago. Sometimes it is the moves you don’t make. I would also like to take a moment to point out that somehow the Loins keeping Jim Caldwell and the Chargers keeping Mike McCoy wasn’t new, when Pagano is clearly a better coach. It speaks about expectations – there was a ton of coverage during the season about how Pagano was feuding with the GM and would be out.

One coach who is out (in a late firing) is the Bucs’ Lovie Smith. I am of two minds – he wasn’t given a fair chance and did pretty well this year. But I also feel the nine seasons he spent with the bears told us who he is and so that I can’t really call this a travesty.

Neither can I say that about the Giants firing Tom Coughlin after 12 (TWELVE!? I had not realized it had been that long) seasons – make no mistake he was forced out even if he officially resigned. Guys resigning don’t say they want to coach again. Coughlin was one of the few people who mellowed with age – in Jacksonville he was known primarily for being a hard ass, which covered up a fair amount of success. He won two titles in NYC, and exactly zero other playoff games. In fact in last seven year he made the playoffs only once – but won it all in 2011. Overall Coughlin was a great coach – at BC he knocked of #1 Notre Dame, the first time the Eagles ever beat the Irish – and will probably never get the credit he is due. That said this year he seriously mismanaged the clock and cost the G-Men several games and failed to pull Odell Beckham Jr. when he melted down against the Panthers. On the other hand Beckham’s explosive talent – and have a Manning at QB - hid the fact that the roster was simply not very good. That also hurt Jim Tomsula is his one year running the 49ers – 5 wins in a first season with that depleted roster doesn’t prove a guy can’t coach. Why hire him if you are going to flush him so quickly?

By the way – over 20% of the head coaching positions are currently open. If your team is one of that 20% hope your front office is smart enough to stay far far away from Chip Kelly. However there is another retread worth looking at – Bungles offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. In his only season as a head coach he got to .500 with an Al Davis picked roster, that is no mean feat. He was then fired by the new regime when Davis passed away.

I don’t know that I believe hiring a baseball analytics expert will be the long sought for magic bullet for the Cleveland Browns, but kudos to them for being willing to try something new (and face potential ridicule for it).

I spent my New Years at the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium – and I can say I have seen the future of football. Now you can’t do this everywhere, such as the heart of a city – but Gillette has a small mall attached to it. It is a real, if not huge mall, with food, clothing, other merchandize, a gym, a movie theatre, a salon, a bowling alley, a hotel, and the Patriots Hall of Fame. This is a great idea, because it gives people a way to spend their time (and from the Patriots perspective money) while waiting for traffic to ease out.

Finally your stat of the day. Joe Montana started 67% of the Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff wins over the last 45 years (2 out of 3).


Post a Comment

<< Home