Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Warning: Hot Seat May Cause Severe Burn

In the NFL, parity is king and spreads like wildfire every week. There are so few dominant teams talent-wise that wise coaching becomes even moreso important on the field. Coaching has more impact on the NFL than any other sport because of their direct impact on every nuance of the game. Aside from actually throwing the pass, the coach may do everything from calling the play to tell the QB which read he should look for. There's often no surprise to which teams are perennial winners or losers if you just look at the Head Coach. Here's what i'm thinking about coaches from around the league:
  • Mike Singletary will be a great coach. He's a little excited right out of the gate, but he knows the mindset and discipline a team needs to succeed and he will force his players to buy in, or get the hell out. All the great coaches do this, Singletary has just been a little loud in doing so.
  • Bill Belichick is just reinforcing the belief that he is a genius by keeping the Pats in the hunt for the division despite losing the best QB in football. Matt Kassell isn't going to be Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, or any of the other back-up superstar stories, so Belichick is basically on his own.
  • Andy Reid. What can be said about the disaster he continues to unfold in Philly. The playcalling has been atrocious. I don't know the numbers, but this has to be the worst short yardage team in football. And that is with a 6'4" 240 lbs. pro bowl QB in Donovan McNabb and one of the best RBs in the NFL in Brian Westbrook. And don't forget, one ofthe biggest O-Lines in football. Something has to give, the rest of the league has caught on to what the Eagles do and Reid has refused to adapt. It really is sad, because the Eagles are an immensly talented football team.
  • How does Marvin Lewis still have a job. I realize that the team has no defense and that is dificult to overcome, but didn't he bring those players in? The team has no discipline and a ton of distractions. They are an embarrassment to a league that is trying to clean up its act. This team was a playoff favorite three years ago, now they're a joke.
  • I love Mike Smith and Tony Sparano. Both guys coach young, overachieving teams that play the game right and go hard on every snap. These teams are a direct extension of the coaches who continue to make the right moves and learn from the wrong ones. Atlanta is awesome to watch and the Dolphins continue to sneak wins and stay in the hunt. Both coaches seem to be keepers who their players really respond to.
  • I never liked Tom Coughlin however I admire how he has handled Plaxico Burress this season. He doesn't cater to the whinning superstars bloated ego and he keeps his team focused and prepared for the next game. Sometimes a cancer like Plax can ruin a team from the inside out (a la T.O. obviously), but Coughlin continues to get the job done. As much as I hate to say it, this team looks poised to make a serious run at repeating.
  • There's also the man who has quickly become my favorite NFL coach: Jeff Fisher. Did you know he's been coaching the Titans for 15 years! That is unheard of in today's game and a testament to the Tennessee organization. Fisher always has the game under control and how often do you hear of malcontent coming from this team? Yeah, they had their Vince Young fiasco, but that was hardly his fault. This team is solid top to bottom, offensively and defensively, and Fisher gets the most out of every guy in that locker room.
  • I'm not on the Jim Zorn bandwagon just yet. For some reason i just can't buy into him. And i don't think he'll be sticking around too long. That's just a gut feeling and maybe it has more to do with Dan Snyder and less to do with Zorn, but i think it nonetheless.
  • Mike Tomlin was a strange hiring at the team and he does some unorthodox things in the lockerroom and on the field, but he gets it done. It helps that he has great veteran leadership, but he commands respect from his players and the media and then goes out and earns it with how he handles the sideline. Barring a total meltdown, he should be a Steelers staple for years to come.
  • You know who sucks? Herm Edwards, Romeo Crennel, Tom Cable, and Lovie Smith. Lovie may not belong but that ongoing three year QB disaster was embarrassing. He's lucky Kyle Orton bailed him out or it probably would've got him canned.

As for all the others, I just don't have any interesting thoughts on them. So i'll spare you the time. It'll be interesting to see the rollover into next season for a lot of these guys. Who knows? We may see Bill Cowher and the Chin again real soon.

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