Tag Archives: Bill Cowher

WTF Buffalo!? Not Even The Rooney Rule Can Protect You From Chan Gailey!

20 Jan

A keen-eyed Chan Gailey sees another opening to pursue. (AP photo by John Bazemore)

What is going on up in Buffalo?  They’ve got an owner who is 112 (which isn’t even that big an exaggeration) and wants to win now allegedly.  They started their coaching search with Mike Shanahan & Bill Cowher.

And today, they ended up with Chan Gailey. 

According to multiple reports, Buffalo’s GM who doesn’t even merit being referred to by name here, wanted someone who had been a head coach before and had offensive expertise.  

Or as I prefer to look at it, he wanted a retread who doesn’t know defense.  Be that as it may or may not be, here’s a list of people off the top of my head who would have been better choices, although admittedly some didn’t meet all of Buffalo’s criteria.

First up, Leslie Fraizer who is  the defensive coordinator of a Viking team that just cracked the NFL’s final four behind his stifling defense.  Apparently, Buffalo could not wait around to let Chan Gailey go somewhere else while Frazier’s team continued to make its way through the playoffs. 

I believe in the Rooney Rule and I believe in it because it’s good for business and good for football.  I’m unclear if Buffalo interviewed Frazier but here’s a clear cut case where the Rooney Rule could have helped Buffalo by introducing them to Leslie Frazier. 

(PS – Before Buffalo hired him, Chan Gailey was not going anywhere quick…)

Here’s the rest of my off the cuff list of better choices than Chan Gailey:

Jim Fassel – got a team to a Super Bowl. Gailey’s watched a Super Bowl (on TV).  Ok, I’m kidding.  I think he might have been on the staff of some of those Super Bowl Champ Cowboy teams, before he took over and proved he wasn’t a fantastic NFL coach.

Denny Green – sure looked burned out in Arizona, but did some great things in Minny and so quotable and so better than Gailey

Gregg Williams – New Orleans D – Coordinator & 3 “G” name!

Herman Edwards – he’s been successful overall in the NFL

Jim Mora – had success with Atlanta and rug pulled out in Seattle

Brian Billick – Won a flippin’ Super Bowl and was a Match Game contestant.

I could go on but you get the point…

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In The New NFL, Sometimes Winning IS Losing!

5 Jan

Winning can never be a bad thing, right?  After all, in the NFL, winning is the assignment.  It’s the name of the game.  Just win, baby!

Except, sometimes winning can blind you to things in sports.  If you somehow pull off a victory or more victories than expected, it can fool you into not making needed changes. 

That’s true whether you’re 11-5 or 5-11.   Take Dallas.  They’ve the NFC East Champs.  They are 11-5 and they seem to have left behind the kind of bad football they’ve been known for at the end of the season.  All of which means that Wade Phillips’ job just may be safe.   Only Jerry Jones knows for sure.

Let’s say the Cowboys even go so far as to win a game or two in the playoffs, let alone get on a run and win the Super Bowl.  Each additional playoff win makes it that more likely that Phillips is staying put in Dallas.

That’s great for Phillips, but maybe not so great for the franchise.  Now, I hate the Cowboys as much as any Giants’ fan, but even I can’t lie about the fact that Bill Cowher and Mike Shanahan are far better coaches than Wade Phillips.

Why do I mention Cowher & Shanahan?

Because they are two available head coaches that Dallas could bring in to replace Wade.  Worse yet for Dallas and their fans, Shanahan is most likely going to be taking the Redskins job very very soon.  Once Shanahan gets the Skins turned around, Dallas will be faced with facing off with Shanahan twice a year.  Who would you bet on in a tight NFL game – Shanahan or Phillips?

No question about it.  Shanahan.  Yet, the Cowboys will be stuck with Phillips.

So, clearly winning can mess up the future of a franchise.  But what if your franchise admittedly doesn’t have much a future?

The Browns are a mess.  Yet, somehow at the end of the season they’ve managed to win four in a row.  Eric Mangini, who it seemed the players hated, even gave him a victory Gatorade bath after their last game.  So, maybe the players have come around (or maybe they were trying to give him a pneumonia we’ll never know for sure).

But, with Mike Holmgren coming in as the Czar of all things football for Cleveland, the four game streak is going to make it much tougher to fire Eric Mangini. 

Mangini should get credit for the streak and for hanging in when it seemed like he was hanging on by a thread.  Eric Mangini is not, however, the best coach the Browns could hire.

Will Mike Holmgren see that or will he be seduced by the win streak?

As the Boy & Browns prove, winning can be a bitch…

Coaching Conspirarcy! Dick Jauron Fired On Same Day NFL Coaching Veteran Frees Himself Up For Duty! (Let’s Draft Jerry!)

18 Nov

The Buffalo Bills are 3-6 and their ancient and so rightfully impatient owner can’t take it anymore.  Today, Dick Jauron got the axe in Buffalo.  Outside of criticizing an in season move, I don’t see how you can debate this one.  Three straight years of mediocrity and a disappointing season in what was supposed to be the break through year will get you fired.

The Bills ponied up the dough and the guts to sign Terrell Owens to give Jauron some ammo on offense.  For a lot of reasons, it hasn’t worked. 

At all.

However, Jauron didn’t help himself by firing his offensive coordinator just before the season started.  Alex Van Pelt, who was promoted into the spot hasn’t gotten things going and so far has made no one in Buffalo forget Turk Schonert.

So, Jauron had to go.  That much was clear.  Who’ll replace him?

Damned if I know.  Jon Gruden just re-upped with ESPN for another two years, so it looks like he’s out, but you never really know.  In the meantime, former Denver Coach For Life Mike Shanahan is available, as is Paul Holmgren and maybe Bill Cowher.

Still, those are all marquee names.  The kind of names that don’t usually end up in Buffalo.  So, figure the Bills to go with either a re-tread or on the rise coordinator.

There is a wildcard out there, though.

And his name is Jerry Glanville.  Turns out the same day as Jauron was axed, Glanville quit what was a disastrous reign Portland State.

Portland State what?  I know.  I had the same reaction.  I thought Jerry Glanville was dead.  And I’m not kidding.

It will never happen.  His recent body of work doesn’t suggest it SHOULD happen.  But, I think the NFL needs Jerry Glanville.  The man was flat out entertaining.  He could coach a little bit too.

If you agree, why not email the Bills.  It couldn’t hurt.

If they’re gonna be bad, they might as well be fun.

Another Amazing Week In Sports, Politics & Nonsense!

24 Jan

What an utterly amazing week to be alive to blog!  Unfortunately, other obligations AKA my paying job, got in the way of being able to write too much.  I realize that given these uncertain times I should feel lucky to have a good job.  And I do.

I also feel lucky to have this blog and to be able to present my thoughts on the week we all just got through together. 

Here goes!

Another Giants’ receiver gets shot!  Seriously what are the odds of the guy who replaced Plaxico Burress on the Giants roster also getting shot so soon after Burress accidentally capped himself?  Better than back to back Big Blue championships, I guess.  Here’s hoping Taye Biddle gets better soon.

Jeff Kent – when you look at his numbers even after accounting for the slugging era he played in, they are very impressive for a second baseman.  As a Mets fan, I saw quite a bit of Kent in the 90s.  He never struck me as a Hall of Famer.  Maybe that early impression is what keeps me from seeing him as Cooperstown-worthy now…

Alonozo Mourning – Zo has once again decided to retire.  Somehow this one feels more real.  After battling through kidney problems and leg issues through the years, I think he’s done.  Does anyone remember how limitless the Charlotte Hornets future looked way back when they had the young versions of Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson playing for them?  Maybe the young & current version of Chris Paul will deliver on that long ago promise for the franchise that fled Charlotte for New Orleans…

Brian Schottenheimer – I don’t get it.  What’s the big deal whether he comes back to the Jets as their offensive coordinator?  In three years with the Jets, Marty’s son has produced the 25th, 26th and 16th ranked offenses in the NFL.  This gets him serious consideration for the head job?  And this merits the Jets’ brass losing sleep over whether he’ll be happy to return?  Maybe it’s just that they figure if they keep Shottenheimer and the current offense in place the odds are better Brett Favre will return?

Rex Ryan – Maybe it’s cause he’s a twin and I have twins.   Maybe it’s cause he’s Buddy Ryan’s son and for some reason I always found Buddy entertaining despite my being a Giants’ fan.  I don’t know.   But, for some reason, I like Rex Ryan and feel like he’ll do a nice job with the Jets.  If nothing else, his press conferences are already better than Eric Mangini’s.

Goodbye Guantanamo! – The new president carries through on his promise to close Gitmo.  Good riddance!  Call me crazy but simply “disappearing” people just doesn’t seem real American to me.  Feels like we all ought to have more faith in our system than to resort to that kind of third world dictatorship kind of move.

Goodbye Torture! – Barack Obama delivers again!  Nice first couple of days for him by the way.  So far so good, but we’ve got a long way to go.  Thanks to President Obama, now the US will not be allowed to torture suspects anymore.  Another good move. America should not tolerate torture.  Beside not being in keeping with our constitution, it’s not all that effective.  How about just making them sit through a full episode of the “Color Honeymooners”?  Yikes!

Pope’s On Youtube – He’s got his own channel there.  How long til he’s got his own development deal with some cable channel?

Mark Ivaroni Fired – Is every NBA franchise going to fire their head coach this season?  And will it make any difference in Memphis anyway??  Especially when you hire Lionel Hollins for the THIRD time to coach your franchise.  What’s he going to do different this time??  Third time!  I’m not making this up!

New York’s Got a New Senator – And it’s not a Kennedy.  Would have been poetic to see Caroline Kennedy take the seat her uncle once held.  But, after her disastrous couple of weeks in the spotlight think we all learned why she’s stayed private all these years. You know, uh, you know….

Manny Ramirez – Being a pain in the ass can cost you a lot of cash.  Now, not even the Mets are interested in one of the game’s very best hitters.  As a Mets’ fan, I’m very worried about the pitching rotation and just don’t think they have enough hitting.  Manny could go a long way toward solving half their problems.  Course, he’d add a whole other set in the process but that’s just Manny being Manny.

Mark McGwire  –  Not only does his brother Jay introduce him to roids, now he outs him.  Would I love to be a fly-on the wall at the McGwire family reunion!

Herm Edwards Fired – Had to see this coming when the Chiefs brought in a new GM.  And although Edwards isn’t saying it, I will.  Clark Hunt has a lot of nerve firing Edwards after signing off on the youth movement that put the Chiefs at 2-14 last year.  If Edwards had known he had just one year to work with, maybe he’d have rethought going young.

Who’ll Bail Out The Veteran NFL Coaches? – Maybe it will be the Chiefs who are rumored to be pursuing Mike Shanahan.  It’s amazing to me to see all these young guys getting hired for head coaching jobs this year while big names like Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Marty Schottenheimer and Bill Cowher may be sitting out next season. 

Let’s take them and a few others case by case:

Mike Shanahan – Not surprised KC would want him.  After all, they had to play against him for so long and know how good he is.  Am surprised that he’d go somewhere so quickly after Denver, especially without being able to have Denver-type control.  Really thought that once again he’d replace Wade Phillips.  This time in Dallas.  If Jerry Jones were smart and Shanahan were interested, he’d make sure history repeat itself.

Jon Gruden – Tampa’s entire roster seems to be dogging him in the press, but you have to believe he’ll get another chance.  When he does, he’ll win again.

Marty Schottenheimer – All Brian’s dad ever has done is win.  Ok, not in the playoffs so much.   Still, I don’t buy he’s not one of the top 30 coaches in the pro football world.  Don’t see Norv Turner really lighting things up in San Diego either…

Bill Cowher – he strikes me as the least interested in coming back this year.  Still, think the Jets blew it by not overwhelming him.

Dan Reeves – He wants back in.  So much so that at age 65 he’s interviewing for the offensive coordinator spot for the 49ers.  Like Marty Schot, he’s another guy who has done nothing but win.  Unfortunately, both he and Marty may never get a crack at a top spot again.  Here’s hoping they both do.  The ultimate of course, would be to see Reeves get another team to the Super Bowl only to watch them get crushed by Marty’s first ever Super Bowl team. 

Denny Green – I’m just throwing him in here.  I haven’t even heard he wants to coach again.  But, with the Cardinals going to the Super Bowl, it’s worth noting that Green brought in some of the guys who have gotten them there.  You may have heard of one of his guys.  Kurt Warner??

Deep breathe!  Think that was everything I wanted to get out.

Thanks for taking a look!

Jon Gruden Fired By Bucs! WTF? Chuckie’s Gone!!

17 Jan

And so the blood letting continues among the coaching ranks.  Biting the dust tonight?  None other than Chuckie himself, notorious bad sleeper Jon Gruden.

Gruden was done it, it seems, by the Buccaneers end of season collapse.  Tampa slid from 9-3 at one point to missing out on the playoffs completely.  For that sin, so ends the Gruden Era.  And for good measure, the Glazer family canned GM Bruce Allen too.

So there you go.  No internal power struggle in which ownership sided with someone other than their coach.  Pure and simple the Bucs decided that 9-7 just wasn’t good enough.

Part of me says good for them.  Sure, Jon Gruden won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay and not that long ago. But, he’s been mediocre since.  Gruden’s records since his first glorious year in which he went 12-4 and won a title are as follows:  7-9, 5-11, 11-5, 4-12 and then back to back 9-7 records.  He’s gotten to the playoffs twice since winning it all and both times Tampa lost in their first and only game.  Last year, he seemed to make a serious error by resting his starters way too early in the regular season and dropping late season games and losing at home to the miracle Giants in round one of the playoffs. 

The other part of me says who the heck does Tampa Bay think they are?  Tony Dungy, who preceded Gruden, had guided the Bucs into respectability.  Four times in his six years in Florida, Tony Dungy got his Tampa teams into the playoffs.  They had talent.  They just never seemed to be able to put it all together for a sustained post-season run.  When Dungy went 9-7 in 2001 and got slaughtered in round one of the playoffs by the Eagles for the second straight year, the Glazers fired Tony Dungy.  Next, they ponied up a ton of cash and draft picks to bring boy genius Chuckie to town.

It worked.  I know I said it earlier in this post, but Gruden managed to win a Super Bowl in Tampa in year one.  It’s true that Dungy had handed him a winning organization and deserves a great deal of credit for Tampa’s title he didn’t get to see.  Still, it bears repeating Gruden won it all in Tampa Bay of all places.

And now he’s gone.  Only in his mid-40s, you get the feeling there’s a lot more football left in Jon Gruden.  It will be interesting to see how his availability changes any plans teams with coaching openings have.  For my money, the Rams and Jets could do a lot worse.  It’s fitting, of course, that Detroit just hired somebody and so won’t be in the hunt for Gruden, a guy who’s won in both Tampa and Oakland.  Who’s to say he couldn’t turn around Detroit?

As for Tampa, it’s a gutsy move on their part and tells us who they think they are.  The Glazer family wants their franchise to be one of the upper echelon teams and is signaling they won’t settle  for less.  The Glazers have always liked big names.  How many times, after all, did they woo Bill Parcells only to be left at the alter embarrassed and humiliated? 

Names like Cowher, Shanahan and Parcells (doesn’t he always find a way out of his deals?) are out there.  It will be interesting to see what big fish Tampa tries to reel in this time.