Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Jan 2008

Right Fit Crucial to Coaching Success

My column at Fox this week is a look at the four coaches who will man the sidelines this weekend, and how all four of them turned out to be better fits for the job than it might have appeared at the time they were hired.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 18 Jan 2008

44 comments, Last at 17 Apr 2008, 8:22pm by B.B.

Comments

1
by Youppitime (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 5:11pm

Wait, what is this article saying that is worthwhile?

Norv Turner might be a mediocre coach, instead of a horrific coach?

Bill Bellicheck is a good coach? (though he got lucky with Brady in the 6th round. If he really thought Brady was this good, he would have taken him earlier.

Coughlin had success in Jacksonville before his style wore out the players there, so a new start should have given him a grace period.

Mike McCarthy, probably not his fault that the Niners were that bad, and he had other jobs before that, but a good hire nonetheless.

2
by Bobman (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 5:25pm

Like with anything else, it's matchups. Been contemplating this with Dungy's uncertainty in Indy. Who would be right... a tough guy? A screamer? A weeper? A status quo guy?

Same goes anywhere, I suppose. They have to work well both upstream with GM/owner, and downstream with staff and players. Except in Oakland, where they just have to mouth to the team what the owner tells them, like those animatronic presidential dummies in Disneyworld. "I am Honest Abe Lincoln, the 16th president, and I freed the slaves." "You will block for our QB who takes an 11-step drop for a long downfield pass that never materializes."

3
by commenter (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 5:28pm

Why would he draft Tom Brady earlier if he basically knew no one else wanted him?

If I knew a prospect was out of this world but almost no one knew about him, I wouldn't take him in the first round to make a statement ... I'd take him as late as I can, save some money, and if it works out, look good. If it doesn't, so what?

4
by Tom (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 5:48pm

re 3: If you thought that a player was going to become one of the best QBs in the league, you wouldnt wait until the 6th round to take him, you might wait until the 2nd or 3rd if you think he is going to go undrafted anyway, but you wouldnt wait that long. The Athletics spent tons of first and second round picks on players that they thought were worthy of first and second round picks that plenty of other teams didnt even think were going to get drafted. This isnt Madden, you cant just restart the draft if someone gets drafted earlier than you expect.

Not to be overly critical, but im not a very big fan of this article either. Seems like very traditional football logic to just assume that the new coach was better than the old coach because he brought his team furhter into the playoffs. To applaud a coach as being way better than everyone thought he was when he took a team from 29.9% DVOA to 19.9% in just one year seems a little absurd. The Chargers lost their playoff game because of massively bad fumble luck, and won this one at least partially due to getting good fumble luck.

The giants argument is less absurd than the Turner argument, but certainly seems pretty invalid itself. The Giants are not even ranked among the 20 best teams in the NFL according to DVOA.

5
by Kneel Before Zod! (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 5:54pm

re 3: There's no way anyone in NE knew how good Brady would be.
I will give them credit for providing an environment and coaching that allowed him to flourish.
I often wonder if the difference in drafting results between teams might have something to do with the situation the players are put in and not just the players themselves.

Re 2: An ideal coach for the Colts could be Mike Martz, Peyton doesn't get sacked near enough to suit me ;)

Also in Cleveland Belichick worked for a cheapskate idiot, that has to be a limiting factor so his record should there get some kind
of Art Model adjustment.

6
by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 6:04pm

if Belichick gets an Art Modell adjustment, surely Norv should get a Danny Snyder / Al Davis adjustment.

7
by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 6:08pm

And I think that what this article is really saying is that Bill Cowher is not worth the $10M that Snyder was reportedly ready to pay him.

8
by Mark Glickman (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 6:10pm

I am also scratching my head about the judgment that "it simply cannot be overstated how well the four coaches whose teams are still in the playoffs have worked with their quarterbacks." Even if Eli's very impressive last 3 weeks indicates he's turned a corner, his consistent year-to-year mediocrity to date is certainly the most damning piece of evidence of Tom Coughlin's performance.

9
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 6:25pm

#8... Eli hasn't been quite as bad as you make him out to be. How would they have made the playoffs 3 consecutive seasons under him if he was?

10
by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 6:35pm

RE: 9 - you have to admit that his sub-55% completion percentage isn't exactly a positive indictment.

11
by Eric P (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 6:53pm

To me, the biggest thing this article illustrates is that for any coach (HC, DC, OC, etc.), no matter how good or bad their results may be, there are so many factors and so many moving parts involved that it's virtually impossible for any outsider to make an informed judgment on their coaching abilities. It seems like a cop out, but really, "wait and see" is generally the only prudent reaction to the hiring/firing of a coach.

12
by Digit (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 6:54pm

re: 3

Because at the time, he already had a QB named Drew Bledsoe who'd just been signed to a long-term contract. It's quite possible that they may have evaluated him as a top QB, but not wanted to take him early because it wasn't a pressing need.

13
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 7:00pm

Norv gave the Chargers exactly what they needed, an offensive coordinator who could take advantage of their talented offense. Unfortunately, in the process, they lost a disciplined coach who was great at nurturing and developing talent.

14
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 7:06pm

Oh, and Bellichick didn't draft Brady to replace Bledsoe, he drafted him to replace Huard. However, Bellichick does deserve credit for recognizing that the 2nd year Brady was a lot better than expected, and put him as the backup qb for the beginning of the year, then had him start when Bledsoe got injured.

15
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 7:13pm

Re: #5

And in fact Pioli reportedly keeps a picture of the Pats' 2000 fifth-round pick on his desk as a reminder to himself of how lucky they were picking Brady.

16
by MJK (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 7:33pm

Fellow Patriots fans:

Please please please don't pretend that Belichick and Pioli *KNEW* that Brady would be really good, and were just waiting to draft him because they were geniuses looking for draft value. That's just silly, and you make the rest of us Patriots fans look dumb for even suggesting such a thing.

Give them credit for recognizing that Brady had potential, and being the first of the 31 teams to recognize that he was worth taking more than all the remaining players on the draft board. And give them credit for choosing Brady over Tim Rattay, the other QB they almost took with that pick.

Give them credit for not cutting him the year he was drafted, when he was the 4TH QB on the depth chart.

Give them credit for coaching and developing him into the QB he is today.

Give them credit for giving him the opportunity to succeed, and ascend to the #2 position on the depth chart (and maybe even planning on starting him in 2002 over Bledsoe...Belichick's biographies have hinted that this may have been planned), ahead of more highly paid players that were perhaps more difficult to acquire. Give them credit for sticking to their guns and going with him in 2001 after Bledsoe got healthy, because they recognized he was better.

But don't give them credit for what was essentially luck.

Here's the players the Pats drafted ahead of Brady:

Adrian Klemm
J.R. Redmond
Greg Robinson-Randall
Dave Stachelski
Jeff Marriott
Antwan Harris

A failed tackle, a mediocre RB and DB, and three other players that no one has ever heard of and that went on and did nothing in the league. I boldfaced Dave Stachelski because, supposedly, Scott Pioli keeps a photo of him on his desk, and whenever someone starts talking about what a great personnel genius he is, he looks at that picture and reminds himself that he chose that guy 58 spots ahead of Tom Brady.

17
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 7:38pm

This reminds me of the 2001 pre-season. Bellichick had just gone 5-11, and spend their first round pick on an "undersized" Richard Seymour, when they could have taken David Tyree and given Bledsoe another deep threat. Terry Glenn gets arrested for drunk driving in Walpole, MA, and suspended 4 games. There were rumors that the coach payed a street free-agent to start a fight in training camp. Then the season starts, they go 0-2 with Bledsoe getting injured in the second game....

18
by Alex (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 7:50pm

#8… Eli hasn’t been quite as bad as you make him out to be. How would they have made the playoffs 3 consecutive seasons under him if he was?

Easy. A great pass rush and very good running backs. That, along with an average QB, would make them an above average team. And above average teams can easily make the playoffs three years in a row, especially when they go 8-8 in one of those years.

Nobody said that Eli's been terrible (at least not on this thread), but he hasn't improved from his second year in the league, when he was about average. Since then, his DPAR and DVOA have decreased each year, his Int % has increased each year, and his Y/A was lower in each of the last two years than it was in 2005. His QB rating, Sack Rate, and TD % haven't changed much in the last three years. The only major improvement has been his Completion %, and that's only because it went from terrible to merely bad.

Eli hasn't been developing as a QB over the last three years, he's been regressing. And while some of the blame for that has to be put on Eli, part of it rests with his coaches.

Now, maybe he's really turned the corner in the last few weeks, but I'm a little skeptical. I've seen lots of struggling QBs string together a few very impressive performances, only to fall right back to mediocrity later on. Hell, Eli has done that before himself. Let's see him continue to play well for an entire season before we pronounce his struggles a thing of the past.

19
by John Morgan (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 9:00pm

First, let me say I love people's "strange feeling"s. It's something seemingly endemic to sports. No one has a strange feeling about the big opera. No one thinks the Tenor is going to go on an unexpected run of dominance, or that Philip Roth isn't going to "show up" in his next novel. Anyway, I digress...

Instead of talking about fit, shouldn't we be talking about talent? It's been all but proven that a baseball manager has almost no positive effect on his team. Sure, Xs and Os are more complex than platoon splits, but am I the only one who thinks coaches are overvalued and GMs are vastly undervalued? I mean, what could Norv Turner have done to stop Ladainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates from being otherwordly talents? At the same time, what could a coach like Scott Linehan do to prevent his left tackle from being lost for the season? Talent wins football games, I'd be surprised if a coach makes two games worth of difference a season.

20
by Alex (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 9:11pm

Why would he draft Tom Brady earlier if he basically knew no one else wanted him?

Except he didn't know that no one else wanted Brady. There's no way he could've known that. Even if it were true that no one else had planned on taking Brady, there's no way he could've known that some team wouldn't decide to take him in the 5th round if the player(s) they were planning on taking were unavailable.

If I knew a prospect was out of this world but almost no one knew about him, I wouldn’t take him in the first round to make a statement

Can we please kill the myth that no one had ever heard of Brady before the draft? He was the starting QB on a high profile BCS team for 2 full years, and in his first year as starter, his team was coming off an undefeated season/split National Championship (ironically, his failure to lead them to another National Championship made him the target of critics who claimed that he "couldn't win big games").

I’d take him as late as I can, save some money, and if it works out, look good. If it doesn’t, so what?

If it doesn't, you've missed out on an elite QB, and you're stuck with Bledsoe. The value gained in having Tom Brady instead of Drew Bledsoe is far greater than the difference in cost between a 1st round pick and a 6th round pick.

21
by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 9:27pm

if it works out, look good. If it doesn’t, so what?

If it doesn't, you get fired if your boss finds out you wanted to pick up a franchise QB you were sold on, but wanted to wait a couple rounds to get him cheaper.

Rookie contracts are free. F-r-e-e. The difference between a 6th round pick's contract and a 2nd round pick's contract is something like $1M a year. Whoop-de-freaking-doo. "Man, I'm glad we waited and nearly missed out on a potential starting quarterback. Now we can afford this 10th year veteran playing for the minimum!"

22
by Jake (not verified) :: Fri, 01/18/2008 - 9:46pm

Good to see some more statistical or schematic analysis on Football Outsiders and not just the same filler with no insight and no real self-examination (like how Turner how worked well with Rivers despite his cratering numbers). MDS's columns don't clash with the central thesis of this site at all.

23
by mlc0808 (not verified) :: Sat, 01/19/2008 - 12:22am

#19 Right.

What is 'talent'? I think more often than not it is defined by results because NFL rosters are ALL full of the biggest, fastest and strongest athletes America has to offer. Those results more often than not come from players executing plays within a system (via techniques and tactics -- which apparently come out of thin air). A system designed to maximize their abilities and allow them to be successful.

Because anyone can take a 6th round QB, a thirty-year old wide receiver with notorious motivation issues, aging linebackers and a bevy of 'tweeners' on a 17-0 (and counting) run through the NFL.

Similarly, players like Garrard and McNair must have come into the NFL with the same 'talent' as rookies that they showed after being developed for years within their respective systems? No coaching going on there . . . I'm sure it couldn't have affected more than two games a year for Jacksonville or Tennessee (back in the day).

Coaching didn't have anything to do with Walsh's West Coast Offense -- which dramatically changed the way football is played at all levels. Or Zone Blitzes. Or the Slide Front Jimmy Johnson brought to the league from the college ranks.

And all that game planning must be worthless too -- just go out there and wing it around or draw plays up in the dirt! It could only cost at the most two games . . . 7-9 and sitting home is just as good as 9-7 and in the playoffs. Who needs a plan? Who needs a coach?

I can think of a dozen games won or lost by playcalls or game strategy . . . but very few won by 'pure talent' unless it was talent harnessed, nurtured, and directed by coaching.

Sorry, Football ain't baseball. Not even close.

24
by Matt Saracen - QB1 - Dillon Panthers (not verified) :: Sat, 01/19/2008 - 3:23am

#22 - Jake: Sarcasm ay? I hope it made you feel better.

#23 - mlc: I see your point, but I don't agree. A coach is far less important than his players. Players throw the blocks, catch/throw the passes and make the tackles. Sure you can improve them to some extent, but I would say by the time players get to the NFL most of them would have their technique 90% mastered. College coaches, especially positional coaches would be far more important in that regard.

The important NFL coaches IMO are the coordinators who mix and match schemes, but even then are they that important?? I would say no. There are a handful of games that have been won PURELY on better strategy, but the VAST MAJORITY are lost on execution, not running the plays as they are drawn. That is mostly the players fault - they are the ones who draw drive lengthening/killing flags, drop passes, throw interceptions, miss tackles or field goals.

But back to MDS' article. I really dislike talk about coaches and their brilliance or lack thereof. They are seemingly millions of variables that go into the training, maintaining and building of a squad - yet we pin the W/L record on the head coach and judge him forever on it. See Norv Turner - he has a bad rap around here, as did Wade Philips when he was hired, based on their past record. But you don't know what situation they are REALLY in. Could Norv have given the Pats 5 Super Bowls by now?? We will never know.

Just look as the AFC audibles thread for an example of strutinizing coaches. Norv called a run with 2:01 left and posters spent a lot of words saying why it was wrong etc. ONE PLAY and he's a bad play caller and a bad coach. Yes I'm being overly dramatic as the criticism wasn't harsh just people trying to prove they were smart, but you get the idea.

But until someone can develop a decent method of evaluating head coaches, I would rather ignore all speculation as to their true ability.

25
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 01/19/2008 - 12:14pm

There are definitely some objective measures of coaching ability. I know there was a season with the Lions where Steve Mariucci called passes 89% of the time on 3rd and 2, which means I can safely say that at least some of his playcalling is stupid.

26
by Tom (not verified) :: Sat, 01/19/2008 - 1:50pm

#19, you are totally wrong.
The reason baseball and football are different as far as coaching importance is because:

- baseball is a completely individual sport, meaning that team chemistry has NO effect on baseball (this is unquestionably NOT the case in football)

-Essentially the best thing for a baseball coach to do is NOTHING. almost every coach in MLB steals enough that they would have a more effective team if they stole zero times. Bunting is basically worthless, as is intentional walks. The difference between the best possible lineup and the worst possible lineup given the 9 generic players who play specific lineup spots (aka if you have 2 fast OBP guys, a good all around hitter, a power hitter etc...), is almost nominal... In football you call a play on every single down. you have to outthink the opposition, and create gameplans to try to stop their team.

-Football players require more acting skill. You have to show blitz, then drop into coverage, or vice versa, sometimes you have to show blitz but make it look like you are dropping into coverage but actually blitz. You make your man coverage look like zone coverage, on offense, the QB tries to pump fake receivers and fake out blitzers. Clearly it is a lot more than simply raw skill vs raw skill. In baseball it is just that. You dont need to teach a major league baseball player how to hit, all of them can hit.

obviously baseball coaches do play some small amount of effect, it is just vastly overrated. IMO the only purpose of a manager is for him to get fired whenever his team is doing shitty so that they can blame it on someone. Football coaching, not overrated, very important. but obviously GMs matter too... *cough* detroit *cough*

The thing is, I am reading thru these comments, and the thing that amazes me is that we read an article by MDS about how all 4 of these coaches are obviously good even though people thought they were crappy before, and we are arguing over whether the one actually good coach is good. What i want to hear is SOMEONE try to legitimate an article where Norv turner was claimed to be a "good fit" who made his team better... is it even possible?

27
by Felton (not verified) :: Sat, 01/19/2008 - 1:58pm

Interesting comments on Eli. I checked the numbers for QB ratings:
2005 Eli 76, NFL 78
2006 Eli 77, NFL 79
2007 Eli 74, NFL 81
Average to a little below average. Not bad for a guy about to enter his peak years as a QB (roughly 28 to 33). The pass rush and the development of the running game rules the day.

28
by Speedegg (not verified) :: Sat, 01/19/2008 - 3:15pm

Food for thought, but one game doesn't make a quarterback and one season shouldn't make a head coach. They should be judged on the total body of work.

Turner and Coughlin still have to show they can do it again next year. Both have established trends from their previous coaching experiences and it could be a matter of time before they lose control of their locker rooms.

McCarthy and Belichick built and improved upon their success. McCarthy has down a good job in rebuilding an aging team. His real test will come when Favre retires. As for Belichick, he has shown a scary ability to adapt and overcome any problem making the Patriots permanent contenders.

29
by Thok (not verified) :: Sat, 01/19/2008 - 3:42pm

Obviously, one way to have a successful team is to hire the offensive coordinator of the 49ers. Clearly some team needs to hire Jim Hostler ASAP.

[/sarcasm]

30
by Dave (not verified) :: Sat, 01/19/2008 - 3:47pm

Of course Belichick didn't expect Brady to be a Hall of Famer when they drafted him. They probably saw him as a smart, serviceable backup QB. But credit the late Dick Rehbein, the Pats' QB coach, for scouting Brady and evangelizing him within the organization. According to a Newsday article, he called his wife and told her that he'd found the next Joe Montana. Link to Newsday Rehbein article in my name.

31
by Zac (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2008 - 12:00am

Re: 27. QB Rating is ... not a very good measure. It's very arbitrary.

2007-DPAR 7.3, DVOA -10.1%
2006-DPAR 28.0, DVOA -1.1%
2005-DPAR 36.9, DVOA 1.8%
2004-DPAR -13.3, DVOA -28.4%

2004 was his rookie year, and he only played part of it. '05 and '06 he was basically an average starter, and '07 he was barely above replacement level.

32
by JeffD (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2008 - 3:18am

Saying that the Pats new Brady was going to be the next Montana is like saying that Wolf new that Favre was going to be well Favre...Its crazy....none new and if they did and waited they should be fired. If you let a future HOF player fall to the sixth round an know that something is wrong with you since the other 5 guys are not going to be and are not QB's....The most important position in the game and waiting just nuts....maybe for a full back...

33
by justanothersteve (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2008 - 4:50am

32 - The Jets would have drafted Favre in the first round had they had a #1 pick in 1991. He was the top rated player on their board. The Falcons grabbed him just before the Jets would have in the second round. So the Jets ended up drafting Browning Nagle. One more example, just like pick #199 in 2000, of why the there is still an element of luck in the draft. See link for story on the Jets wanting to draft Favre.

34
by BDC (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2008 - 9:10am

He may have been the top rated player on their board, I don't know, but they obviously couldn't have thought he was *that* great or they would have given themselves a little leaway and moved up into the first round. I'm not sure that this is really luck.

35
by BDC (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2008 - 9:13am

34: Completely ignore my comment. I totally misread what you meant when you said that.

36
by Unshakable Optimist (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2008 - 11:52am

Just to join the chorus, of course no coach or GM would ever be so smug as to assume that their scouting guys were the only ones in the league who happened to hit on this diamond in the rough. He was likely drafted as a practice squad arm was kept because he impressed in camp. Even then they probably figured him for a journeyman until he proved otherwise in real games.

37
by Felton (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2008 - 11:52am

31 - Thanks for the information. I know the limitations of QB ratings, but a comparison to the league average is useful and quick. We came to roughly the same conclusions, as the standard deviation for ratings is about 10. I had not considered replacement level, but a standard deviation below the league average would fit. I guess then the real question for both of us is where Eli goes from here - serviceable QB or replaceable? Dad was a bad QB his first few seasons and then improved (-2, 0, -14, -22, +8, +17, +5, +8, -9, +1).

38
by MarkB (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2008 - 3:40pm

I felt the overwhelming need to discuss Belichick drafting Brady, but then I took my meds and I feel much better now. I also decided not to pull the wings off of flies today.

39
by Pete (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2008 - 10:00pm

This is not one of my favorite articles. What is the job description for a head coach? What are his strengths? PR? (all have to be in front of the camera sometime) Offensive Coordinator? (specific system?) DC? (specific system?) QBs? Personnel (player or other coaches) evaluation? Salary Cap management? Motivation? Player development? Player morale? X's and O's?

Finding a good match does make sense and trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is usually a poor decision. How much of this is difficult to evaluate, IMO.

Is Little Bill an above average Head Coach? Win record would suggest it is likely. Is Turner a better coach for San Diego the Schottenheimer? DVOA would suggest otherwise, although a lot might depend also on losing both coordinators. I do like SD's use of Jackson and even though the Miami receiver is not great at fighting for the ball/catching the ball, he is probably an improvement. I like how Rivers is throwing the ball down field on some of the plays, but I think the SD line is not playing as well.

A big part of why Eli Manning is not doing as well: he never was as good, statistically as his brother. However, I would also point out that his two most gifted receivers (Plexico and Shockey) have motivation issues, IMO, and this is the first year they have worked with Eli during optional camps. They normally prefer to play basketball in Miami, which cannot help Eli get on the same page.

Little Bill got lucky with Brady, but the bigger issue is how he tries to coach "B" caliber players to play at a "B+" or "A-" level and yet still pay them at "B-" or lower level. Coach 'em up, while being a good judge of skills and performance and paying accordingly.

40
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2008 - 12:50pm

I do not know the "little things" with the other three coaches, but I can definitely say that there are "little things" that Bill Belichick does that puts his team in position to win.

If you have ever seen him in practice or during the game, he breaks things down to each player "doing his job" and clearly shows them what their job is. If everyone does their individual job, and the play doesn't work, then it is on him. Most of the time, its not on him.

His coaching ability is not exclusive to in-game coaching. He is a great talent evaluator and really knows the fine details of the game, to coach everyone from the linemen to the defensive backs on the nuances that they are missing.

Putting a W-L record on a coach is stupid-- he was just as good a coach in CLE as he is in NE, he just had less talent and a bad situation.

(As for Brady, Belichick's strength was in realizing they had a steal in Brady and playing him based on talent, not draft position. He got lucky, but then he capitalized on it-- the safe thing to do would have been to give Bledsoe the job back, but if that had happened, the Patriots would have never won a Super Bowl.)

41
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2008 - 2:09pm

Hate to quote MMQB, but this is one of the reasons Belichick is a great coach, outside of coaching itself:

g. Is the Seattle deal for Deion Branch turning into a full-fledged disaster or what? Two years of fairly low impact (102 catches) for a high price (a first-round pick went to New England, and $6.5 million per year went to Branch). Now he'll need ACL surgery and probably won't be ready to start the '08 season on the active roster.

h. That's still more than the Titans are getting out of Branch's former running mate, David Givens. He's missed almost all of his two Tennessee seasons with chronic knee problems, and Jeff Fisher says he might not be ready for the start of 2008 training camp either.

Pioli isn't GM because Belichick wants the final say. I think that combined, they do a damn good job.

42
by jaredtaskin (not verified) :: Wed, 01/23/2008 - 11:34am

3: Then you don't have Tom Brady, that's what. If you knew a quarterback was as good as Brady, it'd be worth taking him in the first round, just to be safe.

43
by TED F!@#ING GINN!? (not verified) :: Thu, 01/24/2008 - 1:27pm

Re 16:

Thank you. Patriots fans like you at least make me think that you aren't ALL smug and annoying. You've got a long way to go with most of your fan base, however.

Re 30:

That is a "You heard it here first!" comment. Of course he looks like a genius now, but how many other QBs could he have said that about that no one remembers because there aren't stories detailing it? I could say every QB drafted is going to be the next Dan Marino, and eventually, I'd be right. Then when there is a story in a local newspaper about how I predicted it because I'm an amazing judge of talent and an absolute football genius, does that make it true?

44
by B.B. (not verified) :: Thu, 04/17/2008 - 8:22pm

where is dave stachelski now? well, he is still working out and graduating from UT in Austin Texas in electrical engineering. the one reason that he did not make it in the nfl is because he was not mature enough to go through the nfl.