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FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Once again this year, we'll keep an open thread all day on the Monday after the season to announce firings. And once again, we don't even wait until Monday to get started.

Finally making things official, the San Francisco 49ers announced right after Jim Harbaugh's postgame press conference today that they have mutually agreed to part ways with their unhappy head coach. Most rumors of course have Harbaugh taking a job at his alma mater, the University of Michigan; I assume that despite Jed York's announcement tonight, the 49ers would seek some sort of payment from any NFL team that wanted to hire him away. (Hi, Oakland.)

Monday 10:00am EST update

The New York Jets clean house, as expected, firing both head coach Rex Ryan and GM John Idzik.

The Atlanta Falcons have fired head coach Mike Smith; GM Thomas Dimitroff stays.

Chicago fires head coach Marc Trestman and GM Phil Emery.

While the Falcons have engaged the services of an executive search firm to help them find a new head coach, the Bears instead will be searching for a mad scientist with a time machine so they can go back and never sign Jay Cutler to a contract extension.

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190 comments, Last at 31 Dec 2014, 6:57pm

1 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Raiders will get T. Bowles, Mike Smith, j. Mcdaniels (and do reverse Shanarat), or some other gyu. Tema will be fibe,
. future is a-okay.

135 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I think he coordinated the bills one season(taking over an elite unit the year before). He proceeded to futz around with 3-4 and 4-3 alignments and the bills defense promptly fell off a cliff. It should be further noted that I think the bills defense basically rebounded the year after.

4 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

The Harbaugh-to-Michigan deal just leaves me scratching my head. When I think of college coaches leaving the NFL and going back to college, I think of the Nick Sabans and Steve Spurriers, whose coaching chops were not suited to the NFL game--that maybe recruiting was part of their key skills and they couldn't use it, or they were just incapable of dealing with adult men as their employees instead of adolescents and near-adolescents. In other words, those who *failed* in the pros went back to college. I genuinely don't recall when a coach who had dramatic success in the NFL. (I mean, this year's 8-8 season is his *bad* year with the Niners. 8-8 would make you a Jaguars franchise hero.)

I sort of understand the idea that Jed York would fire a guy he couldn't get along with no matter the cash hit and no matter what happened on the field, but the idea that Harbaugh himself would choose Michigan over ANY NFL job is a head-shaker. It's like...if Giancarlo Stanton had turned down the deal with the Marlins and went to play in Japan or something.

6 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Yeah, but college jovs mean ton kf work too. Way i understand tit, theu h avbve to recruit all the time. Recruiting practically never ends. They have to do banquet season and kiss booster's bums. Good and bad things about college and,good and bad thonfs abiut nfl.

14 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I could be misremembering, but I seem to recall Steve Spurrier saying once that part of the reason he enjoys being a college coach is that he still has time to place 9 holes a day if he wants.

And while Harbaugh doesn't seem like the type to kiss ANYONE's butt let alone people involved in football that don't actually know football, I think the boosters will probably give him a pass to blow them off if he so chooses. At least for the first couple seasons.

7 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Two things: he clearly cares about being paid on par with the best coaches in the industry, and he'll get to pick an opening without compensating the 49ers for leaving with a year left on his deal. He gets to help his alma matter, and he gets to screw his former employer. Strikes me as the kind of move a competitive hardass would be itching to make

10 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I don't know--I really don't see him taking the job in the first place if he thinks he intends to just bail out in a year or two. Really, any open NFL job would be his for the asking (and a few that aren't--I'm a Miami fan and I'd love if they'd toss Philbin into the ocean and hire Harbaugh in his place); if he's going to college again it's because he wants to be there for some reason...and I just don't track on the concept of someone *preferring* to hang out in the minor leagues (which, for all its fanfare and multi-billion-dollar profitability, is still what the NCAA is for the NFL, a feeder system to season and audition the best athletes so they can then go on to the highest level of competition) when they can stand on the big stage.

I mean, am I missing something here? Is there a historical legacy of successful NFL head coaches going back to college ball? The usual chain is NFL coordinator-->first head job at college-->NFL head job. Or successful college coach-->unsuccessful NFL coach-->successful college coach. We see those patterns often. But a guy at the top of his game in the NFL just saying, "Nah, the pros aren't for me"?

15 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I don't think there's any question of whether Harbaugh will succeed at Michigan. He's already done well at Stanford and Michigan is one of the top jobs in the country.

And the advantage of the Michigan job is that the 49ers wouldn't have to be compensated.

27 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

As long as the fanatics of maize and blue laundry have a clue with regard to how Michigan is now at a talent disadvantage compared to the West Coast, Texas, and the Southeast, relative to the lay of the land in years past, Michigan is still a great job. Michigan has an aging population that has lost population in more years than it it has gained in the past decade. Coaching can only do so much, and if Michigan maintains its admission standards, relative to most SEC and Big 12 schools (I'm not sure with regard to about half the PAC 12), that'll be another reason why winning national championships is a much harder bar to clear at Michigan than at, say, Alabama, Florida, or Florida State. If they go to an eight team playoff, with an auto bid for 5 conference champions, that'll really help a school like Michigan.

51 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I've heard it said that Ohio State will admit athletes that Michigan will not, but I don't know the truth of the matter. Going up against Urban Meyer, if Meyer can recruit form a larger pool, will be a challenge, and any Michigan coach who has a losing record to Ohio State will be looked upon, by a nontrivial percentage of the crazies, which is a nontrivial percentage of the fan base, as a failure. I know Harbaugh dealt with that issue at Stanford, but I'm not as familiar with the Pac 12. I know USC and UCLA are highly regarded universities, but I don't know what allowances they make for admitting athletes in the big money sports.

29 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I think the lure of building a NCAA dynasty, with (virtually) nobody to answer to, is a powerful magnet. As has been said, there's a difference in motivating the 18-21 demographic than the 25-34 one. If he can win a couple of National Championships while he's at Michigan -- and I think they'll be in contention as early as next season -- and leave the program in good hands with a trusted underling, he'll be back in the pros, a la Pete Carroll, to try to add an NFL championship to the NCAA one.

190 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Doubt what?

I think dryheat made 4 points. Is there a particular one you doubt or all of them.

1. The lure of building a NCAA dynasty is a powerful magnet.
2. there's a difference in motivating 18-21 year olds as opposed to 25-34 year olds.
3. If he wins multiple NCAA Championships he would return to the pros. (I kinda doubt this one).
4. He'll have Michigan in contention next year.

9 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

What does everyone think about who will vs. should be fired?

I would imagine the coaches fired will be:

Rex Ryan, Jim Harbaugh, Mike Smith, Marc Trestman, Tony Sparano, and maybe, just maybe, Jay Gruden.

I have the sense that Gruden probably should be fired, along with Joe Philbin (who won't be, but his game management was abysmal this season, in my opinion), and I wonder about Jeff Fisher, Ken Whisenhunt, and Lovie Smith. It seems to me that Fisher has been consistently ineffective in Saint Louis, and he can't pin that all on Bradford. Whisenhunt looked like a man without a plan this season in Tennessee, and I think that the Buccaneers significantly underperformed their talent this season. Thoughts? I also wonder about Coughlin in New York. He's been a hard coach to figure out throughout his New York tenure and for all the Jacksonville years after 1999. His teams have tended to perform very unevenly throughout seasons, often with little connection to strength of schedule, which makes me wonder if conditioning and practice schedules are flawed... Does he deserve another year?

11 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Hmm. I say Ryan, Trestman, and Mike Smith go. The Jets and Bears are train wrecks organizationally and on the field; the only question is how thoroughly the Augean stables get washed out. Smith's had two straight bad years in Atlanta, and his decision-making constantly screams "stay under the radar so nobody blames me for this latest loss"...which to me, is a good reason to blame him.

Philbin needs to go. After the mess of the offensive line last year, the flap with Tannehill this year, and the number of wins he threw away with late-game bad coaching, he has no business being there. Unfortunately, Ross already brought him back, so the Miami renaissance gets put off another year. I can easily see us finishing fourth next year, with the Bills basically being an above-average QB away from 10-6 and the Jets a complete dice roll.

Sparano may go. As an interim coach, he's really nobody's pet hire, so he could easily be replaced. On the other hand, somebody may decide that they like the way the Raiders actually showed up and competed more often than expected for him. I think the deciding factor ought to be what they think of Carr's development.

Whisenhunt ought to go; he never should have been given the job in the first place. The ability to get out of his Hall of Fame (well, borderline) QB's way is not a mark of good coaching, and his record's been abysmal without Warner to prop it up.

Fisher should probably go, too. Not having a backup plan for Bradford isn't necessarily on him, but that offense is horrid generally and his teams haven't been any good for a decade. Plus, the Rams' growing rep for dirty play has to be laid at his door.

If Trestman has any hope of keeping his job, he should thank the Buccaneers for allowing the Bears to see that Lovie Smith was not the magic bullet that was going to make the Bears suddenly 10-6. I'm starting to wonder if Lovie was not unlike Whisenhunt, only with the superb Bears defensive players filling in for Kurt Warner.

Gruden I don't feel qualified to speak about even as a casual fan--I have no idea what's going on with the QB mess, how much of that is the front office, how much of it is the players, and how much of it is Gruden himself. The most I can say is that the biggest problem with the Redskins sits in the owner's box.

Sean Peyton's somebody else I wonder about, with the Saints on a downward trend; virtually everyone picked them to finish first in their division and instead they had to wait for the Bucs to remember that the first draft pick was on the line and lay down just to end up 7-9.

12 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

For most coaches, it's true that NFL -> college is a step down ... if you assume that the only two things that matter are level of competition for jobs and level of play on the field. On those two counts the NFL is undeniably superior - there are far fewer NFL jobs and in general they get the best coaches, and the level of play in the NFL is so far above college it's almost a different game.

People take jobs for all kinds of reasons, though. Harbaugh may prefer to teach and mold young men rather than scheme for sophisticated professionals. He may prefer his alma mater with a free hand to any NFL job with the likes of Jerry Jones looking over his shoulder (having just had a dose of what ownership meddling in your affairs is like). He may prefer to take an NFL job later when his team won't have to mortgage his future to get him (e.g. the Raiders meeting the 49ers price for acquiring the last year on his deal and then extending him). He may even not judge his employment opportunities by the criteria where the NFL is superior.

16 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

As a Michigan alum, I am more than happy to have Harbaugh, even if it's only for 3 or 4 years. If he leaves the program in the same shape he left Stanford, that has to be considered a win.

I am scratching my head about why he wouldn't want to stay in the NFL, but I'm scratching my head even more about what in the hell happened with the SF front office. I don't care how difficult a guy is to get along with. When he ranges from 8-13 wins and comes within a hair's breadth of winning a Super Bowl, you figure out a way to get along with him.

Don't the 49ers remember what happened the last time they fired a relatively successful head coach (Steve Marriuci) in 2003?

22 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

That assumes the organization cares if the next coach wins more games. As noted on deadspin, they have their new stadium and the money spigot is on full blast. Sad as it is, the cynical view that SF is pinching pennies and Harbaugh's abrasive personality is just a pre-textual reason is potentially accurate.

30 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I've always wanted the 32 plutocrats who own this business to toss 150 million in the pot at he beginning of each year, with half guaranteed to the 12 that get in the playoffs, and the other half divvied up according to how far the team advances. The plutocrats, of course, would hate this idea.

106 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

There are a lot of examples where teams keep the HC longer than they should have. Ryan for example was very successful the first 2 years and his team finished 4-12 this year.
Also 49ers fired Seifert and hired Mooch and that worked OK too. Both Seifert and Mooch were unsuccessful at their next jobs.

49ers offense needed a change and Harbaugh was not going to bring that. Just like every management at every business 49ers have to base their decisions on what they expect the future will bring. Not what the past was.

I think Jed York has been a phenomenal owner since he took over. He fired Nolan. He hired Singletary and then backtracked from his mistake really quick. He hired Harbaugh, fired McLoughlan. Promoted Baalke. He had the stadium build. He has made only one mistake so far (hiring Singletary, or more precisely allowing Singletary to pick his OC) and made many good decisions.I think he deserves the benefit of doubt for his decision even when it comes to firing someone as successful as Harbaugh.

108 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I can't speak for Seifert in Carolina, but Mooch was unsuccessful at his next job because he was working with the deck stacked against him (working for Matt Millen's Lions and having Joey Harrington jammed down his throat). I would argue getting 5-6 wins out of 3 win talent was somewhat impressive. Anyway, I think the real mistake was replacing Mooch with Dennis freakin' Erickson (this is not hindsight, I remember being dumbfounded about that decision at the time). So guess we should reserve judgement until we see who they replace Harbaugh with.

122 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I know Mooch did not go to a good situation. My point was when he was fired the assumption was that he would do well in his next job. Neither 49ers nor him had success.

I think it is hard to judge Erickson era given that they gutted the entire roster (Owens, Garcia) and by 2004 they had the worst roster probably ever to take field in NFL. I do not think he was good hire but nevertheless he never was given the chance to be successful.

I think we should all reserve judgement until they hire Harbaugh's replacement.

109 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I know I have been beating this dead horse around FO for a while now, but building that stadium should go on his list of accomplishments in a very Monty Burns style way. As a resident of Santa Clara County, I really wish there was more local outrage about it.

Also as an aside, I'm not sure such constant activity in the front office is a good thing or not. Continuity and patience seem to be virtues of a front office and the 49ers have now moved on from two very successful men(McLoughlan and Harbaugh).

114 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I still pay some taxes in Minnesota, so yes, I can empathize on stadium atrocities. The idea of handing a near billionaire a billion dollar building, built with a half billion in tax revenues, and the owner, when all is said and done, only needing to come up with as little as 40 to 80 million out of pocket, really is just obscene, and it certainly causes me to be less of a fan of that particular team.

115 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I still pay some taxes in Minnesota, so yes, I can empathize on stadium atrocities. The idea of handing a near billionaire a billion dollar building, built with a half billion in tax revenues, and the owner, when all is said and done, only needing to come up with as little as 40 to 80 million out of pocket, really is just obscene, and it certainly causes me to be less of a fan of that particular team.

117 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Chuck Marone of strong towns did a podcast on this. He's from Minnesota - and explained how even the paltry sum the stadium is kicking in is largely coming from the naming rights to the stadium - of which the team pockets. This btw is exactly what the 49ers are doing. In other words, we build the stadium, they profit off its building and pay us from the profits that should otherwise go to us. In some twisted logic, this actually makes good economic sense to people.

At some point in my life, I will likely take to the streets with a sign post proclaiming the end is near.

120 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Oh, I think it quite possible that once naming rights and seat licenses are collected, the Wilfs could end up getting the building for essentially nothing, which is why it is grotesque that when it is reported that the Wilfs have agreed to some improvement to existing design during construction, it is given the tone of some sort of charitable endeavor.

119 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I think you may be misinformed about how much the taxpayers paid for the stadium. As far as I know 49ers+NFL paid for $900 million. And santa clara city (not county) paid for the $200 million loan that they will be paid back. I am a santa clara county resident and I don't believe I paid a cent for that stadium.
Either way, the city residents voted for it and decided to go for it. You cannot discount Jed York did well for himself.
McLoughlan was and is an alcoholic and his addiction was getting in the way of his job. Seahawks fired him too. I think Jed did a good job by firing him.

126 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014


That explains all the gory details in a much more comprehensive way than I could in a few paragraphs. Suffice to say - its rent seeking 101 - with all the wonderful politicians speak and convoluted financing structure that no sensible citizen wants to disentangle.

147 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

It is not a factual article. It assumes that 49ers are not going to be able to find people buying season tickets. Which has proven to be wrong: http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_23211519/49ers-stadium-revenue-tops-1-billion-after-santa and http://www.mercurynews.com/southbayfootball/ci_26064012/49ers-sell-out-levis-stadium-few-single-game
Also the naming rights are shared 50% between the city and team. Does not go to 49eers only as you claimed.
I do not know whether this will end up good or bad for Santa Clara City but it seems to me it as a business deal just like any other. Both sides think they will benefit from it and signed the deal.

153 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

You do understand that there is considerable value to the Niners in having the city assume risk, don't you? Also, no, when 51% of a polity can compel 49% to participate in a business that they would rather not participate in, it is most assuredly not like any business deal where both sides perceive value in participation.

155 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I do understand the value to 49ers. I think the city thinks there is a value for them for taking that risk as well. They think that it would create jobs, increase revenue to the city in terms of hotel taxes, etc. I don't know if they are fooling themselves, and neither do you.

The ballot was passed by 59% but I understand your point. However there is no other way for a city to make a business decision so unless you are suggesting that no city should make any decision about any business proposal without 100% approval rates I don't know what the solution to that is.

158 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I don't think polities should partner with private enterprises, except in those activities in which the state must have a monopoly. I don't think sport entertainment qualifies.

The preponderance of the evidence is that governments subsidizing the construction of sports venues provides a poor return on capital for the government. The Santa Clara deal is far from the most one-sided sleeper hold I've ever seen applied to a taxpayer body, but the complexity of the proposal certainly leads one to a reasonable suspicion that the taxpayers of the city won't make out as well as they as they were promised.

160 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

As I mentioned before - these sort of policies get passed because people have a misguided view of economics. This has been well documented by economists like Bryan Caplan, who suggest that certain biases seem to persist over time - things like anti-foreign bias and make work bias. You even hear this in every day life.

Sugar quotas and preserving jobs for "americans" sounds great in theory, but both empirically and theoretically, these ideas are awful. As Will mentioned above, there is a preponderance of evidence about sports stadiums that at this point, economists have moved on - yet it still gets passed. As is usual in this case, the majority who are hurt by this are not aware and don't pay attention and the few who benefit(the nfl, local businesses, politicians, construction companies) all have a heavy stake. It's called concentrated benefits and distributed costs.

127 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Just as a quick aside - yes the city voted for it. People vote for all kinds of policies that make no sense. This isn't my opinion - its a fact. Californians actually support farm subsidies in Iowa because they think without them, there won't be enough food. People support ethanol subsidies because they think we won't need to do deal with those evil Arabs. They put up zoning laws that restrict the number of condos, high rises, and apartments, and then complain about pollution and the high costs of living. I've heard about how we need to kick out all those dirty illegal immigrants without even a thought to how that would send our economy into a recession overnight.

146 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I am not sure what all this have to do with what I wrote. My point is that Jed York is not an irrational, stupid SOB. Ethical or not he is proven that he makes rational decisions.

Going back to your point, what is it really? That Californians sometimes pass stupid ballot measure? I did not know that needs to be said. The best example is prop 13 you do not need to stretch it farm subsidies in Iowa.

That has no bearing on what City of Santa Clara residents voted on though. I am opposed to public giving handouts to private businesses. But I do not know much about the 49ers stadium deal, nor will I going to assume that every single one of these are going to be terrible. From my limited reading (as a resident of Santa Clara county -which has 1.8 million residents- it did not affect me and therefore I did not pay much attention) the deal was expected to generate enough income to worth the risk for Santa Clara City (with its 120 thousand residents).

This is as far as I understand was the entire Ballot Measure:
"Shall the City of Santa Clara adopt Ordinance 17.20 leasing City property for a professional football stadium and other events; no use of City General or Enterprise funds for construction; no new taxes for residents for stadium; Redevelopment Agency funds capped for construction; private party pays all construction cost overruns; no City/Agency obligation for stadium operating/maintenance; private party payment of projected fair market rent; and additional funds for senior/youth/library/recreation to City’s General Fund?"

Here is the full details: http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/CSC/PDF/49ers-stadium-initiative-citizen-led.pdf

I also know that there were quite a bit of vocal opposition to the project, and lawsuits as well. I can only say as an outsiders, whether the Santa Clara City residents made a good or bad decision, they were given all the necessary data and information to make an informed decision.

148 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Ok, I didn't mean to create a bunch of confusion. Your points are fine in general. To Jed York - he seems like a fine owner - though I don't really know what separates him from the majority of non Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder, Mike Brown owners. Hiring Mike Singletary was a reactionary decision based on a late game winning streak in relief duty. Firing Singletary felt like a reaction to failed expectations. Hiring Harbaugh was a big splashy hire. These are things I would fully expect an owner of an nfl team to do. Some are based on PR, some are based on gut decisions, some are just based on things we can't really know. But none feel out of place or especially praiseworthy imo. Shahid Khan is doing all sorts of things in Jacksonville and the team sucks so no one bothers to pay attention.

As to the stadium. There are really two points to make. Nearly every public finance economist agrees that stadiums are lousy public investments - "financial black holes" to quote Stanford Economist Roger Noll. Fact is, that stadium was built on the back of loans that will need to be paid by the santa clara tax payer. They were justified at the time behind the idea that low interest rates and pie in the sky revenues that the stadium would generate would continue through the life of the loans. As the article said, those are likely not going to happen and the tax payers(including you and I) will be seeing this in the form of higher taxes to pay off those loans when the revenues fail to match the interest payments. OR we will see it in the form of slashing in government funding on other projects. Either way, the end result is a government subsidy to a private business that really doesn't seem to help the economy very much. In fact, if we're going to subsidize things, why not subsidize further research into medical diseases, clean air technology, etc instead of this monstrosity.

156 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I will definitely not see any fallout in terms of taxes from this deal. I live in Santa Clara County, in the City of San Jose. I do not live in Santa Clara City. I will not see any government funding slashing either. Santa Clara City has no presence in my life and the majority of the people in the bay area.

As far as I understand the stadium has already generated $1.3 in revenues, which covers its expenses. Not all of that are cash flow but they are all behind guaranteed contracts. Your guess is as good as any if Santa Clara City will end up loosing money.

I am all with you on rather subsidizing research, etc and I would not have voted yes on any stadium deal if showed up on a ballot that I vote on. I just don't like generalities applied to specific cases when that specific case is just in front of us and we can actually evaluate it on its own merit not on how similar deals have ended up in the past.

159 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Realistic projections for both the revenue and interest rates on the loans suggest this was a high risk low reward project. Frankly, I'd be happy if on net it came out to a wash. Even still, the fact remains that its a stadium that hosts 8 to possibly 10 games a year along with another estimated 20 or so events. That's at most 30 days out of 365. The rest of the time, it goes unfilled and just sits there. Worse, it drives up the prices of the surrounding land, pricing out new buyers and lowering the total supply of valuable housing stock. All so that it can sit vacant for most of the year.

That's why these stadiums are financial black holes. Case studies have been done for similar projects in memphis, Washington DC, South Carolina, and a slew of other cities that thought that a stadium would jump start the local economy.

And finally - the much larger question should be - why do we need to help the nfl build a stadium anyways? The SF giants did it without city funding. Surely the 49ers could too right?And if not, they would have been forced to partner with Raiders or possibly pay the Giants to share the stadium. All of those options would have had a better social outcome than what transpired.

161 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I am in agreement with all of what you are saying. I find it stupid that Santa Clara City, a city that does not even have a downtown and has nothing but Great America as anything recognizable about it, should be involved in a risk that puts them under a big burden if things go wrong.

I will go even further than the question about why they need to help build a stadium. Why is NFL even a monopoly? How could draft and draft eligibility rules be legal? How is the entire NCAA is allowed to exist? How could University of Michigan, a state owned educational institution can pay 8 million dollars a year to a football coach and does not use that money for improving the education of its students.?

Football as a business is a social cancer.

163 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Pretty much agree. I would also add one final thing - pro sports convinces inner city youths that the best way to escape poverty is through athletics. This is really a tragedy since pro sports is a total winner take all type of business and they'd really be better off(along with the rest of society) if they spent those long hours in the class room instead.

As much as I love the NFL as a product, your words are too correct --- it is a social cancer.

166 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

To address some of your points specifically, the NFL draft and and eligibility rules are deemed legal because American antitrust law has carved out an exception for instances where a labor union has negotiated a CBA which allows the practices. In contrast, the NCAA, athletic conferences, and member schools are plainly engaged in illegal behavior, precisely because there is no labor union which has negotiated such a CBA. With regard to Harbaugh, Michigan's football revenues exceed 100 million a year, and they will likely be soon getting another 20 million a year in tv revenues, when a new t.v. contract is negotiated. Harbaugh gets what he does because it makes eminent economic sense, especially when the cartels can collude to limit what is offered to those that Harbaugh manages. It is most certainly worth it to Michigan to pay 8 million a year to the guy who can successfully stave off the prospect of that stadium not selling out.

The more interesting question is why taxpayer funded educational institutions are operating a sports entertainment business, that is a member of a couple of cartels whose major purpose is to suppress the compensation offered to the entertainers.

17 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

And there goes Rex Ryan. As a Pats' fan, I couldn't be happier. I can understand that a new GM would want to bring in his own guy. But the odds that the next coach is as good as Rex Ryan are fairly low.
Idzik was a crappy GM. Rex had almost no talent to work with this season.

19 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I don't know...Rex seemed to be an excellent defensive coordinator, and he was always able to get the Jets "up" for divisional games and so on, but he never had an offense worth mentioning through multiple GMs and multiple OCs. I think he could be an extraordinary DC if he's willing to go back to that, but there's three sides to a football team and he never seemed to master, even when the Jets were successful, the third side of that triangle, even in the sense of "put competent people in place to cover what I don't know."

Idzik was set up to fail from the beginning, being saddled with Ryan as coach and given no opportunity to try to build a team according to his own philosophies. That said, I don't see where he did anything particularly positive that would indicate giving him another chance, either. His only chance to keep his job would have been to regard himself from the start as an adjunct to Ryan and focus solely on supporting Rex's ideas/philosophies.

24 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Well, I would argue being saddled with Mark Sanchez, yet making two deep playoff runs in a row is pretty impressive. But I agree with you. Fair or not, failing to hire a competent offensive staff to develop your quarterbacks is going to fall on the head coach.

As has been mentioned before, I think Stephen Ross's decision to keep Philbin is mind boggling. The perfect move would have been to hire Rex as the HC, and keep Bill Lazor in place to work with Tannenhill.

43 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

So you don't think Chip Kelly had a clue about offense and QB play? Because Sanchez was plenty awful in Philly this year. Or do you mean he was just entirely broken by Rex? I tend to agree Ryan is a real problem when it comes to offense and his preferred "ground and pound" approach is a total relic and no way to go about the modern game...

63 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Rex's ground and pound approach was a reaction to his offensive personnel (and, in my view, a rational one) and not a coaching philosophy. I agree that the offensive coaching staff pre-Marty was terrible, but it's not clear how much Rex was responsible for picking them. Marty appears to have been a Rex pick, for what it's worth. I don't think Rex was a good game manager and was at times lax in discipline. He definitely had flaws as a HC. For all of that, I'd imagine his wins-to-QB DVOA ratio is probably the highest in history. It's hard to win with bottom tier QBing year after year.

67 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

That's a very good point about how he was able to win without a QB. I think part of the reason he's so well-liked, even on his way out the door is that he frequently clearly got so much out of so little - 2013 being the prime example of just looking at that roster, most everyone felt like that was 3 or 4 win team. It's so hard to diagnose - if Rex got a Joe Flacco or Ben Roethlisberger to work with, do the Jets have a ring? Or would Flacco just have turned into another one of his subpar Qb's because he doesn't know how to develop them. I really don't know. If I were him, I'd look hard for a job where the QB position is settled. Maybe Atlanta?

73 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

"So you don't think Chip Kelly had a clue about offense and QB play? Because Sanchez was plenty awful in Philly this year. Or do you mean he was just entirely broken by Rex?"

The latter. Remember Sanchez was a very green QB coming into the league, he only started at USC for 1 season. He absolutely needed good coaching at the start of his career to become a viable NFL player, and never received it.

76 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

And honestly, Sanchez wasn't "plenty awful" in Philly, anyway. Not *good*, sure, but 26th in DVOA--better than Hoyer, Orton, Kaepernick, Newton, and Bridgewater, among others--isn't bad at all for a backup. Cardinals fans would probably take him in five seconds flat right about now. The Eagles' offensive scheme required Sanchez to actually go out and do things to *win* the game instead of just hand off and pray that he didn't screw it up for the defense, and sometimes he actually did that. At the very least, he showed occasional flashes of whom he might have been if he hadn't been stuck in the Jets offense for the front end of his career.

88 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I watched every snap Sanchez took for the Jets. He was inaccurate, made bad decisions, and failed to protect the football, consistently. It's as simple as that. I'm sure he could have been coached better. QB drafting and development remains an inscrutable mystery. Maybe Kelly has it figured out although I wouldn't bet money on it. But Sanchez definitely did not fail in NY because they protected him too much. If anything, they had to protect him so much because he could not handle anything else. His first couple of years, he basically was in the same position Big Ben was in his first few years. Big Ben was incredibly efficient in that role (unlike Sanchez) and eventually developed into a franchise quality guy who could carry the team (unlike Sanchez). Same for Russell Wilson. So it's not like that model of QB development can't work. It just didn't work for Sanchez, most likely because Sanchez is just not good enough. I think he's a good egg and I wish him well, but those are the facts.

100 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

The second year Sanchez started (2010) the Jets had a 6.5% passing DVOA, so at that point I feel there was a glimmer of hope that Sanchez could turn out to be a worthwhile QB. But without a coach who could work with him on mechanics, reading defenses, and decision making processes, whatever hope was there was soon dashed.

Either way it doesn't look good for Rex. Either Rex ruined a QB's potential, or he's so inept at evaluating QB's that he threw his support behind a QB that sucked.

103 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Remember that Sanchez also had by the far the highest number of dropped INTs in 2011, making that DVOA something of a mirage. You can criticize Rex for his role in drafting Sanchez, but every coach will "throw his support behind" a guy the team traded up to draft 6th over all because there's no other choice.

111 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

"You can criticize Rex for his role in drafting Sanchez, but every coach will "throw his support behind" a guy the team traded up to draft 6th over all because there's no other choice."

Well Doug Marrone benched a 1st rd QB drafted in 2013 for Kyle Orton this year, so I don't think what you're saying is really true.

90 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

His DVOA in Philly is worse than it was for 3 out 5 seasons with the Jets and he just cost them their season. Sorry if I can't cut him any slack there. He was awful. And if Kelly was stupid enough to give him more responsibilities that doesn't make Sanchez better, it makes Kelly foolish.

110 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Agreed. I still am waiting for someone to name me a coach or coordinator they believe can turn an otherwise awful qb into someone good. And seriously, why do we have this clear double standard with defensive coaches? Its there fault when the offense sucks - hello Lovie, John Fox, and RR - but we seem to give the offensive coaches a pass when the defense is awful - hello Sean Payton.

112 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

"I still am waiting for someone to name me a coach or coordinator they believe can turn an otherwise awful qb into someone good."

Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith.

"And seriously, why do we have this clear double standard with defensive coaches? Its there fault when the offense sucks - hello Lovie, John Fox, and RR - but we seem to give the offensive coaches a pass when the defense is awful - hello Sean Payton."

A good offense has a greater impact on a team's success than a good defense, so there is a reason that double standard exists. Defense also fluctuates more from year to year, so a team will be more set up for sustained success if it has a dominant offense as its focal point.

116 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

"Jim Harbaugh and Alex Smith."

That happened over one season. We might have said the same thing about Trestman and Cutler.
Even still, I think Harbaugh was good for reasons unrelated to Smith.

I think one reason the defense fluctuates more than offense is because of the qb position. Given that, I don't think its good coaching that makes the offense more consistent than the defense. And I think my point was more general. RR is blamed for not "fixing" the jets offense but Sean Payton is given a virtual pass for the Saints defense being abysmal this year.

Another example is Doug Marrone. For an offensive guy - the bills are a dreary offensive team and a great defensive team. Does he deserve credit for the defense?

118 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Fair points.

It certainly seems to me the Jim Harbaugh was able to coach up an "awful" QB into a good one, and now Alex Smith is continuing his success in KC.

Sean Peyton has won a Super Bowl, so he's obviously going to be given more leeway than Rex. But you are probably right that the QB is more important in creating a good offense over the years than an HC. Then again, Brees was never as good as he became until he played under Sean Peyton.

Doug Marrone has had a good defense for 2 years, even though Mike Pettine left, so something good is going on there that allows for that kind of continuity.

179 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

An interesting thing about Doug Marrone as it concerns Geno Smith; when Marrone was at Syracuse, his defense figured out how to handle Smith. Confuse him with blitzes, and Smith can't figure out where to throw the ball quick enough. Smith had a good first game against the Bills, when Buffalo was starting a cornerback off the street, but the next two games were absolute disasters. So perhaps Marrone does deserve some credit for the defense.

151 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Sigh... well ultimately it's impossible to know the exact factor that resulted in Alex Smith turning from a bad QB to a good QB. It just so happens that prior to Jim Harbaugh coming to the 49ers, Alex Smith's seasons sucked. After Jim Harbaugh arrived, Alex Smith's seasons were good. That's not to say he never had a good run of games before Harbaugh arrived.

162 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

It is hard to say of course. But at the end of 2010 seasons, for the last 5 games, Smith produced pretty much the same way that he has been doing since 2011. He was asked about it, before Harbaugh was hired, and he said that he decided to stop trying to please the coaches, and instead take what defense gives him and protect the ball. That is exactly what he has been doing the last 3.5 years.
There is no denying that Harbaugh played to Smith's strengths. Which helped him recover his career. But I do not believe he actually made Smith a better QB.

99 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

It's interesting trying to evaluate Ryan (as a fellow Pats fan). Belichick gave an interview in 2002 (which was really Brady's coming out year as a great quarterback, not 2001) in which he explained that his concept of offense was stringing together all of the things he hated to see from opposing teams--the quick snaps, the wide-receiver screens on called running plays, etc. Ryan never seemed to have a clear offensive vision outside of running the ball. It wasn't a clever run scheme like Shanahan's or even a consistent philosophy, eg. run and throw play action bombs a la Baltimore. It was just a proxy offense, hoping to not f*ck it up for the defense. That seems like a serious failing for a coach.

I don't think he coached especially great offensive talent; the wide receivers were mediocre at best. They never had a very good running back (Tomlinson had definitely lost a few steps by the time he got there). They did have an exceptional offensive line at times, and that played a major role in the team's success.

Ryan's motivational coaching was very prone to great weeks and letdowns. He could beat the Patriots in the divisional round and then fall completely flat the next week in Pittsburgh. Couple that with the general lack of discipline, and you end up with a chaotic team that, given some talent can beat anyone and also lose at the strangest moments.

All of that said, I think that Rex Ryan was definitely an above average head coach during his tenure. Many NFL coaches are fairly terrible top to bottom (game management, Xs and Os, discipline, creativity, personnel). How many current coaches do you really think are better than Rex? (I would say Harbaugh x2, Belichick, Arians?, Fox, Reid, Coughlin?, McCoy?, Pagano?, Payton?, McCarthy, Carroll, Caldwell?, Tomlin?) So far, that puts Ryan somewhere around 14th-15th, in a club with Jason Garrett and Marvin Lewis. I think that makes him relatively hard to replace.

113 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Did you really add Jim Caldwell to that list? If creativity and game management are big criteria, he would fail miserably. I fully expect the lions to regress badly next year.

And many of the coaches you listed above have had wild inconsistencies year to year and game to game. Both of Coughlin's superbowl wins came in seasons where the giants barely made the playoffs. Sean Payton has now missed the playoffs several times despite having Drew Brees as his qb - in fact, this season is really inexcusable for him as a coach.

As to the others. I think most colts fans would agree Pagano isn't anything special so far either. The team is notoriously terrible on the road and usually begins every game tossing away the first few drives trying to "involve" richardson in the offense.

Tomlin and McCarthy seem to be the beneficiaries of being in terrific organizations with terrific quarterbacks.

131 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Ahem, notice that some of the names I just listed, others I put with question marks after them. My point was, from my admittedly amateur understanding, Rex isn't worse than (at worst) 14th or 15th best coach in the league. If you want to knock Coughlin, Payton, Caldwell, and Tomlin down a few pegs, I'm not really going to argue with you. I think there's plenty of inconsistency there. I feel that McCarthy is somewhat better than you're giving him credit for. Nevertheless, what does any of this say for the Rex firing? He's not the best coach in the league, but can the Jets reasonably hope to find better?

134 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Sorry, I saw Caldwell and my mind went bonkers! haha, yeah pretty much agree with what you said. Then again, I think most firings are PR driven moves and the inevitable improvement a team has isn't driven by the coach but by regression to the mean. Sparano after all turned a 1-15 team into an 11-5 team. On the other hand, watching the bears self destruct this year made me feel that Trestman absolutely was in over his head. Sort of like Raheem Morris in TB.

150 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

McCarthy doesn't get enough credit. He's only had one losing season, a 6-10 season when seven losses were decided by four or less points and two of those were in OT. He successfully managed the chaotic transition from Favre to Rodgers. This is his sixth consecutive season taking the Packers to the postseason. Yes, he's had talent. But plenty of other coaches have had talent and didn't succeed or managed to muck it up later. Nine seasons, seven post-seasons, one Super Bowl. That's a pretty good resume.

152 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I guess I'd rather defer credit to the superlative talents of Rodgers, the receivers, and a few stalwarts on defense. I've seen Manning make some lousy teams look good at it only took one manningless season to show overrated the entire staff was. I know the Pack got by without Rodgers last year to some extent, so maybe you're comments are fair. I'd really like to see how he handles the team once Arod is not the insane qb is his right now. But unless he gets really hurt, we won't really know for a while.

182 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I think Rodgers (and end of career Favre) does cover up for his deficiencies as a coach. I still view him as an average play caller, and below average clock manager which is tied to the play calling in many cases. He doesn't make too many mistakes with time out usage, or overall thought processes on time management, but the execution is poor at times. In game adjustments are below average as well.

I also think his loyalty to his staff, which is something that is important in NFL coaching, goes a little too far. Slocum needs to go as ST coordinator and I'm not sold on Capers. He has dealt with a high assistant turn over rate fairly well though, considering how frequently other teams have snagged offensive coaches from the Packers over the years. I give Ted credit for keeping a solid personnel staff in place too considering that Seattle, Kansas City, and Oakland all have former Packers personnel people that worked for him as their GMs now. Losing 4 GM caliber folks in 10 seasons seems to be a fairly high rate when there are only 32 jobs in the league, 15% are "Packers".

I do give him credit for trying to switch things up and resolve the injury bug. It's very possible that it was all bad luck in the past, but a major shift in practice philosophy this year did come along with the fewest injuries to the team that I recall in a long time.

I also think he does a good job of game planning. I think part of the reason in game adjustments are poor is that a lot of the time he doesn't have to. The plan going in works more often than not, and some times while adjustments should be made, even if they aren't the outcome won't really change, it just won't be as good as it could have been.

The coaching under his watch also reworked Rodgers in his years on the bench. Watching his college career, 05, 06, and 07 preseasons shows clear differences in footwork and throwing motions. Rodgers upper body motions have continued to improve as well. He is now amazingly good at keeping upper body mechanics the same regardless of what his feet are doing. It's part of why he is accurate all the time. Some of that is Rodgers, but I don't think anyone gets as close to their potential ability as Rodgers is without help from others. He also helped revive late career Favre, who was in a clear decline in 04 and 05 before McCarthy got there. Yes 06 was a bad year for Favre too, but I think that had to do with being rebuilt, not to mention the talent issues the team was still recovering from after Sherman made some very bad draft choices and contract decisions and Thompson had to gut the team to fix the salary cap issues.

So considering that he is clearly above average in some areas that a head coach is responsible for, and really only below average, but not horrendous in just a few, he has to be one of the better coaches in the league.

The job came down to him and Sean Payton when Thompson made the hire, and I've wondered if the Packers would have been better under Payton and the Saints better under McCarthy. No real way to say. But I think Payton clashes more with Thompson on personnel issues, and that might have caused problems. Does McCarthy get even more out of Brees? Who knows. Does the bounty issue happen in GB instead of NO? I tend to think that if you swap those hiring decisions that both the Saints and Packers still end up being top tier teams, but I don't think Rodgers ends up quite as good as he is, because I really do think McCarthy and his staff made real improvements to him that not everyone else could have.

183 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I know your post was very detailed - I would only add that McCarthy did coach Smith and smith was terrible. Also, Favre's had a horrific and terrific year after leaving Gb as well, so I'm not sure the sample size is enough to show McCarthy molded Favre. Finally, yes, Rodgers fundamentally changed - but I think Rodger's is more the anomaly in this regard.

184 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Favre tore his bicep tendon and played the final 3rd of the season that way in that first season away from Green Bay and his numbers plummeted after that. Before it, he was still doing quite well. The horrible final year in MN, well he was 41, and age had clearly caught up to him. I agree that it's a small sample size on turning Favre around and that Smith was horrible with McCarthy as coach. It may have all been Bevell, Clements, and McAdoo that helped the QBing changes. It may have just been two hall of fame players doing it mostly on their own but it did get better with McCarthy as a coach, and Rodgers did change. He's not the first QB to change as a pro, and won't be the last either, but Matt Flynn can be a decent QB when playing in that offense for that coach. I think that says something too.

I also wanted to point out that he did have success as a head coach with more than Rodgers. Of course that was with an end of career Hall of Famer, who continued to have good seasons after he left, so yes, hard to say. But I believe, that McCarthy is part of the reason that Favre got better and part of the reason Rodgers is as good as he is.

There really aren't a lot of coaches I would take over McCarthy though, even though I do think he could be better than he is. While he's under contract for another 5 years I think, he's still young enough that he could end up with another team, or another quarterback and then we'll get a much better picture. I don't disagree that HoF QB's make most any coach look good, but I think McCarthy does better than most.

He's good enough that with Rodgers as his QB the team is a legit Super Bowl contender every year. That is good enough for me. I think I might even rank him as a better coach than Holmgren when looking at Packers coaches.

185 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I pose this question - do you think the packers are noticeably worse with other head coaches? People like Pagano, Marone, or handful of others that most would qualify as average? Hell, I think RR with Rodgers would be terrifying.

I guess this is largely a colts fan bias. Manning made that offense from a tactical and playcalling standpoint. Maybe it isn't to the same extreme, but Rodgers makes that offense to me as well. His skillset is so dynamic that playcalling becomes a marginal benefit overall imo. Yes, McCarthy had success with Favre, but Favre was very much an up and down hall of fame qb and I'm not sure one season where favre was buttoned down proves to me that McCarthy is all that special.

186 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

That's a good way to try and quantify something that is hard to quantify. I do think the Packers are better with McCarthy than they would have been with Pagano, Marone, or even a Tomlin or Coughlin. I think the Giants and Steelers would have been better with McCarthy as coach. As mentioned I think they are even slightly better under McCarthy than they would have been with Payton. Rodgers was not the offensive coordinator like Manning was. He has been doing more running of the offense in recent years with the no huddle stuff they are doing. But I think McCarthy built a good offensive framework for him to work within and does things at a detail level better than an average coach.

RR is an interesting question. He is polarizing, and I don't really like him, but I do think he too is an above average coach as well. I think the Packers with Ryan as coach have a better defense than what McCarthy / Capers puts out there, but not as good of an offense, and who knows about special teams. I also think that a HoF level QB who gets to play with a good defense is terrifying. Capers put together good defenses early in his tenure and they won a Super Bowl with a lot of injured players. Brady and Manning both look better with good defenses. Favre looked better with good defenses (thank you Reggie White).

I'm honestly not sure the Harbaugh brothers, who are both highly regarded coaches, do much better in Green Bay than McCarthy did. Though I do think it may have looked a lot different. That 6-10 season, 5 of those losses were by 3 points or fewer, 2 more of them were less than a TD. I think better play calling gets you at least 4 of those. Now it's a 10-6 team and depending on which of those losses that might have won them the division. A Belichick, Carrol, or Harbaugh might have done just that, so might a Pagano, or if the wind had blown differently even a McCarthy. But it was still good coaching to keep the games that close and not just Rodgers. McCarthy's team have lost a lot of close games. So being just a little better coach could make the overall record look a lot a different but in reality not be that much different.

McCarthy is the Tony Romo of coaches. He is clearly not the best, but with the right players around him, he looks really good. But like Romo the base level has to be clearly above average to hit those bigger peaks when things come together. He's obviously good enough that making the switch to someone else doesn't make sense because chances are you get worse. He's somewhere in that 4 - 10 range.

187 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Fair enough and good debate overall. We have a hard time isolating individual quality on the field that assessing coaching is even harder. So much of coaching credit feels like results oriented. A guy who coaches the raiders to 2-14 would look a lot better if Rodgers was on the team instead. But I concede the point.

121 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I think people are hard on Marvin. They forget this a Mike Brown team. Lewis has a 100-90-2 career record. He has 39 more career wins than Sam Wyche. Is he perfect no, but he did lose both his coordinators this year to head coaching jobs and the Bengals still won 10. Sure he hasn’t won a playoff game, but just how well would Tomlin or McCarthy or say John Fox have done under Mike Brown management. For the record the Bengals under Mike Brown before Marvin’s arrival. 55-137. Let me repeat that 55-137.

128 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Marvin Lewis has done a good job, especially given that the bengals have had to deal with the Steelers and Ravens - its even more impressive. I think if they had been in another division, we would have seen them in the same light as the ravens have been this decade.

132 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

It was me in August arguing with the commentators on this site in favor of Lewis being a decent coach. I think he's done a commendable job given what he's had to work with in Cincinnati. That said, coaching is a bottom line business. Do you think Lewis has done a better job with his team than Ryan did in New York? Both have been inconsistent; both have had inconsistent talent to work with. Both have had tough divisional opponents. Lewis has snagged division wins; Ryan got to the Championship game twice.

139 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

”Do you think Lewis has done a better job with his team than Ryan did in New York?”
I been thinking about this and the answer is I don’t know. I posed a different question. If their jobs reversed would they have done better at the other franchise. I’m pretty sure Rex would have failed if he gone to Cincinnati. I also think Marvin wouldn’t have done as well as Rex in his first couple of years in New York, but that he might have done better than Rex under Izdik.

142 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I'm not sure its a fair apples to apples comparison. The bengals have displayed an incredible patience with drafting and philosophy. They acquired a lot of talent and did good work with castoffs like Pacman Jones and Reggie Nelson.

The Jets have done the reverse. Handing big money deals and then cutting the players - which by the end - left them in a position with no corners or receivers.

Ultimately, I think lewis is a better manager and figurehead, Rex the better schemer. I prefer RR in general though once you get him a solid qb and tell him to fuck off when it comes to offense.

144 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I didn’t really mean it to be a fair apples to apples comparison. In fact it was an intentional apples to oranges comparison. I pretty much agree with you regarding Sexy Rexy. I think he’d do well in Atl or Oak, not so much in SF or Chi.

172 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

in a club with Marvin Lewis

I don't like to see Marvin so far down into the middle of the pack. Is he really around #15 of the best head coaches? I think Marvin is a heck of a head coach. All time winningest coach in Cincy history; only coach in Bengals history to take the team to 3 straight postseasons, and he's taken them to 4. His skills as an administrator have transformed that organization; we barely remember what a joke they were when he was hired in 2003. Best recent decision the Bengals organization has made was to keep Marvin around after the 2010 debacle.

The lack of postseason success is a blot on his record, similar to the blot on Marty's. But you have to get there first.

174 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

It's really hard to judge Marvin Lewis. 5 playoff appearances in 12 years is good, but not great. On the other hand he's been in a hell of a division and his owner at one time had a family member playing the role of GM to save money.

28 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I'm a little surprised, but very happy. Trestman and the coordinators are obviously gone, too, despite Trestman's expectation that he'll be back. (Hey, I can say I expect to win the lottery today, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen).

I wonder if it's too much to hope that Ted Phillips might be moved out of football operations, too (I doubt they'd fire him outright, but I'd settle for him to be sent packing back to the business side of things, where for all I know he might be a genius).

36 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I heard Schefter say the guy in K.C., and Toub, may be moving back east five hundred miles.

I still maintain Trestman's largest failing was his coordinator hires. I don't think their highest paid player is very coachable, but getting somebody better is no easy thing, and it'll be a dilemma for whomever comes in.

39 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

For the amount he's being paid, the least the QB can do is be coachable. I think that Cutler has to go. As for getting somebody better, you could argue that acquiring a quarterback that doesn't throw multiple interceptions every game is a step up, even if he can't throw the ball through the hull of a battleship. The Bears have perhaps the best multi-dimensional RB threat in the game with maybe 3 good years left in him, and a line that is much improved from where it was 2 years ago. If they can get even a low first-round pick for Cutler and get that salary off the books, I'd do it. One fun scenario to entertain is for Cutler to be traded to Buffalo for picks, Chicago welcoming back Orton, and Chicago having the better offense in 2015.

71 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I think everyone focusing on Cutler's turnovers this season is looking in exactly the wrong place. Look at the game that was played yesterday - Cutler had zero turnovers, but he also did nothing to move the ball down the field. Since at least the second Green Bay game, the strategy has apparently been to neuter Cutler and it hasn't worked at all. (It also may be a result of lacking a wide receiver who can stretch the field, true).

This season, a considerable number of his turnovers have come when the game was well out of reach and the Bears offense was in desperation mode. Not to say that they don't matter, but to the extent that Cutler's play doomed them, the ineffective drives early in games were far more costly than interceptions or fumbles that took place when the team was down two touchdowns or more.

62 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Well I'm excited to see what Toub can do as a HC.

It's never a simple fact that good coordinators become good head coaches, but Toub has to be among the best coordinators in the game. He also has a lot more recent NFL experience which may help with the staff hiring.

84 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

It would be indeed. Special team's faster turnover means that ST coordinators have to re-prove themselves more often than other coordinators. Toub has met that test.

He has never, however, been a head coach at any level so there would be a major adjustment.

85 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I don't know much stock I put in being a HC before. Does being a HC in CFL prepare you more for being an NFL head coach than being a coordinator in the NFL? I doubt it.

Toub worked under two above average HCs. He's seen what they do and how they do it. That seems like better experience than running a mid major college team.

98 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Oh, I would not dream of saying HC experience is required, just that it is useful to have gone through the experience. Ideally, that HC experience would be in the NFL (except that the lads available with NFL HC experience are usually available for a reason). I certainly agree the NFL coordinator or HC experience should be required.

I suspect that HC and coordinator jobs are different enough that it is very hard to make a good case that ST coordinator is worse than OC or DC. The limited NFL history, of ST coordinator to head coach, is encouraging.

At the moment, other than some RexRyan-plus-quality-OC hire, Toub is the guy I'd like to see.

104 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I agreed HC experience is not required, but I personally would not hire a head coach in his 50's who had no previous head coaching at any level. The track record whether they’r OC, DC or in this case ST is not encouraging. The track record for guys in their 30's, early and mid 40's who have no HC experience is better.
Regarding whether the previous head coaching experience be with the NFL. I’m not sure that matters as long as the candidate has enough recent NFL experience as an assistant. I'm think Bruce Arians time as Temple head coach was a valuable experience. He's probably been thinking about how he could improve his performance ever since and translated that into a strong coordinator resume. Maybe thinking he might not get a chance to be an NFL head coach.
The problem is every head coaching opening is different. Some candidates fit better than others. I don’t think Toub would be a great coach maybe okay. I mentioned on a different thread and I’ll bring it up again. John Fassel. Call me crazy but he just seems like one of those who might succeed. It looks like he’s turned around the St. Louis special teams. I would at least think about interviewing him.

69 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I'm not sure, but I swear I have heard that Mel Tucker was an Emery hire, not a Trestman hire. (How very Bears to hire a new head coach and tell him who his coordinator is going to be).

In any case, I wish Trestman's largest failing was his coordinator hires. I think he not only lost the team, he never even had the team in the first place. His offensive scheme got figured out this season and he showed himself to be completely incapable of adjusting. And if he actually believed most of the things he said in press conferences this season, he's delusional.

79 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

When you make Jay Cutler the highest paid guy in the league, even if just for a season, the team gets to be a significantly greater challenge to coach. Not letting Cutler's contract play out, and then franchising him, if observation warranted it, may have been Emery's worst error.

38 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

nfl.com (Michael Silver) now reporting that the Trestman firing is official, too.

Now that I don't live in Chicago, I don't get the full 24-hour rumor cycle, so it surprised me to hear that one of the rumors floating around was that they were going to dump the entire coaching staff and F.O. but keep Cutler. Does that make any sense?

edit: I suppose that's up to the new GM.

45 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Somebody has to play the position, it ain't easy to find guys with the base level of talent needed, getting rid of him entails a significant amount of dead money, and his trade value is such that getting someone to absorb a good chunk of his contract is pretty hard. It's not an easy decision for whomever comes in.

65 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Exactly. As a fan, I'm fine with them keeping Cutler for at least another year if it doesn't screw up their chances of getting the right coach and GM in place. Reportedly Mike Shanahan is still high on Cutler and interested in the Bears job, and while he has his flaws it would be awesome to have a coach who's actually experienced and has succeeded as a head coach before.

I'm also fine with the Bears trading Cutler (especially if they convert some of his salary to a bonus, absorbing more of the cap hit themselves and potentially getting a better draft pick in return), but the idea of cutting him and getting nothing in return is insane.

95 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I think they should go one step beyond this and replace Ted Phillips with Cutler as CEO and chief of football operations. Cutty would then hire his old friend Mike Shanahan as coach and GM, and Shanny would bring in his boy Kyle (who you barely even have to pay a salary) as OC. Boom, five jobs filled for the price of two.

50 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I see a lot of bad organizations continuing to value outcomes over process. The Falcons just fired the most successful coach in franchise history while keeping the guy who built those crappy defenses, the Jets fired Ryan either two years too late or prematurely (without letting him follow through on a tear-down rebuild), the 49ers repeated last decade's cheapskate mistakes, and the Bears gave up on a re-modelling of the franchise's identity after one very good year and one very bad one. In each case, the true source of rot lays higher in the organizational hierarchy, but you can't expect these guys to fire themselves. Feels like changing the curtains while the house burns down, but Black Monday isn't ever about well-run franchises.

70 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

The 2012 draft was pretty awful, too. Every pick was a reach and a head-scratcher (so I swear I'm not just criticizing outcome). One worked out spectacularly (Jeffery); the others failed 100%. The icing on that cake was keeping McClellin around for two more years, long after he'd proven himself incapable of playing at even a replacement level at any position. Classic stubbornness / sunk-cost stupidity that no professional executive should ever engage in.

21 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Mike Smith now gone. Let's hope whomever replaces him brings some linemen with him. And some defensive backs. And some linebackers. And some...well, lets' just say everything but the offensive skill positions and kick/punt returner and leave it at that.

25 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Yeah, the Falcons' problems aren't caused by bad coaching, but by a lack of good players, which is why they should have fired Dimitroff instead. He built a roster that consists of a few great players and a lot of garbage. That's not Smith's fault.

35 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I think the failure to grasp fairly elementary concepts like clock management is enough reason to can Smith and get a better tactician in an attempt to get to the next level. In recent times, has there been a Head Coach who blows time management as regularly as Smith?

Dimitroff swung for the fences trying to win a Super Bowl in adding Julio Jones to the Ryan-White-Gonzalez-Turner nucleus. It didn't work. I don't blame him for trying, and I think he's probably the right GM to engineer a quick re-build around Ryan and Jones.

41 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Mmm, yeah, his fourth-down panic (especially when coaching a team that doesn't have the talent to play conservatively) and horrible, horrible awareness of how a clock works are obvious flaws that show up on national television every week.

I'm not sure about Dimitroff, honestly. The Jones trade was defensible in that it produced immediate results and almost a SB appearance. It's pretty clear, though, that he didn't expect the OL and the entire defense to fall apart to junk as fast as they did. No pass rush + untried rookie secondary + injuries are a bad combination. The question is, was this a predictable failure--if so, questions have to be asked.

Honestly, the current Falcons look a lot like the eternally 8-8 Cowboys of previous years. Matthews seems to have been a good start to the necessary OL rebuild to follow that model, but there's plenty more work to do.

42 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I think both Smith and Dimitroff are average. Even great organizations go through hills and valleys of talent quality. But while I think both are average I think it's probably easier to find a coach who will do better than Smith, rather than a GM who will do better than Dimitroff.

47 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I lost all respect for Dimitroff's decision-making a couple of years ago, when he opted to let his two best defensive players (Grimes and Abraham) leave, so that he would have enough money to sign an over-the-hill Steven Jackson, even though they could have easily gotten a younger, cheaper, and probably better RB in the 3rd or 4th round of the draft. Just a completely idiotic move. Clock management is small potatoes compared to a roster that is largely devoid of talent.

53 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

Those kind of tactical failings seem like the least important aspect of coaching to me. Eagles fans were gnashing their teeth for a decade over a damn-well run team, and though they landed on their feet (maybe), it isn't the easiest thing to land two consecutive successful coaches

72 Re: FO Open Black Monday Thread 2014

I think for a Head Coach, tactics are extremely important, although perhaps not the single most important aspect. I think it's a major aspect that separates the good HC from the co-ordinators that get promoted to a seemingly over-their-head position. Most of the actual teaching comes from the positional coaches, most plays are called by the co-ordinators, and the HC is left with determining the game plan, game day tactics, and finding the right people to delegate to and that he can work with, as well as unifying the entire operation, dealing with the media, and serving as someone who can be held accountable. In a league where the operating rules drive towards parity, tactics win and lose games.

Kelly's not a great tactician either, but I think he'll improve as he realizes that just because one can go 100 miles an hour at all times doesn't mean one should.