Friday, January 2, 2009

Free Kicks- Coaching Carousel Edition, Part Deux

With the NFL regular season behind us (though luckily for us Ravens fans more football to come), it is time for another coaching carousel edition of Free Kicks. However, this time I have a different tone. This round of firings was downright confusing. I will put Mike Shanahan aside for this, because that one was just ridiculous. But there are a lot of other questionable calls going on, and some more to come (with Herm Edwards’ status yet to be decided). Windsor and I will be on the road all day Friday and Saturday, so thanks to Falco in advance for covering the preview for this week. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do one next week, huh? Let’s line up for the kick…

Who Should be Gone?

Marvin Lewis- What has this guy done not to get fired? Yes, Carson Palmer got injured, but it wasn’t as though the Pro Bowl quarterback had done anything but struggle before then. This defensive coach has had an awful defense every year he has been there, the lone exception being in 2005 when a turnover happy D masked its yardage deficiencies. In fact, even forget that. This coach has had all of one winning season in his 6 years at the helm of the Cincinnati Bengals, and has gone 8-8 in 3 other years. But Cincinnati fans knew this would be a long turnaround when he was hired… but there hasn’t exactly been any consistent improvement. After avoiding a losing season for the first 4 years of his tenure, his teams have gone 7-9 and 4-12 since. This team has no traction and isn’t going anywhere next season. Finally, and most appalling, is the discipline record of this team. Arrests relating to giving alcohol to minors, burglary, vandalism, domestic violence, possession of a concealed firearm, etc. have plagued this team, and Marvin Lewis presided over it. The Bengals never took the proactive measures of suspending the player before the NFL did. Bengals fans should be ashamed that the organization hasn’t done what they need to turn this talented team into a winning one.

Who Shouldn’t be Gone?

Eric Mangini- The man is already getting called in for the Browns job, and he deserves to be right back in the head coaching seat. No, I never thought he was a Man-genius, but he is a solid head coach. During the season we heard consistent reports of Mangini calling Brett Favre into his office and telling him to be more responsible with the football. He didn’t acquire Brett, he didn’t release Chad Pennington. Moreover, he shouldn’t have benched Favre down the stretch- who benches a Hall of Famer for Kellen Clemons? Clemons had been handed the job the previous year and handed it right back to Mangini; he had no where else to go but Favre. Every day we hear more about how Brett’s attitude was sour and polluted that locker room. So if Brett’s poor performance can’t be blamed on Mangini, then why is he out of a job? I don’t care about the free agent acquisitions or the mid-season expectations, he orchestrated a 5 game turnaround for this franchise, and if I were the Jets, I would have patted the head coach on the back, not handed him a pink slip.

The Jury’s Still Out on this One…

Herm Edwards- I am not sure why people are so allied with Herm Edwards. For a man who “plays to win the game” he wasn’t able to do that much with the Chiefs so far this season. This season aside, he doesn’t exactly have a pedigree for success to fall back on to take to his detractors (Edwards was a .500 coach with the Jets before bottoming out with the Chiefs). His team did suffer through a rash of injuries and incompetent quarterback play, but wasn’t some of that lack of depth brought on himself? He chose to go with Brodie Croyle, chose to get rid of Trent Green for Damon Huard, etc. The only QB who had decent success with the team was Tyler Thigpen, who was an afterthought third stringer on the team. Look, I like Herm Edwards, and maybe he deserves another year just because of all the difficult circumstances he had to face this year, or the way his team played tough every week. But 2 wins? That is tough if you don’t have a record for winning- and his 54-74 lifetime coaching record doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

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