Well, we are a few days away from the Pro Bowl (does anyone know or even care who’s playing in that?) and a little over a week than the event that mustn’t be named and all teams have a head coach for the 2012 season. There were some shockers, some good hires and some baffling decisions. We have already talked about Kansas City hiring Romeo Crennel, Jacksonville hiring Mike Mularkey and St. Louis hiring Jeff Fisher. Let’s look at the other 4 teams that have fired and hired in the past couple of weeks.
Indianapolis Colts – fired Jim Caldwell – hired Chuck Pagano - The firing makes since, although I still say they shouldn’t have hired Caldwell in the first place. I mean, come on it’s not too hard to see a disaster that he is while he was coaching Wake Forest. Jim Caldwell should have never been hired, but to put this year’s blame on him is unfair. This team had no direction, lack of talent and until the last couple of weeks looked like they were satisfied with the #1 pick and mailed it in. For them hiring the wrong man, blaming him for the crap-fest that was they’re wasted season, I have to say STUPID. Weird how this franchise was looked upon as one of the smartest and most stable franchises over the last decade. Should we re-asses that? Only time will tell. The hiring of Pagano is really interesting. First of all, since 1998 this franchise has been all about offense and now they go and hire a defensive minded coach. But, last year was the first and only year as a defensive coordinator. This could be a great hire but I think it is a huge risk. Also, what does this say about Peyton Manning’s future? How about the future of this franchise? By March, we will know whether the Colts want Peyton or not and pretty soon we will see what direction they will be going in. For the hire and new direction, so-so but this can/will be re-evaluated in a couple of years.
Oakland Raiders – fired Hue Jackson – hired
Al Davis Dennis Allen - Too early for an Al Davis joke? The firing of Hue Jackson is the WORST decision of the year for any team (ok, maybe tied with Kansas City firing Todd Haley and Philly putting their O-line coach, Juan Castillo, as their D-coordinator). Hue couldn’t help the injuries to the key players on the team (Jason Campbell and Darren McFadden to name a couple). And with all of that he still got them to 8-8. This marks 2 straight years the Raiders have fired a coach after he did a really nice job with the team. The firing stupid. The hiring of Allen is also strange. Like Pagano with the Colts, Allen was a first year Defensive Coordinator with Denver last year. Again, we really can’t tell what he will be. I just thought that once Al Davis left, this franchise would act a little more normal. But I guess I was wrong! Hiring was so-so.
Miami Dolphins – fired Tony Sparano – hired Joe Philbin - The firing was probably a year or two late. Ross had cut Sparano’s legs out from under him since the beginning. They were always looking for the next coach and when they couldn’t find him, only then did they “back” Sparano. The firing is a so-so because it was about time, but very poorly handled. I love the hiring of Joe Philbin and actually think this is one of the better hires this year. Unfortunately, Philbin’s son will never get to see his dad make his dream job, to be an NFL head coach. Philbin has been the OC in Green Bay since ’07, so he made the transition from Favre to Rodgers without a hick-up in the offense. The hiring is good (GREAT).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – fired Raheem Morris – hired Greg Schiano - The firing of Morris was just like that of Indy…they never should have hired him. Morris was clueless from day one. I can’t believe they hired him but they ended up what was right and the firing is good. Now on to the crazy part. What in the world were the Glazer family doing? Seriously, they wanted Marty Schottenheimer, Mike Sherman, Chip Kelly and finally settled on Greg Schiano. Talk about a bizarre head coach hiring process. I can understand Marty, although he is pretty old now. What I don’t understand is Mike Sherman (he failed at both Green Bay and Texas A&M and you want him as your head coach?) and the 2 college coaches. It was like Tampa had to get a “name” candidate. I am one to believe that it’s almost never a good idea to bring in college coaches to NFL franchises. Schiano did a nice job at Rutgers and probably the best they could have ever wished for. But, Schiano has rarely any NFL presence. I think the hiring of Schiano is borderline stupid. I will put a so-so because I like the type of offense in (which I love). Good luck Tampa.
I will see you tomorrow and pretty soon we will be talking about the big game that mustn’t be mentioned!