Change: The only constant in the NFL.
I am a die hard fan of the NFL. If you ask me who I root for on Sundays I couldn’t give you one team. Maybe that seems weird to some but to me it’s not. I think it’s weird that you would limit yourself to following one team while there are 32 other amazing story lines playing out all year long. Amongst those 32 main teams there are literally thousands of mini storyline amongst players, coaches and other personell. Teams are constantly rising and falling an the only thing that is constant is change.
Some teams have shown the ability to capture change, albeit for brief periods of time, as if it’s a bucking bull and teams are a rider trying to hang on for 8 seconds. Other’s can’t even seem to stay on for more than a second, getting battered, bruised and gored in the process and taking years to find their confidence again.
So I ask you, why cheat yourself by only following one team when the NFL has more drama than 1000 soap operas? The whole thing is incredibly fascinating theater. While your team may be bottom feeding for half a decade a team such as the New England Patriots could be dominating. One thing is for sure though: The teams at the top don’t last and neither do the ones at the bottom. The league is dynamic not static. Every year the level of competition increases. New players demonstrating athletic abilities unheard before come in and raise the level at their position. Fresh new coaches with huge egotistical chips on their shoulders bring in innovative play calling that forces others to adjust and -re-adjust. The coaches and players who enter the league with a mindset of not losing don’t last very long and are phased out rather quickly. The coaching carousal is constantly moving and those that can’t hang on are thrown off at the highest of speeds.
A general rule of thumb for a head coach is 3 years. This gives them enough time to install their philosophy on both sides of the ball while also bringing in the players that fit their schemes. Anything past 3 years isn’t really guaranteed and neither is the initial 3 years. Sometimes coaches screw somethings up so badly that owners won’t even wait that long to bring out the axe. Josh McDaniels is a good example of that, starting out on fire only to flame out after 1.5 years.
Today, several high profile coaches got the axe. Whether they deserved it or not their teams failed to perform when it meant the most. Below are my thoughts on what went down.
Ken Wisenhunt: It’s hard to fire a coach that was just in the Superbowl a few years ago. Those few years actually feel like 20 because of how badly the Cardinals collapsed this year. They started 4-0, beating the New England Patriots, only the end up 5-11. I think everyone who knows their football kind of felt that the 4-0 start was a bit of a fluke and anticipated somewhat of a drop off but this was the stuff of legend. It just goes to show you how important having even an average NFL QB is. That defense is world class but imagine how much harder they would’ve played for a guy who put points on the board? With an average QB I think this team goes 11-5 or 10-6 and probably prevents the Seahawks from making the playoffs. Of course, the offensive line needs help too but those guys are a lot easier to come by.
Norv Turner: I’ve never been too high on this guys. I don’t know what he says during interviews but he always seems to get a decent job and is well player. His record speaks for itself, 4 winning seasons in 15 years and I think most of those were with the Chargers. Not only that, those weren’t even his players, they were Marty Schottenheimers picks! You can see what a bad coach Norv really is now looking at the Chargers now compared to when Marty was there. He’s a good coordinator but that’s about it. Don’t get me started on AJ Smith, who is charmingly referred to as “The Lord Of No Rings” in the NFL. How many game breakers did this guy get rid of during his time there because he’s an arrogant prick who gets high on his own farts? Vincent Jackson, Michael Turner, Darren Sproles and Antonio Cromartie? Not only thats, Eli Manning refused to go there because of AJ Smith. 2 super bowls later and I’m really not sure how this guy secures another job.
Andy Reid: This one breaks my heart the most. I love Andy Reid! He is an amazing coach and one day he will get his super bowl ring. His track record speaks for itself: 5 NFC Championships, 1 super bowl appearance an I think 9 winning seasons out of 14. He has sent over 47 players to the pro bowl and has squeezed the best out of every quarterback who he’s coached. I’m not sure how great Donavan McNabb would be without Andy Reid but it’s hard to argue with the evidence at hand. After McNabb left his career went straight down the tubes. That’s even after going to two of the most friendly QB coaches in the league with the shanahan’s. Not only that he had to deal with the overdose death of his son Garret and on top of that all those big name players signed a year ago decided to take the season off. He also had no O-Line depth and had to sit back and watch Michael Vick get pummeled. I would love nothing more than for Andy Reid to land right back on his feet which I expect him to do so. My Personal dream scenario would be if he went to Carolina and paired up with Cam Newton! Any die hard football fan would die happy if they could see this play out on Sunday’s for the next 10 years. Andy loves to pass and so does Cam Newton. Cam has the confidence that teeters on borderline arrogance to succeed under Andy Reids watch. Not only that there are some other great pieces on the defense. The offense needs a little work but Andy has always been able to get the best out of no name receivers. Please Andy go to Carolina!
This article is going a little longer than I expected. Hey! What else do you expect from an NFL nerd? I’ll break down the other coaching changes in about an hour as I geek out on a little more information. Until then happy new year! Don’t do too much of what you may regret tomorrow.