FanDuel - WFBC

December 29, 2003

The wheels on the coaching bus go round and round!: While no one will go hungry, three more NFL coaches have taken their last fat per diem for their franchises. Buffalo chickened out on Gregg Williams, Chicago gave the shuffle to Dick Jauron and Arizona flipped the bird to Dave McGinnis and his entire staff. Meanwhile, everyone in a Raiders uni today called Bill Callahan the Antichrist or worse. How many deserved the axe, and how many just had lousy teams, luck or both?

posted by wfrazerjr to football at 08:51 PM - 47 comments

My take: Gregg Williams did absolutely nothing to keep his job this season. Good move. Dick Jauron has been a marked man since Jerry Angelo took over as general manager a year ago. Here's how you can figure that out the Bears signed Kordell Fucking Stewart to quarterback, backed up by Chris Chandler and a rookie. Gee, what a blueprint to win. Dave McGinnis simply did what every other coach for Bill Bidwell has ever done grinned while his shitbag owner gave him nothing. Bidwell said today McGinnis is "an exemplary man" and that made firing him (and his staff) "all the more difficult." I'm not sure how Bidwell would know what an exemplary man looked like, as he has always surrounded himself with anus-licking sycophants as a reflection of his own shortcomings. Good luck to McGinnis, who I hope will end up doing broadcasts for someone. As for Callahan, he's getting roasted by his players for benching two guys who missed a curfew, and for calling the stupidest team in football "the stupidest team in football." Perhaps the franchise needs a name change. Might I suggest the Oakland Whiny Bitches? I hope Al Davis gives Callahan another year, then invites all the Raiders to a Super Bowl party, locks the doors and sets the building on fire, Vlad Tepes style. It's the only way to clear out all the dead weight in Oaktown.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:13 PM on December 29

Self-link: CoachingGoRound This is something I seem to keep track of every year, so for the last three years--the length of time I've had a blog--I've been doing it on the web. No claim to have any inside information, just keeping it all in one place. Fun to look over a year later. McGinnis is, as wfrazer says, a victim. Cardinals will never have a winner as long as Bidwell is in charge. ESPN printed a rumor that Dennis Green has already been talking to him about the job but I cannot see Green doing it, not even for four or five years of good cash. I'm not sure why he wouldn't wait for the Raiders job. I'm waiting for the Spurrier soap to play out. Plus Cleveland and New Orleans, all three of them ought to go.

posted by billsaysthis at 09:21 PM on December 29

... Vlad Tepes style... In that "vein".

posted by lilnemo at 09:21 PM on December 29

GWAR might possibly be the worst. band. ever. I expect Spurrier to get another year. I expect Butch Davis to get another year. I expect Jim Haslett to ask to talk to the Bills, get his wish and get hired. I also expect Lovie Smith to land the Giants' job.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:25 PM on December 29

Gregg Williams had this coming. Outside of rebuilding a salary-cap ravaged defense, he showed no acumen for what he was doing. He never seemed to have any answers or any new ideas, good or otherwise. I don't think his coaching career is over -- he'll probably end up as a defensive coordinator somewhere -- but he was finally revealed this year as being over his head.

posted by Jaquandor at 10:08 PM on December 29

Gregg Williams had this coming. Outside of rebuilding a salary-cap ravaged defense, Actually, didn't he just outright cut most of those players (from a defense ranked #3 the year before he got there), because they didn't fit in his new system? And then they tanked defensively for two years before finally becoming respectable this season? Fucking something up and then fixing it most of the way, while not improving anything else (he makes bad in-game decisions; the offense was terrible, and I think it was more the play-calling and the offensive line than Bledsoe) is no way to keep a job. I expect Jim Haslett to ask to talk to the Bills, get his wish and get hired. Fine with me. All he's done is muck up the personnel since Randy Mueller built our first playoff winner then was fired for no reason. For one example, let's look at the defensive tackle situation. You know... it was "Let's get rid of La'Roi Glover and bring in Grady Jackson, because the defense is too small! It needs more size!" The very next year it was "Let's get rid of Norman Hand (and eventually Jackson, too) and trade up to choose a defensive tackle, because the defense needs more speed!" Stuff like that. I'm not sure he knows what he's doing very much. (Of course, Tom Benson should've never fired Mueller, but that's a whole 'nother story... Yeah, I'm a Saints fan.)

posted by nath at 10:28 PM on December 29

NFL player coaches! Who's with me? /Just give me the damn franchise...

posted by forksclovetofu at 01:13 AM on December 30

Any predictions on how much of the NE coaching staff will be looted and where they'll end up? Crennel, Weis, and Pioli are all talking to teams... http://tinyurl.com/2uvtk

posted by kokaku at 09:39 AM on December 30

Good post, good comments, good insight.

posted by vito90 at 09:47 AM on December 30

Getting a compliment from vito90 is like sunshine on a warm summer day. /gush

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:01 AM on December 30

wfrazerjr - please, please set your sights higher. Much higher. I guess it's a foregone conclusion that Holmgren will be back, as he should. While I agree with the sentiment that your team is as good as your record, the Hawks could very easily have won three more games if the refs had not blown calls and a cornerback had not fumbled an interception on the opponent's one-yard line (Redskins game). So he should be back no matter what happens v. Green Bay next week. What about Coach of the Year? Parcells or Marvin Lewis?

posted by vito90 at 10:08 AM on December 30

The Vikings were 0-4 against the four teams with 4-12 records. But they were also 4-2 against the five playoff teams on the schedule. This is the type of consistency we like in Minnesota, so Mike Tice will probably be back.

posted by emoeby at 10:10 AM on December 30

Actually, didn't he just outright cut most of those players (from a defense ranked #3 the year before he got there), because they didn't fit in his new system? Yes, Williams did do some goofy bashing of what had been a previously pretty good defense, but the players he sent packing really weren't exactly defensive studs who went on to anchor other great defenses around the league. Bruce Smith was one of those, but all he did was hang on to his career long enough to set a record. The Bills had to let a lot of those players go for salary cap reasons; I don't think they could really afford to keep Sam Cowart or Marcellus Wiley, who were by far the best defensive players from the 2000 Bills. (Williams's first year was 2001.) And Williams took over a team in 2001 that had gone 8-8 the year before and was on the verge of a salary-cap purge anyway. It's not like he came in and trashed a 12-4 system that had made the playoffs or anything. So, yes, Williams did insist on a new system, but I really don't think the Bills would have been able to keep the talent around to keep the old system working for much longer, anyway. They were a team on the decline in 2000.

posted by Jaquandor at 10:15 AM on December 30

CotY: Bellicheck. Maybe Parcells. Lewish needs to show that this wasn't a fluke, go 8-8 or better next year, and then I vote for him.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:27 AM on December 30

Why is beyond me is that coaches who were fired because they didn't perform well as a head coach are always 'in talks' with other teams. I'm not much of a football geek, but it seemed like Williams biggest problem is that he wasn't a great leader. He lacks charisma and an attitude. To me, he always looked like he was drugged up and out of place.

posted by jasonspaceman at 10:27 AM on December 30

Scott Pioli ain't going nowhere.

posted by yerfatma at 10:37 AM on December 30

Wfrazer, I have the impression the Giants have decided on Coughlin and were just setting up interviews in keeping with the NFL minority hiring policies. Gregg Williams : no choice but to fire him, but am I alone in thinking that the whole problem was Kevin Gilbride? New coach prediction: Romeo Crennel Dick Jauron: prolly had to be fired too, but when the Bears are playing right, they really play right and I sort of wish he'd recieved a last chance next season. I feel certain he will resurface as a head coach again. New coach prediction: Mike Mularkey maybe Kirk Ferentz Bill Callahan: worst coach in the league, I do not doubt for an instant that if Parcells was coaching that team, they'd have sniffed a winning record/wild card. The #1 priority of a coach in the NFL is maintaining the respect of the players. Period. New coach prediction: Dennis Green, who is a good fit. Jimmy Johnson would be my pick, but that would never happen. Butch Davis: he is ultimately bad for that franchise. I feel certain he's staying. Jim Haslett: I don't much care about Joe Horn's cell phone abuse, but that team is undisciplined and inconsistent, starting with the quarterback. They absolutely kill me in my football pool every year because I have no idea what they are going to do week to week. New coach prediction: Jim Haslett New Atlanta coach: Lovie Smith is going to be a great head coach. They're going to draw lots of free agent interest again this year and I think they will run away with the division next year. Is Cowher getting the axe?

posted by pastepotpete at 11:03 AM on December 30

I love Bill Cowher. I want to have his children. I'll never forget how, during the playoffs maybe five years ago, the refs made a questionable call (this is before the challenge, mind you) against the Steelers. Bill shouted, screamed, ripped, tore, got right in the face of the Side Judge. Later in the game, he got a printout of the video frame that proved he was right, and was trying to show it to the SJ, who wouldn't look. Bill folded it up and crammed it in the guy's pocket. That's the kind of intensity in a coach that I love. I think he should *always* have a head coaching job.

posted by rocketman at 11:56 AM on December 30

Spurrier quit. I wonder if he'll get a chance elsewhere in the NFL.

posted by rocketman at 12:24 PM on December 30

Cowher will always have a job, and I think he will be given a lot of leeway in Pittsburgh for a number of reasons, including the fact that he is a player's coach. He fights for them on and off the field. As a Steelers fan, I must say that 1 good thing about this dismal season is that the Steeler's coaching staff won't be raided this year like every other year. Some may disagree, but Tim Lewis and Mike Mularkey are quality coaches who will make the necessary adjustments for next season.

posted by scully at 12:28 PM on December 30

This just in, Spurrier has resigned :) Sorry to be so smug, but I can't stand the Redskins (and I live in DC). Each August all their fans do is talk Super Bowl. And after the first loss of the year they start calling for the coach's head.* How many coaches in how many years is it now since The Danny took over? Norv Turner, Terry Robiskie, Marty Schottenheimer and Steve Spurrier. * When Spurrier was hired, The Danny had this to say: "Steve Spurrier will bring a supercharged, exciting and dynamic brand of football to our great fans. His ability to energize players and teams is unprecedented. The Redskins deserve to be back at the Super Bowl, and I am immensely confident that Steve is the coach to get us there." (emphasis mine) As long as Dan Snider owns the Redskins I will continue to loath them :) (sorry owillis)

posted by scully at 12:34 PM on December 30

Steelers need to draft a quality QB and a new starter for the O-Line. Cowher may be able to massage the Rooneys for another year if he lays out a plan to get back into the playoffs in 2004. Spurrier: not sure he would want another NFL job, at least not for another year, otherwise why walk away from the largest contract in the league when the owner wasn't gonna fire him? The Punk should have hired Marvin Lewis in the first place but too late for that train. Maybe they can get Corey Dillon as a consolation prize? Davis did get another year but had to dump three offensive assistants including the coordinator. Haslett: needs a good nickname, like HazMatt, because (and this could be different when viewed locally) but he has no personality and demonstrates very odd leadership.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:36 PM on December 30

I'm not sure how I feel about Spurrier giving up. Should I do cartwheels... or backflips? Freaking pansy. Get fired like a man, you knob!

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:37 PM on December 30

Spurrier: not sure he would want another NFL job, at least not for another year From the ESPN article: "Because Spurrier resigned, he cannot coach in the league for the next three years unless a future NFL employer is willing to give the Redskins compensation, in the form of draft picks, cash, or both." Not likely that Spurrier will be back in the NFL for a while. As for your assessment of the Steelers, billsaysthis, I disagree with your assessment of the QB situation. The reason Maddox's *looked* worse this year was that there were many injuries to the O-line. But also because the team was forced to throw more (and the opposijng teams knew this). The Post-Gazette recently ran an article (I can't find it on their site right now) about how Maddox's numbers were VERY close to last years numbers. The difference was interceptions, but the lack of running game and injuried O-line contributed more to that stat than Tommy's skills. Even Pittsburgh sports columnists (usually a tough crowd) aren't calling for the removal of Maddox (or Cowher). One thing to consider is this: Maddox is a free agent this year. Can Batch do the job? Can they draft someone who is ready to play? Can they find an affordable aternative in free agency? personally I think Maddox is a better bet for a number of reasons, but mostly because he 1) knows the system, 2) is liked by the players (including Ward and Burress), and 3) will be cheap to resign this year.

posted by scully at 12:47 PM on December 30

Ok, this is interesting. According to the Washington Post, Spurrier is denying he has resigned! LOL

posted by scully at 12:49 PM on December 30

And Williams took over a team in 2001 that had gone 8-8 the year before and was on the verge of a salary-cap purge anyway. It's not like he came in and trashed a 12-4 system that had made the playoffs or anything. Fair enough. But I wasn't thinking of players like Smith; I was more concerned about the way the whole linebacking corps (Cowart, Sam Rogers, Keith Newman) was gutted. They're finally good again, but it seemed unneccessary-- I don't buy into coaching/personnel plans that involve blowing up the team for two years until the coach stockpiles the players he wants (look at Parcells, he's one of the best talent evaluators in the game, and yet he's still managed to double his team's wins from last season with essentially the same personnel. Wait until he builds that roster.) As far as the Bills' season went, offensively, Moulds was hurt, the offensive line sucked (death for any team, but especially when you have an immobile quarterback with a cannon arm-- you have to protect him), and Gilbride was a very bad offensive coordinator. Not to mention I agree with the sports guy, who puts Gregg Williams at the top of his "coaches I think I could outcoach for one game" list. As far as my Saints go, I wonder why no one has picked up on the fact that the Haslett/Loomis duo is fairly clueless when it comes to personnel, or at least bringing in veterans. The 2002 draft was good (Grant, Stallworth, Bentley), but this team has signed and let go of more talent in the last four years than anybody-- TMQ nailed it today when he pointed out that the team only has three starters remaining from the 2000 playoff squad-- and I think only six players total, three of whom were rookies (DE Darren Howard, FB Terrelle Smith, and long snapper Kevin Houser; the others are Brooks, Horn, and Jerry Fontenot, the only constant on an offensive line that was great but that Haslett insists on replacing nearly whole-cloth every season). I bet you could put together a killer team from the players the Saints have let go. ESPN has picked up the story that Spurrier is denying he resigned.

posted by nath at 01:11 PM on December 30

And Williams took over a team in 2001 that had gone 8-8 the year before and was on the verge of a salary-cap purge anyway. It's not like he came in and trashed a 12-4 system that had made the playoffs or anything. Fair enough. But I wasn't thinking of players like Smith; I was more concerned about the way the whole linebacking corps (Cowart, Sam Rogers, Keith Newman) was gutted. They're finally good again, but it seemed unneccessary-- I don't buy into coaching/personnel plans that involve blowing up the team for two years until the coach stockpiles the players he wants (look at Parcells, he's one of the best talent evaluators in the game, and yet he's still managed to double his team's wins from last season with essentially the same personnel. Wait until he builds that roster.) As far as the Bills' season went, offensively, Moulds was hurt, the offensive line sucked (death for any team, but especially when you have an immobile quarterback with a cannon arm-- you have to protect him), and Gilbride was a very bad offensive coordinator. Not to mention I agree with the sports guy, who puts Gregg Williams at the top of his "coaches I think I could outcoach for one game" list. I agree with most of your points, but Parcells was not, to my knowledge, taking over a team that was on the verge of serious salary cap issues this year. Williams was. Everybody knew, after 2000, that a purge was coming. The Bills could not have kept that linebacking corps together, and even if they had, the 2001 edition would have sucked because of all the rebuilding in all the other phases of the game. Did Parcells face similar problems in Dallas this year? Largely, the problem with the offense was Kevin Gilbride, but Williams refused to ever step in and overrule him, he never admitted there were even problems beyond "We just didn't make enough plays" (ya think?!), and toward the end he kept trying to insist he was "involved". It wasn't pretty.

posted by Jaquandor at 02:30 PM on December 30

Spurrier Now Confirms He's Leaving Redskins. Same link as Terrapin's, now updated.
"So, you admit confirming not denying your non-denial denial?"

posted by jeffmshaw at 02:39 PM on December 30

Wow, this thread is a roller coaster for me as a Redskins fan. About half way through I gave up and went to the Washington Post just to spoil the ending for myself. I haven't been a huge fan of Spurrier especially as the team continued to make the same mistakes over and over, but one thing I was hoping for was some continuity, even if it meant retaining a lousy coach. As someone pointed out above, they've had way too many coaches over the last few years. And head coaches are only half the problem. It's been five defensive coordinators in five years and now we're working on 6 for 6. That's sad. And no way to run a ball club. And the way this played out today... Disgraceful. What the hell is going on? And for Spurrier... You're a quitter. I wouldn't like working for Snyder either, but you don't run for the exits after two crappy seasons with your tail between your legs and $10 million in your purse. Nice system, jackass. And for Snyder... This team, once one of the proudest in all of sports has crumbled to a shread of what it once was. We, as fans, are laughed at for our allegiance to the Skins. We watch the hated Eagles reign with consistency. We watch as the team gets it's clock cleaned year in and year out by the even-more-hated Cowboys. And now we watch as they soar by us in the re-building department. You've made your money, now sell the team and buy the Eagles or something. Jeebus, I'm so damn angry right now. "Each August all their fans do is talk Super Bowl. And after the first loss of the year they start calling for the coach's head." In defense of me, I predicted 7-9 this year. And as I said above, I would have rather kept Spurrier (and the same goes for Marty) than to have to go through another change.

posted by 86 at 02:56 PM on December 30

I grant you that the Cowboys were not in the middle of a purge; however, they weren't (aren't?) exactly loaded with talent... the offensive skill positions are mediocre, the line isn't what it used to be, and the defense was pretty good but not great. Parcells made all of it better-- offense, defense, and special teams. I too think Gilbride was by and large the problem, but that offensive line needs to be revamped before that team goes anywhere. Ruben Brown going to the Pro Bowl year after year has become one of the biggest jokes since... well, since Larry Allen made it this year (And I guess now we've tied both those conversations together). Then again, perhaps the offensive coaches were pretty clueless about how to coach a line (if he is available, and I assume he will be given the coaching firing, I would seriously consider bringing in the Giants' offensive line coach, Jim McNally, for the same capacity). The defense has enough talent that if the offense can be fixed, this team can be a contender.

posted by nath at 03:00 PM on December 30

Not to turn this into Redskins HQ, but this is a pretty damned fascinating article on how Daniel Snyder has turned Washington into a cash cow. For those of us who thought this guy was nuts ... think again.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:04 PM on December 30

He's not nuts, wfrazer, just the worst f&%*ing owner in all of sports. That short, pea-brained, c&%-sucking twit has taken years off my life and made me into a bitter man at far too young an age. ... Still very pissed off.

posted by 86 at 03:14 PM on December 30

On Bill Cowher (from 2000): "Steelers' coach Bill Cowher is having a rough year. He has nobody at quarterback. He'll probably get fired. I think right now would be a good time to take all your savings out of the bank, and spend it following him around. He's not French, but it would be cool to show up wherever he goes, yelling 'Hey Frenchy,' at him. Then, when he was on the verge of going nuts you could frame him for a really bizarre crime and it would probably stick. "

posted by yerfatma at 03:24 PM on December 30

Gregg Williams didn't cut anybody-- he was the head coach, not the GM, and although his imput was there, I never got the feeling watching this team that its failures had much to do with the personnel on the field. This season was marked by some of the stupidest play calling I have ever seen. Even in the opening game-- 31-0 against New England, we're going to the Super Bowl-- there were calls that were incomprehensable. The difference between that game and the rest of the season was that the players were sufficently motivated to overcome the momentum killers that Williams kept calling for. He coached like he couldn't think of what to do next. What'll be interesting is how the Bills choose to fill the opening. There are a lot of big, expensive names out there, but I very much doubt that we will be seeing Dan Reeves or Jim Fassel. You know who'd be interesting to see? Ted Cottrell.

posted by outside counsel at 03:28 PM on December 30

Anyone else noticing the sniping between Spurrier and Merrill Hoge? I heard Spurrier (lying) on ESPN radio this weekend, denying he'd resign, and ripping Hoge for suggesting it. Now, the concussed one fires back. Apparently, Spurrier "didn't learn anything," "didn't even have a playbook," and is "not a real man." Yowza.

posted by jeffmshaw at 04:10 PM on December 30

I agree with Hoge on about 90% of that write-up. On the other hand, I do think it's unfair to say, "Meanwhile, it took Spurrier two years to drive the Redskins right into the ground." Fact is, when Spurrier arrived they were firmly planted on that ground and he just didn't move them anywhere.

posted by 86 at 04:23 PM on December 30

I grant you that the Cowboys were not in the middle of a purge; however, they weren't (aren't?) exactly loaded with talent... the offensive skill positions are mediocre, the line isn't what it used to be, and the defense was pretty good but not great. Parcells made all of it better-- offense, defense, and special teams. Boy, did he ever. Were we disagreeing about something? I can't even tell now! And to make matters for the Bills slightly more interesting, the Jets have just fired Ted Cottrell, who was the Bills' defensive coordinator while Wade Philips was head coach. I have a sneaking feeling Cottrell will be interviewed by the Bills. Of course, this will be the second time they've interviewed him for a head coaching vacancy. Maybe this time they'll give him the job.

posted by Jaquandor at 04:47 PM on December 30

it just goes to show that if you're not a real man, the NFL will chew you up and spit you out. Ouch, babe. Very ouch.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:51 PM on December 30

i used to loath the redskins too. and then danny came along and bought them. now it's all i can do to summon up a little mild irritation before the cowboys go out and dismantle the hapless 'skins over and over.

posted by lescour at 05:10 PM on December 30

He's not nuts, wfrazer, just the worst f&%*ing owner in all of sports. While Snyder probably isn't the best thing going, that title stays firmly here in AZ with one William V. Bidwell. One playoff victory since 1947, 4 playoff appearances since then. Tried to extort a stadium out of St Louis, moved to AZ, got a stadium here in the most bullshit, political, greed filled 2 years you can think of. I can't remember the last time they signed their top draft pick in time for him to be in training camp. Why would a good, established coach come here? This is the abyss of the NFL, the only coaches here will be desparate end of their career guys or coordinators eager for a head coaching gig. This team will never be good until the Bidwells (Bill's sons are chips off the old block on their football saavy) sell the team, which will never happen since it is their cash cow. I wish the NFL owners could get together and take the team from them somehow.

posted by pivo at 10:25 PM on December 30

Boy, did he ever. Were we disagreeing about something? I can't even tell now! Well, I think we definitely established Bill Parcells is a good coach and Gregg Williams is not. :)

posted by nath at 02:15 AM on December 31

I hear ya Pivo. And you're probably right. I was just angry yesterday at the sad state of affairs in DC. Hopefully whoever they bring in can make some changes and improvements. I want Crennel. But I really want an actual GM before anything else.

posted by 86 at 07:18 AM on December 31

Boy, did he ever. Were we disagreeing about something? I can't even tell now! Well, I think we definitely established Bill Parcells is a good coach and Gregg Williams is not. Well, I don't know how good a coach Parcells is. I mean, how impressed should I be that he has now in his career taken over no fewer than four floundering franchises and turned them into playoff teams? (Is there an emoticon for "tongue really in cheek"?)

posted by Jaquandor at 09:55 AM on December 31

And Callahan takes a dive...

posted by lilnemo at 01:00 PM on December 31

So much for my theory that the Steelers off year would keep the buzzards at bay :)

posted by scully at 02:15 PM on December 31

Pasquarelli posted an interesting column yesterday breaking down the seven current openings and his choices are not necessarily obvious. But terrapin can at least take heart as neither of his coordinators show up as getting hired away.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:24 PM on December 31

I saw that, and did think that, billsaysthis! ;)

posted by scully at 02:41 PM on December 31

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.