FanDuel - WFBC

February 12, 2007

Bolts zap Schottenheimer.: It was inevitable. I thought it would happen sooner. With the level of talent on that team, there's no longer an excuse not to win it all. But did they wait too long? Are all the best candidates for the job already taken?

posted by rgchappell to football at 09:40 PM - 74 comments

Live and learn, I had to watch him do his Schottball in kansas city. While some teams can't seem to win the big one, your odds go up if you have him. Sad thing is he will get someone to hire him yet again. Sad, sad,sad!

posted by robi8259 at 05:20 AM on February 13

I know Schottenheimer hasn't done well at all in the playoffs, but I did not see this coming. I still can't believe they axed him.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:22 AM on February 13

Wow...well, I can see this after they lost like 1/2 their staff...Marty should probably take a year off and see what happens in the coaching market. He will need a break from coaching I bet. The right job will have to be what will snag him. That goes to tell you that playoffs are all that matter (Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game!)

posted by chemwizBsquared at 05:46 AM on February 13

The Chargers don't have TO, this might be very inviting for Parcells, a proven winner.

posted by danjel at 06:25 AM on February 13

Personal differences aside, Chargers General Manager AJ Smith should have never let things go as far as they did between him and Marty. Schottenheimer may not have won a Super Bowl but just look at this career regular season record (200-126-1) and tell me you wouldn't want a guy with an above .500 record. Marty was 5-13 in the post-season but honestly, does that mean that he's a bad coach? No, it does not and I really think that the Chargers have made a huge mistake, IMO.

posted by BornIcon at 06:51 AM on February 13

I was pretty surprised to hear this. If they were unsatisfied with his coaching, why didn't the Chargers make this move at the end of the season, when they could have promoted one of their coordinators or had their pick of other coaching prospects? It's not Schottenheimer's fault that his coordinators got raided, and I don't believe it would have been right for him to deny assistant coaches the chance to move up with other organizations. If Schottenheimer did such a great job finding a legion of coordinator/HC candidates for his staff last year, surely he could have done OK with another round of hiring. Schottenheimer has to be a compelling option for struggling franchises -- he definitely knows how to improve a team and take it from a losing record to a playoff berth. He has yet to demonstrate the ability to do more than that, however, which makes him a less compelling option for teams that are already successful.

posted by Venicemenace at 07:23 AM on February 13

Your right Venice but it seems that the Chargers organization waited this long to fire him so that Marty couldn't coach next year. All coaching gigs seem to be occupied.

posted by BornIcon at 07:47 AM on February 13

The Chargers don't have TO, this might be very inviting for Parcells, a proven winner. Maybe in a year or so, but not next year. Any team the lured him back would have to compensate the cowboys since technically he's still under Dallas' extention. No way Jerry Jones would let that happen.

posted by louisville_slugger at 07:52 AM on February 13

the Chargers organization waited this long to fire him so that Marty couldn't coach next year Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face! I didn't want to buy into the media storyline of Schottenheimer's playoff struggles before the Bolts-Pats game -- I'm generally skeptical of these hyped up tales. Still, they did blow a game that they definitely could have won, and I guess I could understand the Chargers wanting to make Marty the fall guy. But after a 14-2 record, and then waiting this long...I just don't get it. I know there were personality conflicts, but act like adults for the good of the franchise.

posted by Venicemenace at 08:05 AM on February 13

What does your team want? My team is the Chiefs, and Marty had some great regular seasons for them, usually making the playoffs. However, the Chiefs usually bombed in the playoffs. If you want steady success, year after year, go with Marty. If you want to want to win the big one, go after someone else. That's just the facts, and Marty has a long history to back this up.

posted by whitedog65 at 08:13 AM on February 13

chemwizBsquared has it right. Schottenheimer is a coach who relies heavily on his assistants and he lost many of them this year. Combine thaat with a rocky relationship wiht the Chargers' ownership and the firing was bound to happen. As for the "He can't win the big one" stuff, I personally disagree. That can be spun to say that nearly everywhere Marty was given a chance (read: not DC) he produced winners and the players liked him. I think Marty should hang 'em up and enjoy retirement.

posted by scully at 08:24 AM on February 13

......Marty has a long history to back this up History of what?!? Being successful? I mean, let's take a closer look at Tony Dungy, the guy finally won a Super Bowl this year after many successful seasons as a head coach but even if he never won one, does that mean his coaching methods were for naught? I beg to differ. Marty Schottenheimer has been a winning coach everywhere he has been so to put him in the back burner as a "lame duck" is not only unfair but unrealistic. The players are the ones that need to go out there and perform. Unfortunately, along with the QB, the coaching staff will take the fall but this seems to be more of a personal issue between the General Manager and the former-Head coach, not the owner. It's just a shame to have a guy who's team went 14-2 and he won't be around to witness the fruits of his labor but the General Manager apparently has the ear of team president Dean Spanos and therefore, Marty was let go.

posted by BornIcon at 08:33 AM on February 13

BornIcon, did you even read my post? It states that he has had steady success. However, he has not gotten his team over the hump. If making the playoffs is acceptable, by all means hire Marty. Marty has never won a Superbowl, this is a fact, this is his history.

posted by whitedog65 at 08:41 AM on February 13

Marty Schottenheimer has been a winning coach everywhere he has been If you feel history should play a part in this decision, why are you so conveniently ignoring his playoff record? How many of those regular season wins came against cellar dwellers? For a long time in the 1990s, the Boston Bruins fielded teams that won regular season crowns and then wilted in the playoffs. Should I hold those memories dear because the regular season record was glossy? It would appear Marty was being preserved by the staff he had assembled. Without them, no real need for Marty.

posted by yerfatma at 08:49 AM on February 13

winning the super bowl is up to the players But this is the NFL, where head coaches hold godlike powers. The disposition of a team and the attitude of its players are largely reflective of the head coach's disposition and attitude. I can only speak to the latest playoff upset, but the Chargers players were not prepared for that game and at least some of the blame has to reflect on Schottenheimer.

posted by Venicemenace at 08:51 AM on February 13

If Marty had coached the Cardinals.......and went 14-2, (not to mention just MAKING the playoffs)....Arizona would still be partying, there would have been statues erected statewide......

posted by Bozemanite at 08:53 AM on February 13

It would appear Marty was being preserved by the staff he had assembled. Without them, no real need for Marty. It was pretty naive of the Chargers to think that Cameron wouldn't get a head coaching opportunity. I'm still a bit surprised about Wade Phillips, though!

posted by Venicemenace at 08:53 AM on February 13

But did you read my post, whitedog? Because from my understanding, you're saying that it's all Marty's fault? The blame goes all the way around, not just on one guy's shoulders. Given his history, he has had success just about everywhere he has gone and last year's record with the Chargers (14-2) proves just that.

posted by BornIcon at 09:01 AM on February 13

If you feel history should play a part in this decision, why are you so conveniently ignoring his playoff record? well the last 2 coaches to win the SB were known for this as well. Remember, just 2-3 months ago, Dungy was known as the coach who could turn around a franchise, but couldn't win in the playoffs (Tampa did the exact same thing to Dungy, firing him because he couldn't advance in the playoffs). Cowher was a marty-clone who had a great regular season record, but had failed NUMEROUS times in playoffs when his team was favored (lost 3 AFCC games in his own house). All I'm saying is all it takes is one year for the balls to bounce the right way and you go from a guy who "can't win you a SB" to one who not only has a SB victory, but also has amazing regular season success as well.

posted by bdaddy at 09:13 AM on February 13

This is about Spanos' sour grapes and huge ego. In the end he's the hurt Charger team and will more than likely go 8-8 at best next year. I'd take Marty any day. KC went from Marty Ball to Air Vermeil, and is now back to a version of Marty Ball with Edwards. It is all about being well-rounded and for the first time in a long time the Bolts had it. Spanos is the TO of front office personnel.

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 09:19 AM on February 13

Maybe in a year or so, but not next year. Any team the lured him back would have to compensate the cowboys since technically he's still under Dallas' extention. No way Jerry Jones would let that happen. Absolutely right, because it wouldn't benefit him. Maybe Jones would do this in return for LT. Marty is great for building a team, but then you need a coach that can finish the job. Maybe they could hire two coaches, a regular season coach and a playoff coach. Marty needs to get this monkey off of his back. Aside from the fact that Smith should probably grow up.

posted by OneLbRibEye at 09:24 AM on February 13

I think Marty Schottenheimer is a great coach. I don't ever buy that a coach can't win the big one stuff. I think the most a coach and an organization can do is put a team out there that can compete. It is a combination of a ton of factors, including luck and big plays, that makes a difference between a Super Bowl berth and a playoff exit. Marty certainly puts a team out there that is competitive. I think his time will come, and if it doesn't he still is a remarkable successful coach.

posted by bperk at 09:28 AM on February 13

Gruden has to be on his last leg in Tampa, perhaps Marty would enjoy some more warm weather.

posted by bperk at 09:29 AM on February 13

Conspiracy theory -- last week was signing week for college football. The timing of this firing allows Pete Carroll to jump ship from USC to SD without having an adverse effect on recruiting.

posted by holden at 09:31 AM on February 13

This may go down as one of biggest front office gaffes in NFL history. The bolts just lost Cam Cameron, Wade Phillips and Marty Schott. I cant even count the years of experience that were just cast away. With Rivers, LT, and a mediocre reciever corps, these coaching jobs seem like a great place to go. However, as a coach, i would be a little wary of this job, seeing as the head coach was just fired after going 14-2. 14-2!!!!!!!!!!! There is nowhere to go but down, so there will be no comfortability in the coaching seats. Add in a new offense and a new defense and new minicamps, quarterback schools, and new training camp and this team may not make the playoffs next year. In my opinion, the bolts have just givin themselves the "shocker".

posted by gdaddydog at 09:47 AM on February 13

Wow!! Is the coaching pool full for next off season or what?!?! Maybe the single best crop of coaches ever to be picked from next year.

posted by gdaddydog at 09:51 AM on February 13

well the last 2 coaches to win the SB were known for this as well. You can argue Cowher, but I have a harder time seeing Dungy as comparable to Marty. Dungy has only been coaching for a half decade or so and got to an NFC championship early on with a team that went on to win a Super Bowl soon after. None of Marty's teams ever showed such promise.

posted by yerfatma at 09:58 AM on February 13

Everyone talks about Dungy, and how they stuck with him and he (the Colts, that is) finally won a Super Bowl. Don't think for a minute, however, that the Colts wouldn't have been seriously considering a change if they would have suffered another setback to the Patriots this year (something that nearly happened). The NFL is all about winning in the playoffs, not the regular season. Sure, a Arizona franchise would love to experience any type of success. But the Colts have had things set up pretty well for them for several years and fell short. Also, don't forget the team really struggled with some bad losses late in the year. Dungy really needed to see his team reach the promised land (a championship), and doing so has probably taken the heat off him for the forseeable future. Marty, though, is known as a coach who can get teams to the playoffs, but then things fall apart (often due to questionable coaching/game-time decisions). Sure, the players have to play the game, but it's not like the organization is going to go dumping them. Most of the players are there to stay. Marty's got that giant reputation to deal with of not being able to get a team to a championship, even talented teams with home-field advantage (be it in Cleveland, San Diego, wherever). Until he wins a Super Bowl, that will be his cross to bear. And as for adults within an organization needing to be able to get along, as was alluded to above, don't hold your breath. It's a business built and dictated by huge egos, and a good regular season record and pathetic playoff one isn't enough to save the Martys of the coaching profession. That's just the way it is.

posted by dyams at 10:04 AM on February 13

I don't really believe that Marty Schottenheimer is a bad coach. I think he is a great coach. But you have to wonder why he can't win in the playoffs. Everyone knows the players have to go out and win, not the coach. So why didn't San Diego beat the Patriots? Everyone said they had the best team, and the best players (as evidenced in the Pro Bowl). So what happened after half-time that lost the game for them? Could it possibly be the coaching that lost that game? Marty certainly isn't making a good case for himself. After New England scored right before half-time, it seemed like The Chargers reverted offensively to, dare I say it, Marty-Ball.

posted by sublime4390116 at 10:11 AM on February 13

None of Marty's teams ever showed such promise Are you serious? I can't believe you would even post this at all. Did you somehow mistakingly post this in error? A team that went 14-2 isn't showing promise? Dude, you're sadly mistaken with that comment and should be banned from even posting anything concerning Marty Schottenheimer ever again. We are talking about AMERICAN football, not European football, just so you know. Big difference but with your comment that none of the teams that played under Marty showed any promise, is totally laughable. I think you might of lost a bet or something on a game that Marty was coaching, am I close?

posted by BornIcon at 10:27 AM on February 13

The Chargers fans/owners/GM are blinded by the phenomenal performance of LT. The reality though is that the rest of the team is above average but not great. The coaching staff that has departed or got fired has managed to get tremendous mileage by getting the players to overachieve, in a roster that is one injury away from mediocrity. The rest of the NFL knew that very well, and plucked them left and right. The great job that they have done is a tribute to Marty's great organizational and motivational skills and his ability to put a great coaching staff. The Chargers may have momentum going into next seasons, but the names tossed around do not infuse confidence. My view is that AJ should have been fired for letting Brees go. Spanos and him also bungled the firing and put themselves in a situation where their coaching choices are mediocre at best.

posted by The_Sage at 10:28 AM on February 13

Dude, you're sadly mistaken with that comment and should be banned from even posting anything concerning Marty Schottenheimer ever again. We are talking about AMERICAN football, not European football, just so you know. Ooohhkay. Let's try again: the team Tony Dungy left won a Super Bowl right after. Name me the teams Marty coached that did the same. As Jim Mora could have gleaned from the context of my comment, "Playoffs!"

posted by yerfatma at 10:40 AM on February 13

And look at how long it for Tony Dungy to win a Super Bowl and also Bill Cowher for that matter. They both had great regular season success but both had the time & patience of the organization to achieve that success. If an organization or an individual within that organization isn't on the same page as the head coach, the outcome will not be a pretty sight. Just look at what happened here with the Chargers. AJ Smith didn't really vibe with Marty therefore, he was terminated. It truly had nothing to do with his record as a head coach, it seems to be more of a personal vendetta than that of a business decision. Because this was a bad business decision.

posted by BornIcon at 10:54 AM on February 13

the Chargers organization waited this long to fire him so that Marty couldn't coach next year Not true. Marty was offered an extension after the season and before Phillips went to big D. Marty chose to "bet on himself" and turn down the extension so he could open up 'free agent' opportunities at the conclusion of next year. Turns out that was not such a good plan. Maybe AJ Smith was a lil nicked at getting snubbed like that? Smith is definatly a media seeker. The breaking straw was Marty demanding that his son take over after Wade Phillips as the defensive playcaller. I can't blame Smith for putting his foot down there. Pete Carroll and AJ Smith are both from Pacific, and big alumni contributors there. Carroll was "interested" in the Miami gig. The Chargers are the best job in football at the moment, 100X's better than the 'fins. So the real question is: who will be USC's next head coach?

posted by r8rh8r27 at 11:11 AM on February 13

I don't think the Chargers are the best gig in football. Firing a coach after a 14-2 season sucks. Further, AJ Smith plays hardball with players in a way that his harmful to the team. That Antonio Gates fiasco was an embarrassment.

posted by bperk at 11:17 AM on February 13

Marty turned down the extension because it was a joke to begin with. How can two people coincide when one of the two has a problem with the other? I'm sure AJ Smith was a little perturbed about the snub on the extension but that was like a team placing the franchise tag on a player so he can't leave. Why not just re-sign him for a few more years considering he's the one that has brought the Chargers to the championship caliber team that they currently are?

posted by BornIcon at 11:17 AM on February 13

Wait a second, this could the best case senario for Marty... ...no, wait hear me out... 1. He gets fired. Ok bad, but he doesn't look like the goat here as much as Smith and Spano do if the Chargers don't at least win the AFC west next year. 2. LT is all but a lock (ok, at least the frontrunner) to be the next Madden Cover Guy. Which means the jinx will be in full effect next year. If he goes down or is ineffective, like that seahawks' back was this year, then this is really only a .500 team (like the Colts w/o Manning). 3. So SD get between 6 and 8 wins, misses the playoffs, sportswriters everywhere gasp, and suddenly, SD is talking about "the good old 'Martyball' days" Its just one of the possible senarios that I can think of, but this one most vindicates my belief that a 14-2 coach should Never, EVER be fired.

posted by Hornsfan817 at 11:17 AM on February 13

Marty and Gibbs are not really coaches anyway. They don't run offencive or defencive meetings. They don't call plays on either side of the ball. They don't have a concrete say it what players are drafted, traded, released, or picked up. They do not even get to chose the assistant coaches on their staff. They are mummified mascots. Glorified cheerleaders. Their respective teams give 'em an IV and roll their old ass onto the field early on Sunday mornings. They should carry a bull horn and pom-poms to press conferences so no one gets confused on their role. The chargers will win 13+ games next year with Micky Mouse as the head coach.

posted by r8rh8r27 at 11:20 AM on February 13

Hornsfan, I have to agree with everything that you just said. I think you may have just hit the bullseye.

posted by BornIcon at 11:21 AM on February 13

The breaking straw was Marty demanding that his son take over after Wade Phillips as the defensive playcaller. I've read the same thing. It sounds as if it very well could have been the final nail in the coffin. I've also seen a few things that have alluded to the idea San Diego may have already done some talking with Carroll. The only other names have been Rex Ryan from Baltimore and, as usual, Norv Turner. The Chargers fans/owners/GM are blinded by the phenomenal performance of LT. The reality though is that the rest of the team is above average but not great. I think there's definitely something to that. Looking at the Chargers offense, outside of LT (if that's even possible) and Gates shows they really have some question marks. I think Rivers will be a really good quarterback eventually, but their receivers were non-factors, and this was Rivers' first season as a starter. The team's defense is looking very good, but their success is dependant on LT, period. These things are the only reason I kind of feel for Marty in this particular situation, although I don't think his history, or his dealings with the front office, did him any favors.

posted by dyams at 11:27 AM on February 13

I don't think the Chargers are the best gig in football. Where is a better job? A better roster? The fans in SD aren't too rabid. You get the best player in football, one of the best defencive players in football. The whole team is young and talented at key spots. They are going to win the Super Bowl within the next three years. Oh yeah, and it is 72 degrees and sunny today. Just like yesterday, and the day before, and the week before......and the month before...... What job would you rather have?

posted by r8rh8r27 at 11:28 AM on February 13

You have to work with AJ Smith. You can get fired after a 14-2 season because your assistant coaches get head coaching gigs. Coaches don't still around long. They are being run by a bunch of fools who think that firing a coach in mid-February is a good idea after all the coordinators and coaches have been hired and fired. What kind of staff can one piece together at this stage? Spanos is reluctant to spend money. Umm, I think that's enough reasons. Pittsburgh is a better job, at least you know that they are going to give you plenty of time to have success.

posted by bperk at 11:38 AM on February 13

And look at how long it for Tony Dungy to win a Super Bowl and also Bill Cowher for that matter. Cowher is a somewhat apt comparison, although he started his head coaching career 4 years after Schottenheimer (1992 vs. 1988). He also won the Super Bowl at least 5 years earlier in his career than Schottenheimer (assuming Marty somehow brings one home next season, otherwise that number goes up). True, both fell short in the playoffs several times. But did Cowher ever acquire the reputation as a postseason choker that Schottenheimer has? I don't put much faith in those media-fueled reps, but sometimes there's a grain of truth to 'em, and something went wrong in that last playoff game after Marty put on the headset. Comparing Dungy to Schottenheimer is greviously unfair to Dungy, who didn't get a head coaching gig until 1996. As Yerfatma points out, he took a team to the verge of the SB, then went to Indy and won one there. He's a way better coach than Schottenheimer, with a way better track record. I'd hate to see Carroll leave USC. He's the perfect coach for that program and the college game is perfect for his rah-rah personality.

posted by Venicemenace at 11:42 AM on February 13

Marty will make a super GM!As a 49er fan i'll take him in a heartbeat!Gotta get rid of John York 1st tho!!!S.D. is a team full of idiots,same as my teams' ownership etc.!Marty has excellent skills at picking players & staff tho.Don't think many will argue that point!!!

posted by mdavidsf at 12:16 PM on February 13

Pittsburgh is a better job Tell that to Bill Cower. He didn't leave because he is burned out or to be with his daughters as publicly claimed. He is currently in "negotiations with light saber". He wants to be paid as a SB winning coach, and rightly so. The Steelers don't pay anyone one cent more than absolutely necessary, especially coaches. Cower has been getting low-balled by Pittsburgh for years. Now he is making them pay for it. This is the NFL. We know that anyone can be fired at any time. "Marty ball" resulted in the Chargers getting punted from the playoffs two seasons back and AJ didn't fire him then. The Chargers are no more fire-prone than any other team. AJ Smith is a dick. So what. He wants to win a championship by any means necessary. Being buddies with the boss is not a requirement of productivity. A good coach can make any relationship (sans T.O.) work.

posted by r8rh8r27 at 12:24 PM on February 13

Comparing Dungy to Schottenheimer is greviously unfair to Dungy, who didn't get a head coaching gig until 1996 But why does it matter the difference in the years that they became head coaches, your totally missing the point. My comparison was about a few head coaches that had success in the regular season but were having problems advancing in the playoffs. There really wasn't any other reason for why Marty was let go other than the fact that he and the general manager were at odds. When you have a coach that leads you team to a 14-2 record, how does that warrant for a release? When the Colts had the same record and were pounced out of the playoffs a few years ago, when everyone and their mother thought the Colts would have the perfect season on lock, then Tony's son passed away, the Colts lost a few games going into the playoff and eventully lost while the Steelers won the Super Bowl, why wasn't Tony Dungy fired? Well, because everyone knows that Dungy is a great coach and Schottenheimer is no different. His record speaks for itself.

posted by BornIcon at 12:44 PM on February 13

My comparison was about a few head coaches that had success in the regular season but were having problems advancing in the playoffs. I guess I disagree with your assertion that Tony Dungy has had "problems" advancing in the playoffs. And didn't you say "And look at how long it for Tony Dungy to win a Super Bowl and also Bill Cowher for that matter"? Certainly sounds like you were framing it in terms of time.

posted by Venicemenace at 01:03 PM on February 13

Here are a couple of points I have thought of. How much input did Schottenheimer and his staff have into player selection? If A J Smith was making most of the decisions, relegating the coaches to nothing more than organizers and play selectors, then obviously the SD front office rightly feels that Marty was expendable. If the coaching staff had the major input into selecting players, then San Diego's ownership and management are out of their lovin' minds. The difference between a very good coach and a great coach is usually found in attention to very small details. Such a difference is most easily seen when the game is between two closely-matched teams. The manner in which San Diego lost to the Patriots illustrates this. You have to admit that for much of the game, New England was being outplayed. It was mental errors by San Diego that finally decided things. A great coach would have made sure that his players understood what to do in any given situation. This cannot be taught in the week or 2 before a game. It is an attitude that has to become ingrained from the very beginning of a player's association with a team. This is where Marty Schottenheimer failed.

posted by Howard_T at 01:12 PM on February 13

John Clayton of ESPN nay-says a couple of candidates that we've cooked up on here: "Pete Carroll, USC head coach: Not happening. Even though Carroll would love to coach a West Coast NFL team, this doesn't appear to be the time. First, Carroll wants to have control of the front office and the coaching staff. Why would he leave the Trojans for anything less? Bill Cowher, former head coach, Pittsburgh Steelers: Cowher is sitting out 2007 and possibly 2008. Plus, he's one of Schottenheimer's best friends. For those reasons alone, he wouldn't come to San Diego." Clayton kicks around some other names: Ron Rivera, Norv Turner, Mike Singletary, Jim Mora, Mike Martz...what do you think, Charger fans?

posted by Venicemenace at 01:25 PM on February 13

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Pete Carroll. Sure he may want more control than the Chargers are willing to offer right now, but if the Reggie Bush/USC issue continues to hang around (which I'm sure it will), things may change quite a bit at USC for a few years. Having a shot at a gig like San Diego may not come around again for a few years. As for Cowher, I fully expect him to take some time away from the sidelines. Mike Martz is completely overrated as a head coach, and the only thing that kept his ridiculous decisions with the Rams from being more of a mess is that he had the good fortune of following a top-flight head coach like Dick Vermeil. I still think Rex Ryan could be a possibility.

posted by dyams at 01:41 PM on February 13

Whether or not Schottenheimer deserved to be fired, the timing of this is terrible for the team. This WAS a team primed to win the Super Bowl next year despite their terrible loss to New England. Like the Colts in 2005, they dominated the regular season only to lose the division playoff game at home by 3 points. Both teams were run by Head Coaches that were known for not winning the "big game". Comparing Dungy to Schottenheimer may be unfair, but Dungy clearly had the rep of a successful coach who couldn't win the big game. It's why they fired him in Tampa. And Gruden's winning the super bowl the following season just added to that perception. it was also his rep in Indy until about 23 days ago. The Spanos goofs have had a history of bad decisions. But this may be the worst. With Marty, they win the their division and probably have home field for at least a game or two. Without Marty, and being forced to choose amongst the coaching leftovers, I don't think they make the playoffs. As far as Pete Carroll, he's been on record many times saying that he would like complete control of an NFL franchise. Why on earth would he choose to go to a team that would fire a coach that goes 14-2 in the regular season? Pete was born to be a college coach. I hope he remembers that. On preview what VeniceMenace said

posted by cjets at 01:43 PM on February 13

But did Cowher ever acquire the reputation as a postseason choker that Schottenheimer has? absolutely. As a Steeler fan we'd been bitching about that for YEARS. Tell that to Bill Cower. He didn't leave because he is burned out or to be with his daughters as publicly claimed. He is currently in "negotiations with light saber". He wants to be paid as a SB winning coach, and rightly so. The Steelers don't pay anyone one cent more than absolutely necessary, especially coaches. Cower has been getting low-balled by Pittsburgh for years. Now he is making them pay for it. Absolutely and utterly false. The FO stuck by him even when he had losing seasons and the entire city of Pittsburgh was calling for his head. He, like his mentor Shotty, had dismal playoff performance (something like 1-3 in AFCC games when they were actually hosting them and favored), yet they stuck with him. Throughout his whole career there they never let him have less than 2 years remaining on his contract without extending him. When he finished 6-10 and once again people where calling for his heads, they extended him to what was the #2 contract at the time. Then after all of that time standing behind him, he finally wins the SB, and demands 8-10 million/year. Sour grapes then came out. At no point in his career was he "lowballed". He was consistently one of the highest paid coaches.

posted by bdaddy at 02:53 PM on February 13

As for Norv Turner: Been there, done that (with the same owners). But, you could have said the same thing about the Raiders and Art Shell.

posted by LionIndex at 03:15 PM on February 13

Clayton kicks around some other names: Ron Rivera, Norv Turner, Mike Singletary, Jim Mora, Mike Martz How about Mike Martz? If Marty-Ball is the reason they fired him, I think Martz is pretty much the Anti-Schottenheimer in terms of offensive philosophy.

posted by cjets at 03:44 PM on February 13

The whole thing smacks of a lousy owner. I don't know much about Smith, but it sounds like he makes Jerry Jones look like The Desert Fox.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:48 PM on February 13

The whole thing smacks of a lousy owner. I don't know much about Smith, but it sounds like he makes Jerry Jones look like The Desert Fox. No, Smith is just the GM. The Spanos family (Alex is the patriarch, Dean is the son) are the owners. Schottenheimer was originally allowed to stay/offered the contract extension in the hopes that his coaching staff would remain fairly stable. Once that got blown all to hell, there really wasn't much reason for the owners to keep Schott around, given his shaky relationship with Smith, so they let him go. Generally speaking, you're correct, the Spanoses are horrifically shitty owners, but in this case I think they made a decent decision assuming that having both Smith and Schott was an untenable situation. Smith is really the one who's built this team, along with his predecessor, John Butler, bringing it back from the aftermath of Ryan Leaf and the Bobby Beathard era when we were going 1-15. So I can't blame them for choosing Smith, but whether they really had to get rid of Schottenheimer right away is questionable. Supposedly, Dean Spanos has a list of candidates, but I expect to be disappointed in the end.

posted by LionIndex at 04:06 PM on February 13

How about Mike Martz? Good God! Does anyone even pay attention to football? Give me Mark Bulger, Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, and Orlando Pace anchoring the line, and I imagine most any coach could do some creative things. BUT THE GUY WAS A BRUTAL COACH! He had no game management or clock management skills. He'd blow every time out prior to the half being 5 minutes old. He'd challenge absolutely stupid plays (and lose). I'm just hoping if Martz ever gets a head coaching gig again it's with a team I hate, like the Giants. That would be perfect!

posted by dyams at 04:07 PM on February 13

If nothing else, Smith got Phillip Rivers, Shawne Merriman, and Nate Kaeding by trading away Eli Manning. That elevates him to sainthood in my book.

posted by LionIndex at 04:09 PM on February 13

I don't know much about Smith, but it sounds like he makes Jerry Jones look like The Desert Fox. Uh, Smith is the GM, Spanos is the owner. A lousy one, indeed for letting this get to this point. I don't think Marty is going to win a SB, but you can't fire him now.

posted by MrNix at 04:23 PM on February 13

14-2 and ya lose to the pats by a FG... WHAT A TERRIBLE YEAR!!! This reeks of Homer smackin the TV, fix it til it's broke I say.

posted by 2 time mvp of the shittiest team ever at 04:36 PM on February 13

I have always disliked Marty as a coach. Even going back to his KC days I thought he was an also ran and would never win the Superbowl. This year I felt the same way, even though I thought SD was the most talented team and hottest going into the playoffs. Many times during the season I commented they wouldn't do it with Shottenheimer. I would really love to blame Shottenheimer for their colapse because I don't like him. Unfortunately after winning one of the toughest divisions in pro football and compiling a fantastic 14-2 record, I think the blame really belongs to the inexperienced players like Rivers, LT and others. With the exception of Tom Brady, how many young quarterbacks, especially ones surrounded by a lot of other young players have succeeded in their first NFL Playoff Football experience? Whether Marty could ever win a SB is seriously doubted in my mind, and regarldess of his past experience in the play offs. and the fact that I hate his coaching style, if you take a young team to to the playoffs with the best record in footbal, loose a game by 3 points to the closest thing to a dynasty, (the New England Patriots)who, came withing a hair of beating the Colts and winning another SB, with basically a rookie QB surrounded by young players, IMO you probably deserve one more shot at it. If I owned an NFL team I wouldn't touch Marty with a ten foot pole. He damaged goods as a coach and now has the kiss of death for winning a Superbowl. The situation in San Diego was as good a chance as he will get. The fact he never won a SB before this is his fault, but in the case of SD ownership, he just got unlucky. Ownership not allowing him to take advantage of the experience the team gained this year in the playoffs, killed his chances to get the monkey off his back. FWIW - I think when the monkey starts to turn into a gorilla as was with Manning and Dungy winning the big one starts to become impossible. A fact that makes the comeback against New England in the AFC final even more remarkable for the Colts. After that, crushing the overated and mediocre Bears was a piece of cake.

posted by Atheist at 05:26 PM on February 13

Atheist, I don't think anyone overrated the Bears this season after the game against Arizona. From that point on, we all heard how great the Bears weren't. (Personally, I blame Grossman. His reminds me a lot of Aaron Brooks. While both have similar skill sets to Brett Favre, they don't have his ability to fully bounce back mentality after a bad set of plays.) As for Spanos and Smith, I'll just go ahead and be a petty prick and say I wish semi-horrible things upon them. Severe lactose intolerance, perhaps.

posted by forrestv at 06:04 PM on February 13

I think that Marty will coach somewhere next year. There will be plenty of openings. San Diego made a big mistake and they will regret it.

posted by bry66 at 06:25 PM on February 13

Geting rid of Marty as head coach has paid off every time. Just look at the brilliant Bud Carson era in Cleveland, the Gunther Cunningham dynasty in KC, and I'm sure everyone envies the magical Steve Spurrier years at Washington.
I'm sick and tired of coaches and players being tarred with "can't win the BIG one." That just says to me that you're consistantly one of the best at what you do. Dean Smith went almost 20 years before winning the NCAA. Bill Walsh and Joe Montana just could not get over the hump and beat the Cowboys in the playoffs. Elway only got a ring in his last two years. Til then he was a big LOSER to this crowd. It's stupid.

posted by gradioc at 08:18 PM on February 13

How about Mike Martz? Good God! Does anyone even pay attention to football?....... BUT THE GUY WAS A BRUTAL COACH! I'm not a Martz fan. I merely brought him up because his offensive philosophy is diametrically opposed to the classic Marty-Ball style. But the guy did take the Rams to the playoffs 5 out of 7 seasons as the Head Coach. And unlike Marty, Martz did take a team to the superbowl (as well as win a SB ring as their offensive coordinator.) He had no game management or clock management skills. If that's a prerequisite, why is Herm Edwards still a coach? The Jets hired a clock management coach for him and he still screwed it up.

posted by cjets at 10:44 PM on February 13

Of all the premature and hasty coaching changes that have become a regular occurrence in almost every sport, this one takes the cake. How can a coach get fired after a 14-2 season, even if it ends in the first round of the playoffs? The Bolts, with a previously untested QB, overachieved big-time in the regular season, then reality set in when this talented but young team lost to a veteran Pats team that (almost) always finds ways to win. Schottenheimer has had little postseason success, partly due to his conservative coaching style that seems to tighten up the bigger the game is, but also because of plain bad luck. Look at the past two Super Bowl champs. The Colts had a better regular season a year ago, but won it all THIS year. Two years ago, the Steelers went 15-1 but lost in the AFC championship game, and last year, after an up-and-down regular season, they got hot in the postseason and won the SB. Experience does matter. The Chargers might have been ready to make a serious SB run next year, but not now. Blame the front office--not Schottenheimer--for the coordinators leaving. Now with Marty gone too, they'll have to start from scratch. Fools never learn!

posted by TerpFan at 11:42 PM on February 13

When did the Steelers ever go 15-1? Did I miss something?

posted by Atheist at 11:41 AM on February 14

When did the Steelers ever go 15-1? Did I miss something? Look it up. 2004

posted by bperk at 12:15 PM on February 14

That's what I been saying this whole time, TerpFan. It truly was a bad decision to not only fired the coach that led your team to a 14-2 record but to also lose four of their top five assistant coaches to another coordinator or head-coaching job elsewhere. To be a general manager or team president and not be able to settle the differences between two people (AJ Smith/Marty Schottenheimer) for the betterment of the team is nonsense. The Chargers looked to be on the brink of having a dynasty, and I use that term loosely, with San Diego compiling a 35-13 record over the past three years, the Chargers have made the playoffs twice in those three seasons only to lose to less-talented teams (the Jets in 2004 and Pats in 2006). No playoff win despite a .729 winning percentage in the regular season is just plain sad.

posted by BornIcon at 01:25 PM on February 14

My bad - I guess because their loss came in the second game there was a lot less Undefeated hype surrounding their record than if they had gone 12 or 13 and 0 before the loss.

posted by Atheist at 02:24 PM on February 14

AJ Smith itís all on your head now. Thereís no one else to point the finger at. Get your compliant rookie coach. With the tougher schedule next year they will not go 14-2. Even with Shawne Merriman there for all 16 games. Of course if they win a playoff game disregard the previous.

posted by Newbie Walker at 04:59 PM on February 14

We'll see how Rivers does without any stable coaching

posted by nymetsfan at 05:43 PM on February 14

For some reason, stable coaching reminds me of Barbaro. Ahh, Barabaro. How I miss mocking thee.

posted by forrestv at 06:12 PM on February 14

Fear not, forrestv...the dream lives.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:06 AM on February 15

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