Monday, January 02, 2006

NFL Heads A-Rollin

It hasn’t even been two days since the NFL regular season came to a close but that hasn’t slowed the ax from falling on several head coaches. So far five have bit the dust. Here’s the rundown and my reaction to their dismissals.

Jim Haslett – New Orleans
In six seasons Jim Haslett compiled a 46-52 record with the New Orleans Saints. He led the Saints to a division title in 2000, his first season with the team, but the team only had one other winning season in his tenure. After Hurricane Katrina this August the Saints posted a dreadful 3-13 mark, playing home games in San Antonio, Baton Rouge and Giants Stadium in New Jersey. If this was Haslett’s decision to leave, I can understand his desire. The frustrations of this season must be incredible. But if this was the Saints firing Haslett, I don’t like it one bit. His team was on the road all year and he should be given the opportunity to coach them again next year. Haslett is a very good defensive minded coach who will get offers from several teams I’m sure. You’ll see him walking the sidelines again.

Mike Martz – St. Louis
Mike Martz was fired as coach of the St. Louis Rams on Monday after a 6-10 season in which he missed the final 11 games because of a heart ailment. Martz was 53-32 since taking the reigns from Dick Vermeil in 2000. The offensive guru led the Rams to the Super Bowl in his second season, but they lost to the Patriots. He led the Rams to the playoffs four times in his five full seasons at the helm – this year, they fell apart. I think it was time for the Rams and Martz to part ways. I also think Martz will get plenty of calls for both offensive coordinator positions and head coaching jobs too.

Mike Tice - Minnesota
The Minnesota Vikings wasted absolutely no time to release their head coach from his duties and fired Mike Tice after Sunday's victory over Chicago. The win capped a disappointing 9-7 season in which the Vikings missed the playoffs. Tice was 32-33 and 1-1 in the playoffs after taking over for Dennis Green in 2001. I think the timing of the firing was stupid, but the decision the correct one. Tice has been in Minnesota since 1992, first as an assistant under Green and then as the head guy. It was time to turn the page and start fresh next season. The Vikes might need a coach that will crack the whip more than Tice did. Tice will get another shot somewhere.

Mike Sherman – Green Bay
The Green Bay Packers won on Sunday in what could be Brett Favre’s final game with the Pack, but it was the franchise's worst season since 1991. The 4-12 season led Packers management to let head coach Mike Sherman go. Sherman was 57-39 over his six seasons as the head coach and will surely be a top candidate for another job this off season. I don’t like this move at all. I’m not a big fan of Sherman, but I do think that the guy deserved every chance in the world to coach the Packers next year. Before this season he was one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, winning at almost a 2 to 1 clip. Sherman will probably get another shot next season, but I wouldn’t count on Favre being back in Green Bay now that his coach has been fired.

Dom Capers - Houston
The Houston Texans also sent the only coach they’ve ever known packing in a move that was highly expected. Capers took the expansion franchise over for their inaugural season of 2002 was 18-46 as the leader. The team won 4 games in 2002, 5 in 2003 and went 7-9 last season. Expectations to keep the team improving were ended when the team started 1-12 and finished just 2-14 this year. Capers was also the former head coach of the expansion Carolina Panthers from ’95-’98. I think this was the right move. Capers and the Texans have been downright awful. They need to have an overhaul of their offensive line and need to plug several gaping holes in their defense. Capers might be done in the NFL, but coaches like him always find a home in the college ranks. Let’s check all Division I-AA teams next year.


At 1/03/2006 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haslett, I feel for him. The rest of them stunk and got what they deserved. Especially Capers.

At 1/05/2006 4:58 PM, Blogger P V R said...

the thing is, who is gonna fill all these jobs? there isn't exactly a ton of qualified candidates out there ... having said that, i am glad there is so much turmoil around the league. This will draw attention away from the Redskins, as they quietly rebuild our empire.


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