For a league full of such brilliant businessmen, the absurdity in recent NFL coaching hires just amazes me. Pete Carroll being hired by the Seattle Seahawks with a generous amount of personnel control is yet another example of a team enamored with name over facts. The next time an NFL head coach wants a raise he is better off tanking a season, getting fired, and getting rehired somewhere else. Hey, you may even get to play G.M.!
It’s baffling to me as to how an NFL head coach that failed miserably on multiple occasions can not only get rehired by another team, but get a raise with a promotion. Pete Carroll is truly the icing on the cake here. Carroll while a success at USC, was a beyond awful NFL head coach. In four seasons with two teams, Carroll was 33-31 overall with just one playoff win. Granted he was a terrific defensive coordinator, but there are plenty of guys in the NFL who were great coordinators that could never make the full transition to coaching (Romeo Crennel anyone?). Carroll is that guy.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]Carroll left the NFL to begin coaching the USC Trojans in 2000. Carroll has been arguably the best coach in NCAA football over the last several years. He has won two national championships with an overall record of 97-19. However, none of this matters whatsoever when it comes to the NFL. As a matter of a fact if you take a look at the USC alumni under Carroll, most have struggled in the NFL. If he can’t get a college stud ready for the NFL, how in the heck is he supposed to get NFL players ready to play in the NFL?
While Carroll’s name has come up over the years for NFL head coaching jobs, nobody has been as giddy over Carroll like the Seahawks have. Take a look at the Seahawks personnel moves over the last few years between hiring Jim Mora, JR. and paying a king’s ransom for T.J. Houshmandzadeh and you can see how smart the Seattle Seahawks are when it comes to accessing personnel. While the hiring is ridiculous in itself, the fact that he will have any control over team personnel is just insane! Could you imagine costing your company millions, doing an awful job at your position and then getting hired somewhere else for more money and responsibility? Welcome to the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks aren’t the only team guilty of this name over record coaching charade. The Washington Redskins could wind up in the exact same position as they are in now in four years. The Redskins just hired Mike Shanahan and practically gave him the keys to the kingdom. Shanahan has won Super Bowls, but did them with John Elway. Without Elway over the last decade, Shanahan has won exactly one playoff game, won exactly won division title, and arguably developed only one franchise quarterback. But hey, you can’t blame the Redskins entirely for this debauchery. Shanahan had numerous teams courting him and offering him roughly the same position. Unfortunately for Redskins fans, Shanahan happened to find the biggest sucker in Daniel Snyder.
The Cleveland Browns are no better off than either of these two franchises. The Browns hired Mike Holmgren to run their franchise. While Holmgren did relinquish his responsibilities a few years back, he is still responsible for putting together a lot of the roster that stunk it up for the last two years. Has anyone in Cleveland watched the Seahawks lately? What kind of personnel decisions did Mike Holmgren make to lead anyone to think that he can turn the Browns around? I understand the new trend in following the Miami Dolphins-Bill Parcells relationship, but the jury is still out on whether that will be a good thing at the end of Parcell’s tenure?
Don’t just take my opinion on Shanahan and some of these other coaching superstars. The facts are that a Super Bowl winning coach has never duplicated that success elsewhere. There haven’t been many success stories of these marquee head coach signings ever working out in the NFL. Take a look at the top teams coming into this year’s NFL playoffs and last year. None of these teams are teams turned around by a marquee head coach, who immediately got G.M. responsibilities. The best chance that an NFL franchise has in this era is to take a hot coordinator and give him a shot at being the head coach and not much more. While Norv Turner and Wade Phillips may finally break this trend of failed retread head coaches, they had nothing to do with assembling either team. It isn’t an every-year rule, but it is rare for any of these kinds of over-valued coaching situations ever work out.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]He may not be the flashiest coaching candidate, but if you are going to give any NFL ex-head coach a shot why not Brian Billick? It amazes me that Billick is still out there without a job. Not only did he win a Super Bowl, he didn’t ride the coattails of an NFL Hall of Fame quarterback to get there like a lot of other head coaches did. He rarely had a losing season that couldn’t be explained with injuries. He has an overall win percentage of .625 with five playoff wins. The year before he was fired, he led the Baltimore Ravens to a 13-3 season. Yet, I rarely if ever hear his name mentioned for a job. I would never give him full control over the team given his struggles with the quarterback position, but I would quicker give him a shot at coaching my NFL team than I would Mike Shanahan or Pete Carroll.
I would be a little less irritated by this if I thought this was the end of it. It won’t be. Next year we will start hearing about Jon Gruden who will be the next Mike Shanahan to get a king’s ransom to come back to coaching. Gruden has already been mentioned several times and could have easily walked back into the NFL if he desired to do so. The irony here is that while Gruden did win a Super Bowl and yet is another guy that made horrendous personnel decisions. On top of that, he finished with a .556 winning percentage which is nothing that should qualify him for a head coach/decision maker job. Can anyone recall the last great quarterback he developed? Yet mark my words, Jon Gruden will not only get another head coaching job, he will get more responsibility, a hefty raise, and possibly the highest NFL head coaching salary in the league.
I can’t even begin to think of the deal that Andy Reid will get after he finally move on from the Eagles. At this rate not only will Reid will get a head coaching job, G.M. title, a raise, and he will probably own 30% of the team!
Then again, who knows where the economy will be in two years? Maybe the Seahawks and Redskins can trade in Pete Carroll and Mike Shanahan as part of a Cash for Clunkers program. Otherwise the Seahawks and Redskins will continue to be two of the biggest laughing stocks of the NFL.
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