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Tag:John Fox
Posted on: December 9, 2010 11:51 am
 

Jerry Richardson's letter to Panther PSL holders

Posted by Andy Benoit

There has been some chatter this week about the letter Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sent to Carolina’s PSL owners. The letter did not mention anything about head coach John Fox. Fox claimed to be unaware of the letter when asked about it by the media. The assumption is that the letter tacitly confirms Fox, in the final year of his contract, will not be back with the club in 2012.

If you’re interested, here is Richardson’s letter (obtained via the Charlotte Observer):

I know how difficult the season has been for you. As the person ultimately responsible for putting a team on the field, I take full responsibility for our shortfalls. It is agonizing that we have not performed at the level we had planned for and expected.

When the season began, we believed there was every opportunity for success. Many of the players were returning from a team that had finished last year very strong. The motivation for this approach was both performance-based and a commitment to the future. Obviously we have fallen short, but our faith and commitment are still the same.

Going forward, our plan of attack is to build through the draft while retaining our core players. We have one of the youngest teams in the League, and a number of those younger players have shown genuine promise in this otherwise disappointing season. We won't give up on them. We also have a solid nucleus of veterans that we will seek to keep intact.

I want all of  you to know that we plan to look at every aspect of our organization. What we do in the future will entirely be geared toward putting the best possible team on the field. I am committed to fielding a winning team, and I'm willing to invest the resources necessary to make it happen.

Allow me to raise another personal issue. Much has been made of my reluctance to address the play of the team in the media. Throughout the history of the franchise, I have rarely done in-season interviews. It's just not my style. In my opinion, comments from ownership during the season are a distraction, and I do not want my comments to interfere in any way with the performance on the field.

 This year is further complicated with the uncertainty regarding Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Let me be clear: A successful CBA is critical in sustaining the competitive balance of the NFL. We're all in this together, and what is good for football is good for the continued success of each and every team. It's important for us to reach an agreement that benefits the fans, players, and teams. I want the players paid fairly, and I want us to play winning and exciting football.

 I understand that in a season like this, words can sound hollow, but, as PSL Owners, you have my commitment to provide you a team that will make you proud. With three NFC championship game appearances, we have come close. I can assure you we will be aggressive in getting there again.

 Thank you for your patience and support in a very challenging time.

 Respectfully,

 Jerry Richardson


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Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 1:53 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: It's time for Tavaris Jackson

Posted by Will Brinson

Brad Childress' departure from the Minnesota Vikings organization certainly doesn't mean that Wednesdays aren't FavreDays still -- and so it's now Leslie Frazier handling the press conference questions of reporters while every network in the world livestreams his answers regardless of what else in the world is happening.

Frazier, who's immensely more enjoyable to listen to for 20 minutes than Chilly, said that there hasn't been a decision made on whether Brett Favre will start Sunday. In fact, he said that a decision probably won't come until Sunday, as the Vikings try to figure out if No. 4 can play. He also said that Favre won't start just to keep his streak alive.

"No, I don't think we approach it that way," Frazier said. "Either he can go or he can't go. And when he goes in there, we're of the expectation that he can play for four quarters. That would be the plan. So we wouldn't go into it, get a start, get a couple reps and get out, no."

So, even though Favre hasn't thrown a ball this week and even though he can't lift his arm very far and even though the Vikings offense went ballistic on the Bills once Tavaris Jackson entered the game on Sunday, Favre still gives Minnesota the "best chance to win." Presumably.

But does he?

The upside of Tavaris is that he's extremely mobile, he has a cannon arm and he's absolutely fresh right now. The downside of Tavaris is that he's inexperienced and he frequently makes terrible, inexcusable mistakes.

This differentiates him from Favre in that, um, he's not experienced. Oh, and that he won't be publicly upset if he can't start his 299th consecutive game.

That is to say, if the Vikings were playing to win, they would start Tavaris over Favre. And, actually, if they're playing to make sure that Favre doesn't get literally killed on Sunday, they'll start Tavaris -- the Giants pass rush isn't just formidable, it's terrifying, and they're going to get their hands on the Vikings quarterback, whoever it is.

If it's someone who's mobile instead of someone who's got unbelievable genes and an Iron Man body gripping his extremities by strings -- not to mention a busted foot and/or feet and/or ankles -- they'll stand a better chance of succeeding against a scary defense.

Look, some of Tavaris' success on Sunday came from two things: having Adrian Peterson and having Sidney Rice. Because they played the Bills, Peterson was able to soften up the defense and make Jackson's job easier. And because Rice is as stud, some of the throws Jackson made went from jump-balls to big gains.

But, hey, that's not so different from Favre being under center anyway.

****
So, this Cardinals quarterback situation is just a total nightmare isn't it? It's terrible for the fans and it's probably worse for Ken Wisenhunt, who absolutely knows that there's nothing he can do in order to improve his team's chances of winning over the next couple of weeks -- either he starts raw rookie John Skelton, or he keeps throwing Derek Anderson to the wolves.

There's a sound argument to be made from the perspective of "Skelton CAN'T be worse than Anderson -- just play him!" But there's also a sound argument to be made for the other side, as well. Because, you know, if you start Skelton and he gets hurt or stinks the joint up, you're wasting money on Anderson on the bench and getting the same result, with the possibility of hurting Skelton's development long term.

In hindsight, the team shouldn't have been so cheap that they weren't willing to pay Marc Bulger as well (we learned recently that Whiz and the Cards wanted to go after Bulger but didn't want to wait for the Rams to release him) and, instead, ended up with two rookies backing up their de facto starter in Anderson.

The moral of the story? You should always sneak into Kurt Warner's and do your best God voice to convince him to rejoin the team regardless of how morally corrupt that is make sure you have reasonably viable options at quarterback.

****
The notion of a "starting running back" is a little outdated in this two-back world we live in, but it still prominently exists. Look no further than the Giants situation where Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have flopped several times as the "starter." Jacobs, who regained the role recently, will continue to start "at this point," according to Tom Coughlin.

The bottom line is that Coughlin's going to keep going with the hot hand, he's going to pound both of these guys with his wide receiver corps banged up, and he'll use the "starter" thing as motivation for both Bradshaw and Jacobs.

And that, right there, is something that deserves a ton of praise -- Coughlin hasn't been scared to make change and motivate these guys in 2010, and that's why the Giants, instead of continually skidding after losses to Philadelphia and Dallas, are tied with the Eagles for the NFC East lead.

****


There's been some clamoring for Tim Tebow in Denver. After all, Josh McDaniels is gone and let's see what we've got, people! Unleash the Tebow!!! (Sorry, got excited there for a second.) This is silly.

Eric Studesville needs to win and he needs to win quickly and he needs to do it in a fashion that shows he can win next year as well (with Kyle Orton and his motley crue of wideouts), if he hopes to have a shot at the Broncos gig in 2011. It seems unlikely that he gets that job anyway, but not less likely than Tebow blossoming into a starting NFL quarterback over the next three weeks. So: upside is you have a guy who's not as good as Orton (yet). Downside: Studesville kills any chance of being a candidate in Denver and simultaneously sinks Tebow's trade value even further for next year.

****
Pants on Fire! (You see, because we examine hot seats)

John Fox: He's gone. His house, according to people I talked to recently, has been on the market for months. The only question is whether or not Frazier and Jason Garrett in Dallas can lose their jobs in the next three weeks to present attractive openings for a new gig.

Mike Singletary: MUnless the Niners rip off a miracle run, he's toast. And he clearly knows that. Why else would he make the flip-flopping of Troy Smith and Alex Smith "week-to-week"?

Jeff Fisher: Seems kind of crazy, but at this point, if you're Fisher, why would you stay? Your crazy old boss clearly prefers a guy like Vince Young to you (the guy who's been there, winning, for 17 years!) and walking out now, even with the Titans struggling mightily, would mean an easy opportunity to land another head coaching job.

Norv Turner: Once upon about two weeks ago, Turner might have had a shot at running the table and making an argument for COY award. Instead, the Chargers came out completely flat against Oakland, at home, as 13.5-point favorites. If the same thing happens (only with a 7.5 line) against KC, Norv better watch out.

Marvin Lewis: He's hanging out in John Fox's billiards room, obviously.

Gary Kubiak: Primetime struggles against Baltimore (at home, on Monday night) could make things awkward for Kubes. Fortunately, that Denver job's open, so he could potentially "leave" Houston for a "homecoming" and just work something out with Texans ownership where they don't fire him. (And then hire Fisher! The drama! The hatred! DO IT!)

Tony Sparano: There are so many coaches getting canned or sitting squarely on the heater that Sparano gets overlooked, but following up a blowout of Oakland with a terrible loss to Cleveland means he has to beat Buffalo and Detroit at home to close out the season at 8-8, as the Fins travel to the Jets and the Pats as well in the next four weeks. Losing one of those has the makings of a canning.

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Posted on: December 3, 2010 3:23 pm
 

Five questions (or more) with Brian St. Pierre

B. St. Pierre was a stay-at home dad one week and a starting NFL quarterback the next (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Last month, Brian St. Pierre was just minding his business at home, contemplating the end of his seven-year NFL career and taking care of his 20-month-old son. He was a stay-at home dad, and he was beginning to come to terms with that while thinking about the next step in his life.

He had played for the Steelers, Ravens and Cardinals, and in his career, he had only made five passing attempts. But he got a call from the Panthers, saying they needed a quarterback. A few days later, after Jimmy Clausen sustained a concussion vs. the Buccaneers, coach John Fox named St. Pierre the starting quarterback. Considering St. Pierre had been in town less than a week, this was, to say the least, a surprising move. 

This week, we talked to St. Pierre about his career, his job as a father and how surprised he was to get the call to start the game against the Ravens (he went 13 of 28 for 173 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in the Panthers loss) and actually played well enough to keep Carolina in the game (the Panthers cut the lead to 20-13 early in the fourth quarter before falling 37-13).

Previous Five Questions (or More):

Nov. 19:
Former coach/author Mike Gottfried

Nov. 12: 49ers LB Takeo Spikes

Nov. 5: former WR, current NFL analyst Keyshawn Johnson

Oct. 29: Chargers LS Mike Windt

Oct. 22: Bengals WR coach Mike Sheppard

Oct. 15: Redskins WR Anthony Armstrong

Oct. 8:
Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich

Oct. 1: Kent Babb of the KC Star

Sept. 24: Texans WR Kevin Walter

Sept. 17: former Bengals, Titans DT John Thornton

Sept. 11: Seahawks RB Leon Washington

1. CBSSports.com: It must be a crazy time for you. A couple weeks ago, you were a stay-at home dad, and now you’re in the NFL. Just walk me through the last couple weeks.

Brian St. Pierre: I was at home with my wife and my son and living day to day and just loving being around him. I had played seven years in the league and I wasn’t in a rush to do anything. But I got a call from Carolina, and I was thinking about whether I wanted to do it or not. It all happened quickly.

CBS: I think the entire world was surprised when John Fox named you the starter, especially because you were so new to the team and because Tony Pike had been there all year. Were you surprised?

St. Pierre:
It surprised me in that Tony knew the offense. Me, I had been here two or three days. I practiced on Friday and they kind of told me to get up to speed as quick as possible for the next week, not knowing Jimmy was going to get a concussion. Once that happened, everything went quickly. I was putting in 14 hours a day. Then, I was told on Wednesday morning of that week that I was going to start.

CBS: And you were starting against Baltimore. I mean, really? Couldn’t they have started you against a team that doesn’t have one of the best defenses in the league?

St. Pierre: First of all, you’re starting after a couple days of being with the team, and by the way, you’re playing Baltimore. I didn’t really have time to process it. I was just trying to get my head above water. I wanted just to give us a chance to win. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. I obviously have confidence in myself as a player, but this offense is completely new to me.

2. CBS: How hard is it to learn a completely new offense that quickly? If you had been on the team before and they had re-signed you, it would have been easier. But to learn a completely new playbook …?

St. Pierre: It’s really hard to equate it to anything in real life. It would be like apple meaning orange to you. Everybody runs similar type plays, but they’re called completely differently and they have different terminology. It was breaking old habits and learning new habits, all in a five- or six-day span.

CBS: How do you think the start went? I don’t think anybody could have expected much from you, but you kept the team in the game.

St. Pierre: There are always plays you wish you had back. But given the circumstances and the situation I was put in, I still felt like we could win the game because I always feel like that. I made a couple plays late in the game that hurt us with a couple interceptions, but in that situation, when we’re down 10 and at third and long, you’re just jamming the ball in there. Until the end, I felt like I gave us a chance to win against a really good team. I felt like I held my own. I definitely didn’t feel like I embarrassed myself. I gave us a chance to win, so I can get some satisfaction in that.

3. CBS:
When you were sitting at home, did you think your career might be over?

St. Pierre:
I had played seven years. The last time I was involved was last year in the playoffs with Arizona when we played New Orleans. That was my last NFL experience until now. I had a back injury with Arizona, and they weren’t sure I could hold up with my back. They didn’t commit to me one way or the other. If somebody called, I knew I’d love the chance to play again. But if not, I could move on and start the next chapter of my life. But I still stayed in shape, because until you’re done completely, you need to be a professional and stay in shape. When the call comes, it helps to be ready.

4. CBS:
When you weren’t playing football and you were staying at home with your son, you must have felt pretty lucky. There aren’t a whole lot of dads who stay at home with their kids and get to watch them grow every day.

St. Pierre:
It’s been so fun for me to be around him every day and to get to experience the little things – the little changes in him and how they grow. Mothers usually get more of that than the fathers do. I grew up and didn’t see my dad home that much. He’s an orthopedic surgeon and he was gone all the time. If I was upset, I would always go to my mom. I love my dad, but I didn’t see him as much. But with my son, I got to spend so much time with him that he would come to me as regularly as he went to his mother. It makes it all the more special. I wouldn’t trade any of that time I got to spend with him.

There were days when I put him down for a nap, and I’m just sitting there thinking how did my life go from what I did to what I’m doing now. All the good parts about it you love, but I’m used to being in the middle of action and playing NFL football. Now, I’m changing diapers and putting him down for a nap and not really having much to do. What a contrast. In all honesty, I loved being around him. It’s hard for me because I’m not around him at all now. I’ve seen him once in the past three weeks. You always want to be around him.

CBS:
But at the same time, when you’re sitting at home, your career is in flux and you’re pretty much unemployed.

St. Pierre:
I just kind of took it as fortunate I got to play seven years in the NFL, and financially, I’m secure for now. But at the same time, we have Bills to pay and we don’t have money coming in. I kind of had a plan in place for what I wanted to do after football, but I thought, ‘Let me get through this season. I can get working on some of the plans but I’ll work out in case somebody calls and they need a quarterback.’ It kind of worked out the way I thought it could.

Since I came in the league, I haven’t had anything given to me. I have had to work my butt off for anything I’ve gotten, which wasn’t much of anything. I was always on teams with really good quarterbacks. (Ben) Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, (Kurt) Warner in Arizona and the year I was in Baltimore, we had Steve McNair. Everywhere I was, there was also a first-round pick on the depth chart, so your chances to get in a game are not happening. I fought my butt off to stay in the league and I showed my worth. But this year, I thought, ‘Maybe this is the end.’

5. CBS:
But now that you’ve actually started a game in the NFL, would that provide a little bit of closure if you're done after this seasno?

St. Pierre: Once I got that start the other day, it makes you want to play more. Even though we didn’t win and it didn’t go as great as you would hope, it was fun. It felt like I had never stopped doing it from college. When you’re the guy out there, it’s just a great feeling. It’s why I play quarterback. Once I got that taste, you kind of want it more. If it ends, at least I got to start and prove to people I can play in this league. I know I put my best foot forward.

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Posted on: November 23, 2010 12:55 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Biggest and best insults

Jeff Fisher and V. Young aren't exactly getting along these days (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Part of the reason we all follow sports is for all the insult material. I insult your team. You insult his team. You all insult my intelligence. There’s nothing better than a solid day of watching football and insulting all your buddies and having them insult you right back.

Unless it’s watching other people insult each other. Which happens ALL the time in the NFL. I’m not necessarily talking about players woofing at each other on the field, though that obviously has its place on any top-ten insults list. But I’m talking about the crowd insulting a player, a team insulting one of its own or a player insulting a coach in front of the rest of his teammates (psst, this last one might have occurred this past week).

So, let’s explore the best of what the NFL has to offer as far as metaphorically slapping people in the face. And if you choose to ignore this story, your mother wears Army boots.

10. Jonathan Stewart to Panthers offensive line: We’ll start it off relatively mild. After Stewart rushed for 30 yards on 14 carries vs. the Rams in Week 7, he complained about how his offensive line wasn’t opening enough holes. Sure, Stewart has a rushing average of 3.0, but unless Mike Goodson (220 combined yards in the past two games, 12 yards MORE than Stewart’s season total) is rushing behind a different offensive line, I’m not buying Stewart’s argument.

9. Thirty one NFL teams to Marc Mariani: The rookie, drafted in the seventh round this year as the No. 222 overall pick has been a breakout performer for the Titans. Listen, just because he played at Montana doesn’t mean he can’t hang in the NFL. Look at his stats as a punt returner. He’s third in the NFL with a 17.1 yards per punt average and his 87-yard TD return Sunday was his second score of the year.

8. Carson Palmer to Chad Ochocinco: Palmer has found a new play toy with Terrell Owens – who’s got 12 more catches and four more TDs than Ochocinco. Partially, it’s because Ochocinco, at times, doesn’t run the most technically-proficient routes. Of course, Owens gives up on plays some of the time, but there’s little question Owens has been much more effective this season. And Palmer knows it.

7. John Fox to his bosses/fanbase: I’m not sure this qualifies as an insult because I’m not sure exactly what’s going on in Fox’s head. But here’s what I know: he won’t be back as coach in Carolina next year and he decided not to use backup QB Tony Pike and started Brian St. Pierre last week instead, although St. Pierre was a stay-at-home dad the week before. Pike, a rookie, probably wouldn’t have done much better, but this was an odd move.

B. St. Pierre made his first career start last week, even though he was a stay-at-home dad the week before (US Presswire). 6. San Francisco’s Week 2 MNF crowd to Alex Smith: When you call for David Carr to replace your starting quarterback, Candlestick Park crowd, you insult EVERYONE.

5. Michael Vick to dog lovers everywhere: This is an interesting dynamic. If you’re a dog lover, is it impossible to root for Vick? I love dogs, but I think Vick has paid his debt to society and he shouldn’t be scorned for the rest of his life. I also have friends who would like to see Vick ripped limb by limb by one of his former pets, and they always will hope for that moment. Is it me, or do people make a bigger stink about Vick than they do about, say, Ravens WR Donte Stallworth who pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter and then served only 24 days in jail?

4. Dallas Cowboys to Wade Phillips: Weird how, as soon as Jerry Jones pick-slips Phillips, Dallas suddenly plays some of its finest football of the season. Interim coach Jason Garrett probably should get a tiny bit of credit, but why suddenly are the Cowboys on a two-game winning streak? Probably because they all hated Phillips and wanted him to fail and fail hard (I kid, I kid).

3. Terrell Owens to Donovan McNabb: It’s beyond me why Owens would feel it necessary to comment on McNabb’s new contract with the Redskins, asking how the new deal could be justified while Washington and McNabb were taking a beating by the Eagles. McNabb came back and basically asked why a guy playing on a 2-7 (now 2-8) team was criticizing anybody. And it was a good point. A better point: why do we listen to Owens at all when he talks this kind of trash?

2. Vince Young to Jeff Fisher: Just one paraphrased quote when Young departed the Titans locker room Sunday while Fisher was giving his postgame talk said it all. “I’m not walking out on my teammates; I’m walking out on you.” The repercussions of that statement will be felt by Fisher and Young for years to come.

1. NFL owners/players to NFL fans: This one hasn’t happened yet, but it’s been hanging over the entire season like a low-lying storm cloud that’s ready to unleash hell at some point soon. Of course, I mean the impending owner lockout, which would stop all work in the NFL. I have a hard time believing the owners and players won’t work something out before the start of the 2011 season, but it’s entirely possible they could give you the biggest insult of all: no football.

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Posted on: November 18, 2010 12:02 am
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: Did We Really Doubt Mike Vick?

Posted by Will Brinson

Dey Took Er Jobs takes a look at the various job controversies around the league. If you don't get the title, you don't watch enough South Park . This week: Where have all the job controversies gone? No, but seriously, we're all locked in! Also, Vick talk, because it's Vick Week. And who's on the hot seat?

It's fairly bizarre that for at least say, oh, five weeks we wondered whether or not Michael Vick should be the starter for the Eagles.

Well not so much wondered but at least kind of debated. Well, okay, after we saw how Vick played against Detroit and Jacksonville there wasn't a debate, but Kevin Kolb's performance against Atlanta and his strong effort while Vick was sidelined at least had people thinking twice.

Speaking of thinking twice, remember when Andy Reid decided to go with Vick and we all got all RABBLE-RABBLE! on him for not being man enough to make up his mind?

Yeah, we should probably all apologize for that, because he ended up being 100 percent correct in his decision making, which culminated in Week 10's fantasy point explosion where Vick piled up 413 yards and four touchdowns via the air and ground. (And really, it's kind of criminal that he didn't win both the FedEx awards this week.)

Reid's decision making also includes signing Vick in the first place, prepping him to be a better pocket passer, and putting him in situations to succeed (even if sometimes those situations have fans of football screaming "STOP LETTING HIM TAKE HITS TO THE RIBS, BIG GUY!").

At the end of the year, if the franchise tag survives the new CBA, Vick's likely to get tagged, which may be why the two sides have yet to discuss an extension. Mike Florio of PFT cites a source who says that Vick's contract/extension value is lower than one might think (relative to the market value of the guy he whipped on Monday, Donovan McNabb, who just got a pretty big deal) unless the Eagles can get some sort of assurances that Vick won't get in trouble. In fact, one of the sources points out that "all he has to do is breathe in the wrong direction and he will be suspended for life." Obviously that's a bit of hyperbole (after all, Vick survived his birthday party that wasn't exactly a Sweet 16), but not that much -- he's about to go from one of the greatest second-chance stories of all-time right back to super-popular, rich mega-bajillionaire.

His current humility and attitude towards life sure seems like it can survive that temptations that come along with that, but in the same way that Reid showed some good faith in Vick, well, the quarterback should reciprocate towards Philadelphia, even if it means taking less money than he could get elsewhere.

Reid's talents for offensive scheming fit Vick's talents for offensive performance, and there's no reason to mess with a good thing. Not saying he should completely cave on contract demands (this is a business after all) and not saying the Eagles should put all their eggs in one basket, particularly one with a history of not always holding up, but this is a pretty good marriage right now, and everyone involved would be wise to let it keep rolling.

****
Elsewhere in the NFL, well, man, there ain't a whole lot of job issues anymore. We can start in Carolina (per usual), but at this point we're debating the semantics between Brian St. Pierre and Tony Pike, which is like debating between, um Mike Goodson and Tyrelle Sutton.

Actually, no it's not, because Sutton, along with Jonathan Stewart, aren't likely to play this week. Which leaves Goodson and whatever poor soul the Panthers have to start at quarterback against a Ravens defense that is suddenly enraged at being called "not elite." Should be good times!

Arizona's "solved" their quarterback problems the same way Seattle has -- by default. It just makes more sense to roll with Derek Anderson and Matt Hasselebeck at this point, rather than go with the alternative, which involves a rookie and Jesus Beard, respectively.

****
Troy Smith appears to have solved the problems in San Francisco (yes, those problems were "losing" coupled with "crappy quarterback play") and, as we mentioned last week, why wouldn't he? Well, except for that ridiculous "week-to-week" tag that Mike Singletary hit him with; that's insulting to Troy and the team and anyone who's ever seen Alex Smith or David Carr lose games.

People lamented his height as a reason for not having quarterback success in the NFL, but that's a poor excuse when the talent is there. And, frankly, probably an indicator of why talent evaluation misses so badly sometimes.

****
Even the Dolphins, who just lost TWO quarterbacks in the last week, aren't a debatable team, because there's Tyler Thigpen, who's had some decent success in Kansas City, and there's Patrick Ramsey, who has a resume with enough teams on it that even Todd Bouman cringes when he reads it.

So …

****
Pants on Fire (Because, you see, it's a hot seat)

- Brad Childress: Once Brett Favre's lost all hope, there's no reason to continue believing that you've got a job as a head coach. Even more telling of Chilly's future is that he didn't know about Favre's "shoulder injury," which should probably be indicative of his status after this year. Frankly, the team's absolutely foolish not to give Leslie Frazier a chance right now.

- John Fox: He's as good as gone at this point, but give him credit for this -- he 100 percent has not lost the Panthers in terms of the team believing him. You can see it from those guys that they buy into what he's saying, even at 1-8, and that's perhaps the best possible endorsement one can give the coach of the worst team in football.

- Marvin Lewis: Donovan McNabb is making fun of his team's record. If you watched Monday night, you know Donovan shouldn't be making fun of anyone. So, yeah …

- Gary Kubiak: He got an endorsement from the owner, which is always considered a good thing, except it always ends in someone getting fired. Still, considering how terrible his defense is, maybe he should be getting credit for the fact that the Texans are 4-5.

- UMM, seriously, what happened? There were at least 15 guys on the hot seat a week ago. Now all of a sudden Wade Phillips gets fired, Jacksonville's a winner again, Lovie Smith is getting freebies from Chilly and everyone's either being coached by a new regime or a guy who's quickly reviving the team (yes, we're even lumping Mike Singletary there, but . NO GOOD PEOPLE. WE WANT MORE FIRINGS.

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Posted on: November 16, 2010 4:45 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 4:55 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Potential head coaches



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With Wade Phillips getting the pink slip last week and with much discussion about the job security of Minnesota’s Brad Childress, it’s become obvious that it’s that time of the year when fans debate the merits of firing the coach of their favorite teams. That obviously equals bad times for coaches like Marvin Lewis, John Fox, Gary Kubiak, Norv Turner, Josh McDaniels and Mike Singletary.

Since Phillips is gone and Childress might as well be gone, let’s dive into the intriguing possibilities of who will be available – some long-time assistants who hunger for their first shot at a head coaching job, some former head coaches who wouldn’t mind getting back into the business and maybe a college coach or two who want to test himself at the pro level.

Many of the following likely will get interviews after the season when the current coaches who can’t work themselves off the hot seat clean out their offices. Until then, let’s speculate on who might be available.

10. Dick LeBeau: I know, I know. He’s probably not going anywhere, and his three-season stint as the Bengals coach wasn’t so good (12-33). But LeBeau has been such an innovator on defense, I’d like to see the Steelers defensive coordinator get another shot at running a team. It’s not going to happen, because he’s 73 years old, but there would be a ton of smiling faces around the league if he got another chance.

9. Rob Ryan: We need – I mean, we NEED – another Ryan brother as a head coach in the NFL. Aside from being the most entertaining coach out there today – publically, at least – Rex Ryan has done a wonderful job turning the Jets into Super Bowl contenders. Now, Rob Ryan, the Browns defensive coordinator, needs to get his chance. With the marked improvement in Cleveland, does Ryan deserve the shot? Probably not at this point. But how awesome would it be if somebody gave him a job?

8. Mike Zimmer:
He arguably performed his best coaching job of his career last year when, despite the death of his wife and of Bengals WR Chris Henry, the defensive coordinator led Cincinnati’s defense to the No. 4 ranking in the NFL. For as long as the Bengals have tried to improve their defense, Zimmer finally was the one to make it happen. Cincinnati’s defense ranks 15th this season, but his players respect him and his coaching style. At some point, you’d think a team will take a chance on him.

7. Jon Gruden/Bill Cowher: Yes, they’ve both got lucrative analyst deals with ESPN and CBS, respectively, and both seem to do a pretty nice job (although Gruden spends a little too much time being a little too positive on his Monday Night Football gig). It’s hard to tell if Cowher is serious about getting back into coaching, but it wouldn’t be hard to believe Gruden wanting to jump at the chance (those are the whispers you hear, at least). He just seems hard-wired for the long hours, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if he were to return. For Cowher, it’d probably have to be the perfect job. And I’m not sure that kind of job will appear in the offseason.

6. Marty Mornhinweg: The 5-27 mark he recorded while coaching the Lions is pretty difficult to swallow. But one of the biggest achievements this season made by Mornhinweg – the Eagles offensive coordinator – has been the transformation of QB Michael Vick from a playmaker with brilliant talents to a complete quarterback that’s nearly unstoppable with his legs and his arm. The Eagles rank second in points scored and third in yards per game, and much of that is a credit to Mornhinweg.

5. Cam Cameron: It’s a testament to Cameron that the Ravens, previously known as a strong defense that couldn’t score points, are now known as a high-powered offense that has a more difficult time stopping opponents. Cameron has weapons (QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice, a plethora of receivers), and he knows how to use them. It might not happen for a few more years, but Cameron deserves another chance (if a prospective owner can overlook the 1-15 season he had while running the Dolphins).

4. Perry Fewell: He had a taste of head coaching last season after the Bills fired Dick Jauron and made Fewell the interim. He led Buffalo to a 3-4 record – looking back on it, it was almost miraculous – but he and the rest of the coaching staff were fired anyway. Now, he’s the Giants defensive coordinator , and not surprisingly, they’re the No. 1 defense in the NFL in yards allowed.

3. John Fox:
He doesn’t have much longer in his current role, as the head coach in Carolina, and despite the team’s putridicity (?) this season, he remains a well-respected figure in the league. Why, you ask? Well, he led the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII, two seasons after a George Seifert-led Panthers squad went 1-15. Overall, he’s 72-65 as the coach in Carolina, and you can be sure Fox will have a job somewhere in the NFL. And quite possibly as a head coach.

2. Jim Harbaugh: If the Stanford head coach still wants an NFL job, he will have an excellent shot to get one. The brother of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, Jim – a 14-year NFL QB who made the Pro Bowl in 1995 – has done wonders in Palo Alto. The previous two coaches before Harbaugh went a combined 16-40, and in the past two seasons, the Cardinal has gone a combined 17-6. He already interviewed for the Jets job that Rex Ryan eventually won two years ago, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before he beats out somebody else for a head coaching position.

1. Leslie Frazier: How long will it take before Frazier – perhaps the most respected assistant coach in the league - finally lands the head coaching position he so obviously wants? Well, considering his office is just down the hallway from Childress’, it would make sense for Minnesota to hire its current defensive coordinator when it fires Childress. For a defense that hadn’t been good in more than a decade before Frazier took over, he’s transformed the unit and made himself indispensible. No doubt about it, he should be a head coach.

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Posted on: November 16, 2010 4:45 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 4:55 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Potential head coaches



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With Wade Phillips getting the pink slip last week and with much discussion about the job security of Minnesota’s Brad Childress, it’s become obvious that it’s that time of the year when fans debate the merits of firing the coach of their favorite teams. That obviously equals bad times for coaches like Marvin Lewis, John Fox, Gary Kubiak, Norv Turner, Josh McDaniels and Mike Singletary.

Since Phillips is gone and Childress might as well be gone, let’s dive into the intriguing possibilities of who will be available – some long-time assistants who hunger for their first shot at a head coaching job, some former head coaches who wouldn’t mind getting back into the business and maybe a college coach or two who want to test himself at the pro level.

Many of the following likely will get interviews after the season when the current coaches who can’t work themselves off the hot seat clean out their offices. Until then, let’s speculate on who might be available.

10. Dick LeBeau: I know, I know. He’s probably not going anywhere, and his three-season stint as the Bengals coach wasn’t so good (12-33). But LeBeau has been such an innovator on defense, I’d like to see the Steelers defensive coordinator get another shot at running a team. It’s not going to happen, because he’s 73 years old, but there would be a ton of smiling faces around the league if he got another chance.

9. Rob Ryan: We need – I mean, we NEED – another Ryan brother as a head coach in the NFL. Aside from being the most entertaining coach out there today – publically, at least – Rex Ryan has done a wonderful job turning the Jets into Super Bowl contenders. Now, Rob Ryan, the Browns defensive coordinator, needs to get his chance. With the marked improvement in Cleveland, does Ryan deserve the shot? Probably not at this point. But how awesome would it be if somebody gave him a job?

8. Mike Zimmer:
He arguably performed his best coaching job of his career last year when, despite the death of his wife and of Bengals WR Chris Henry, the defensive coordinator led Cincinnati’s defense to the No. 4 ranking in the NFL. For as long as the Bengals have tried to improve their defense, Zimmer finally was the one to make it happen. Cincinnati’s defense ranks 15th this season, but his players respect him and his coaching style. At some point, you’d think a team will take a chance on him.

7. Jon Gruden/Bill Cowher: Yes, they’ve both got lucrative analyst deals with ESPN and CBS, respectively, and both seem to do a pretty nice job (although Gruden spends a little too much time being a little too positive on his Monday Night Football gig). It’s hard to tell if Cowher is serious about getting back into coaching, but it wouldn’t be hard to believe Gruden wanting to jump at the chance (those are the whispers you hear, at least). He just seems hard-wired for the long hours, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all if he were to return. For Cowher, it’d probably have to be the perfect job. And I’m not sure that kind of job will appear in the offseason.

6. Marty Mornhinweg: The 5-27 mark he recorded while coaching the Lions is pretty difficult to swallow. But one of the biggest achievements this season made by Mornhinweg – the Eagles offensive coordinator – has been the transformation of QB Michael Vick from a playmaker with brilliant talents to a complete quarterback that’s nearly unstoppable with his legs and his arm. The Eagles rank second in points scored and third in yards per game, and much of that is a credit to Mornhinweg.

5. Cam Cameron: It’s a testament to Cameron that the Ravens, previously known as a strong defense that couldn’t score points, are now known as a high-powered offense that has a more difficult time stopping opponents. Cameron has weapons (QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice, a plethora of receivers), and he knows how to use them. It might not happen for a few more years, but Cameron deserves another chance (if a prospective owner can overlook the 1-15 season he had while running the Dolphins).

4. Perry Fewell: He had a taste of head coaching last season after the Bills fired Dick Jauron and made Fewell the interim. He led Buffalo to a 3-4 record – looking back on it, it was almost miraculous – but he and the rest of the coaching staff were fired anyway. Now, he’s the Giants defensive coordinator , and not surprisingly, they’re the No. 1 defense in the NFL in yards allowed.

3. John Fox:
He doesn’t have much longer in his current role, as the head coach in Carolina, and despite the team’s putridicity (?) this season, he remains a well-respected figure in the league. Why, you ask? Well, he led the Panthers to Super Bowl XXXVIII, two seasons after a George Seifert-led Panthers squad went 1-15. Overall, he’s 72-65 as the coach in Carolina, and you can be sure Fox will have a job somewhere in the NFL. And quite possibly as a head coach.

2. Jim Harbaugh: If the Stanford head coach still wants an NFL job, he will have an excellent shot to get one. The brother of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, Jim – a 14-year NFL QB who made the Pro Bowl in 1995 – has done wonders in Palo Alto. The previous two coaches before Harbaugh went a combined 16-40, and in the past two seasons, the Cardinal has gone a combined 17-6. He already interviewed for the Jets job that Rex Ryan eventually won two years ago, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before he beats out somebody else for a head coaching position.

1. Leslie Frazier: How long will it take before Frazier – perhaps the most respected assistant coach in the league - finally lands the head coaching position he so obviously wants? Well, considering his office is just down the hallway from Childress’, it would make sense for Minnesota to hire its current defensive coordinator when it fires Childress. For a defense that hadn’t been good in more than a decade before Frazier took over, he’s transformed the unit and made himself indispensible. No doubt about it, he should be a head coach.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .





Posted on: November 12, 2010 3:13 pm
 

Jerry Jones solicited by SB-winning coaches?

Posted by Will Brinson

It's pretty well established that when Jerry Jones hires a new coach for the Cowboys -- provided he doesn't go with the best-case nuclear option where he coaches the team himself -- it will be someone famous within the coaching world.

Or at least someone successful anyway, and Jones stated on KRLD-FM that he'd heard from "Super Bowl-winning coaches" who were interested in the gig.

"I will say that before I made the decision with Wade Phillips, I had Super Bowl-winning coaches solicit this job," Jones said, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas.

This seems pretty logical since it's a good job to get, but boy, does Jason Garrett get any reprieve from additional pressure this year? (Rhetorical A: Probably not.)

Better question: What coaches could have called Jerry? The short list probably involves Mike Holmgren, Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy and Brian Billick (AKA "The Usual Suspects"). We can scratch at least one of those guys off the list, as Dungy told Dan Patrick on Friday that he wasn't interested.

"I kind of expect to be contacted by ever"body who has an opening now, just to see if you’re interested," Dungy told Patrick, via Pro Football Talk. “And I guess I probably would do the same thing if I was in that situation. I’m not interested. But you never know what’s gonna happen or who’s gonna call."

Sure, those two statements ("I'm not interested" and "you never know what's gonna happen") are totally contradictory, but whatever, it seems safe to say that Dungy and Jerry might not be the greatest fit on the planet.

Dungy did say that Jerry should hire someone who's "like" him, although he didn't provide any specific names to Patrick before pointing out that Jones would probably need someone "high profile" like Cowher, Gruden or Holmgren.

And that's probably the truth, although "high profile" when you're talking about an NFL head coach doesn't have to mean "flashy" or anything of that nature.

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