Posted on: December 14, 2011 8:50 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 9:49 am
Larry Kennan, the longtime head of the NFL Coaches Association, has left the position to coach at the University of the Incarnate Word, a source tells me.
Kennan has fought for some 15 years for the rights of assistant coaches but a source says he left the position this week for an opportunity to coach his son at the school. Kennan's appointment at the football program is expected to be announced on Thursday.
No immediate replacement has been named but it's expected one will after the season.
Before his departure Kennan was involved in talks with owners about improving the salaries and benefits packages for assistant coaches.
Posted on: December 14, 2011 7:32 am
OPENING HIT: This story brought back some memories. I remember when the NFC East scared opponents. The division stood for brutal, nasty football and few teams in the NFL could match its intensity. There were Joe Gibbs' Washington Redskins and Bill Parcells' New York Giants. The Hogs, Lawrence Taylor, harshness, cold weather, dominance, numerous Super Bowls, Reggie White, Michael Irvin--it was glorious. If you grew up a fan of one of these teams you had bragging rights for years.
Now look at the division. As writer Mark Maske points out the 2007 Giants are the only NFC East team in the past 15 years to win a Super Bowl. That's pretty pathetic. How bad has the division become? The 5-8 Philadelphia Eagles could still win the division. That's just horrible.
Why has this happened? It's pretty simple: coaching turnover. The Cowboys and Redskins in particular have plowed through head coaches with only Andy Reid of the Eagles being one of the few stable coaching forces in the division. Many NFC East teams have also diverted from what they used to do best which is play strong defense.
The NFC East has gone from one of the elite to one of the worst.
And that makes me a little sad.
Posted on: December 13, 2011 9:12 am
OPENING HIT: Remember when Josh McDaniels was the laughing stock of football for drafting Tim Tebow in the first round? I was one of the people who called him a moron. Now it seems many of us were wrong, at least in the short term we were. Tebow has evolved into a star and McDaniels is now getting a second look from teams looking for a head coach.
Now, McDaniels isn't a hot candidate. He is, after all, the offensive coordinator on a team that has maybe the worst offense in modern freaking football history. But that Tebow thing...I can tell you teams compiling head coaching lists have him as a person of interest and it's all because of Tebow. What was once considered a farce of a pick has for obvious reasons put McDaniels in a different place, a better place.
It isn't shocking that yes, indeed, the Kansas City Chiefs will take a look at McDaniels because of the Scott Pioli-McDaniels, Patriots connections. But I don't think Pioli can justify it to the Chiefs fan base. Pioli's next hire has to be a good one or it will be Pioli next looking for a job.
Here's what I think will happen. Pioli will hire a mid-level coach, a coach Pioli can control, and then have that coach hire McDaniels as offensive assistant head coach. Or some such title. I guess what I'm saying is I think McDaniels will end up in Kansas City with a slightly elevated title.
McDaniels deserves credit for Tebow and he's getting it from league people who are normally cynical and loath to give credit. That pick might give him a new life somewhere.
Posted on: December 12, 2011 9:53 am
OPENING HIT: No, seriously, shut it if you still think Eli Manning can't win, or is a wimp, or makes funny facial expressions, or whatever it is people criticize Manning for these days. That come from behind win against Dallas was classic and the third best story this season behind the Packers and Tim Tebow is Manning. He's been on fire all year. In fact, I could easily argue that after Aaron Rodgers no one is playing the position better than Manning.
Sunday night was a perfect example of the difference between Tony Romo and Manning. Manning is a winner with a Super Bowl title under his belt and Romo is a stat machine. I'd rather have the winner.
Behind that boyish Manning face is a killer. I mean, stone, cold killer.
This statistic from Giants insider Patricia Traina says a great deal: Manning has 20 career game winning drives including six this season alone.
Now, I know Manning will still have his doubters and plenty of them. They raise out of the muck when he throws a few picks and go radio silent when he does well. But they never leave. They stick around like lint in a dryer.
Meanwhile Manning keeps making them look dumb.
THE ANTI-MANNING: Time to stop making excuses for Carson Palmer. He's terrible.
BEST WISHES: To Atlanta coach Mike Smith who experienced chest pains after the Falcons' victory on Sunday. Smith is one of the most sincere and decent men in all of football and I'm told he's home and doing fine.
RAHEEM MORRIS: People around the sport believe his chances of survival are less than 50 percent. It's amazing how things happen in this league. Remember last season when the NFL sang his praises as one of the best young coaches in football?
JEFF TRIPLETTE: Been saying it for years--worst game official in all of sports. He and his crew prove it again.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 2:43 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 3:01 pm
Multiple NFL sources say Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison will likely receive a hefty fine but not be suspended.
This could always change -- these things are never set in stone -- but there are strong indications from a variety of sources that Harrison is due for a fine that could be extremely significant, I'm told. Considering Harrison's history it would not be shocking if the fine approached six figures.
Harrison's hit on Cleveland quarterback Colt McCoy was crown to crown, but McCoy lowering his head beforehand helps Harrison's case, I'm told. But with Harrison's history, and the fact he struck McCoy with crown of his helmet, will lead to a significant fine.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 8:44 am
OPENING HIT: Roger Goodell has been criticized by players and media as being too heavy handed. Czar Goodell he's been called. Bully he's been called. Whether or not that's true is a story for another day but there is one thing I know Goodell would never do. He would never do what David Stern did on Thursday night. Never in a million years. Never, ever, never.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:07 am
OPENING HIT: Does DeMaurice Smith deserve a $1 million dollar bonus? Um, hell yes.
The Washington Postfirst reported the NFLPA is mulling over the possible bonus and I’m told the story is accurate. Frankly, don’t see why there’s a debate.
Think about what Smith did. The players made out like bandits. They’re going to be splitting $9 billion in revenue, there are better health benefits, and most of all there is labor peace for a decade. Players have jobs, high paying jobs, for a long time. Yes, there was a lockout and yes, there still needs to be HGH testing, the way there is now in baseball (supposedly), but the end result was a deal and lots of cash for his membership.
You don’t think Roger Goodell is going to get some sort of extra money in his pocket for what was an equally solid job? Um, hell yes.
All Smith’s critics ever said about him was that he was headed to politics. He was using the union for some sort of mayoral/gubernatorial/Congressional
Does Smith deserve a $1 million bonus?
Um, hell yes.
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:26 am
OPENING HIT: First, when Brett Favre says he wasn't interested in the Bears job, he wasn't quite telling the entire story. He was definitely interested, I'm told, but when the Bears made it known the interest wasn't eventually reciprocated, then Favre made his public statement about not wanting to play.
What's been lost in this latest Favre episode is I think we have finally reached a Favre finality. At least, that seems to be the sentiment around the NFL. Teams are finally done with Favre. They no longer think his talent matches the accompanying headaches.
"I think we've finally seen the last of Favre," said one general manager.
We've heard this before. We've heard it over and over and over but contrary to popular belief Favre is not a vampire that never ages. He's 42-years-old. In the NFL, even at the quarterback position, 42 is like 52.
I can also tell you with certainty that the Bears were seriously considering Favre. They liked the possible symmetry of a former Packer great helping the Bears but in the end his age scared them away. The Bears can publicly deny this all they want but that's the truth.
So yes, it's likely, finally -- finally -- we've seen the end of Favre in the NFL. He won't be back.