It's time for some therapy. Every week in the NFL, players, coaches, media, fans, and etc, say or do something that ticks me off. I'm sure that I'm not the only one. So, after all of the games are played from the previous week I give myself and the people that read this article a little therapy. I do this by venting about some of the things people or saying or doing in the ford of NFL football. I just can't give a pass to some of these individuals and somebody has to argue the other side. Let's dive right into some of the topics that people seem to be giving a pass.
Coaches Fired / Retained
There were some NFL head coaches that were fired over the last week or so that I definitely felt should have been retained. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there were some head coaches that miraculously survived "Black Monday". Let's start with the ones that I can't believe were kept.
I made a case over the last few weeks that I could see all of the AFC South coaches getting fired. I didn't believe that they all would be, but I surely felt that half of them would be gone by this time. It looks like Jim Caldwell is going to be kept in Indianapolis, heck he's in the playoffs again. He doesn't impress me as a coach but Peyton makes his job safe year in and year out.
To my amazement Jack Del RIo, Jeff Fisher, and Gary Kubiak are all still employed!
Jack Del Rio – Del Rio had the division in his hand in a year where the whole AFC South was weak. Del Rio has built this team from top to bottom and they haven't achieved anything. His quarterbacks have been mediocre at best as he's gone from Byron Leftwich to David Garrard. If it wasn't for Maurice Jones-Drew this Jags' team would have finished at the bottom of the division. The defense is horrific and that's supposed to be his specialty! What has he done to make this team better? There are a lot of good coaching options out there this year but the Jags chose to stick with mediocre. This team is destined to be relocated to LA.
Jeff Fisher - Fisher told the world that Vince Young was the problem and then after moving on without him, his team dropped all the way to the basement! It was obvious that the team had quit on Fisher. Some of the key players came out and took up for Vince and spoke out against Fisher, yet Bud Adams chose to get rid of Young and keep Fisher. I don't have problem if they wanted to move on without VY, my problem comes from the fact that they felt it had to be one or the other. Adams should get rid of both of them and have a clean slate as neither one was completely innocent of wrong doing. Fisher never stood 100% behind VY and undermined him at every turn. If half the locker room wanted Young and the other half Fisher, than Adams should get rid of both and find someone to unify the whole team. I have always been told that you haven't done anything until you won the big game. Fisher hasn't done anything in 17 years, but the Titans will stay with the status quo.
There was an encouraging piece put out today by Pro Football Talk that suggests Jeff Fisher may not be with the Titans next year after all as Adams has yet to re-embrace Fisher and the Titans are waiting for the teams that don't land Jim Harbaugh to realize that the best fallback is Fisher and they then can try to obtain Fisher by persuading the Titans to release Fisher from the last year of his contract in exchange for draft picks and/or cash. While this may seem a bit farfetched, Bud Adams is a business man and this would be the one way to avoid paying Fisher the last year of his contract.
Gary Kubiak - The leader of the most talented, underachieving team. How does he go five years, never make the playoffs, and get to keep his job? He had the NFL's leading receiver and quarterback last year, he had the NFL’s leading rusher this year, yet he finished tied for his worst record as an NFL head coach! They blame the defense for this year’s problems, but he's the one that picked the staff! He blames the players but he had Bob McNair hire his good friend Rick Smith as General Manager and they combined to do all of the drafts and free agent acquisitions! This has to be the safest job in America.
Marvin Lewis - He is a great defensive coordinator but a horrible leader. He's never had control of any of his Bengals' teams. He signed off on bringing in T.O. to play alongside Chad Johnson (tired of Ochocinco). How could he not see that as a mistake, when every other coach passed on him? There was so much talent on both sides of the ball but he led his team to last place behind the Cleveland Browns who were trotting out Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, and rookie Colt McCoy as quarterbacks this year. On what planet does that constitute a contract extension?
Now let's talk about the one coach that was fired that actually should have been kept.
Tom Cable - Just when you think that Al Davis has gotten a moment of clarity, he does something like fire his head coach that is in the process of turning around his team. Cable led the Raiders to a 6-0 conference record. Those are the most important games. If you can figure out how to beat the teams in your division, you will be on your way to becoming dominant every year. This was the first time in NFL history that a team has swept the division and not made the playoffs. He did this without having a quarterback or a true #1 wide receiver. The players he was putting in place and drafting were making instant contributions and learning how to win. On draft day 2010, everyone was surprised by the smart picks that the Raiders were making for the first time in a long time. I have to contribute this to Cable being in place. I firmly believe that with Cable back next year and the signing of a veteran QB, this team would be competing for the divisional crown. Now, it's back to the drawing board and I'm afraid, the cellar. Congrats Al Davis and welcome back as the NFL's court jester.
7 - 9 = Home Field Playoffs
We have taken a lot of shots at the NCAA for their college bowl system that allow .500 teams to play in the postseason. The NFL has apparently decided that they didn't one to be upstaged and wanted to one up that. The Seattle Seahawks have clinched their division and will HOST a playoff game this Sunday with a 7-9 record. If you aren't fuming over that last sentence then you must not realize that when I write 7-9, that means the wins are listed in front of the losses. This means that the Seahawks are hosting a playoff game even though they lost 2 more games than they won!
I understand that divisional games are extremely important and you don't want to take away the importance of those games. In Hank Koebler latest article he correctly pointed out that these are some of the fiercest rivalries and you can't take away the guaranteed playoff spots for the divisional winners. While that's true, the NFL can't be awarding them home field in these games. It's completely absurd that the 7-9 Seahawks will host the 11-5 New Orleans Saints in Seattle. To give a team that won 4 less games than their opponent, the advantage of the home crowd and not having to make a 5.5 hour plane ride, is completely bush league.
There are 11 teams that had a better or equal record than Seattle that either didn't make the playoffs or have to travel to play on the road in the playoffs. The NFL has several things that need to be fixed, including having different overtime rules in the playoffs (it’s supposed to be the same game, it’s not this way) than the regular season but this has to be the first thing fixed immediately! - Jayson Braddock
Jayson appears on Sports Radio 790 AM in Houston, TX, every Thursday morning at 11:19 am CST as the football insider on the Dylan Gwinn show. He's a graduate of the Sports Management World Wide Football GM & Scouting Course and has been mentored by former NFL player / executive John Wooten and Sporting News.com NFL Draft Expert Russ Lande. His work is mostly appreciated by die-hard fans interested in every little detail about their team and not just watered down mainstream talk. - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports7910.com.
What more appropriate time than Bowl Season to find out what our readers think about a Playoff system rather than the BCS system we have now. We'd like to know what you think.
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