The wiles of the NFL are a strange game to me. The game between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos whilst meaning a great deal toboth teams. It had me thinking how are those two teams with such established stars can proceed to play so unevenly throughout much of the regular season?And while San Diego obliterated the Broncos, ended their Superbowl aspirations that led to the firing of Mike Shanahan.Wherein the AFC West division as we know it has become to be known has as its content some of perhaps some of the worst teams in all of the NFL.
lLaDanian Tomlinson(21) is congratulated by teammate Vincent Jackson(83) after Tomlinson’s touchdown during the game against the Denver Broncos played at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, Ca,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Mark Talbot ……………..
The Chargers notwithstanding the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders have hardly shown that the division possesses a team of merit based on their play this season.As winners of the division with an 8-8 record they scraped their way into the playoffs. Albeit that they won their last four games of the season. Now the Chargers will have to face the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the postseason playoffs as wildcard entrants. The Colts as with a record of 12-4 made their way into the postseason upon the resurrection and play of their Pro Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning.
Marvin Harrison(88) of the Indianapolis Colts is congratulated by teammates prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Victor Matthews ………………………..
The San Diego Chargers by way of their own play this season has been erratic and uneven.But for the resolute play of quarterback Phillip Rivers one doubts that the team would’vegot as far as they did. LaDainian Tomlinson their much heralded running back has had a down year and even with regard to injuries. It can be saidthat the player’s overall performances havebeen somewhat sub par.The loss of defensive stalwart Shawn Merriman also played a part in the downside to the team’s overall record. Merriman when on the field has been a player who has brought a great deal of forthright resolve to the team’s play as well as on the field leadership.Other than Rivers who has been vocal as to the on field leadership, the team has been labored its way throughout the season and into the playoffs. Norv Turner if anything has been extremely lucky to be in theposition where he still holds a coaching job in the NFL.The feeling was that should the Chargers fail to make the postseason he may well have been one of the casualties as to the firings that’ve proceeded to take place since season’s end.
Well it certainly goes without saying that the bloodlust andbloodletting that’s known to take place within the boardroom is no different from that within the field of sports.We’ve seen it already happen within the NBA this season. Albeit that the season there is over a much longer season. However the season that is built around the NFL is one seventeen weeks give or take. And then you have the postseason itself where the success there is very much predicated on the immediate results. For the likes of fallen coaches Eric Mangini,Romeo Crennel and Rod Marinelli they’ll never come to know what it is to equate success in the postseason. Well at least not this season anyway !
Lavernues Coles of the New York Jets addresses members of the convened press to answer questions as to the firing of the team’s coach Eric Mangini. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Rich Schultz …………….
Each of the above mentioned individuals were placed under the scrutiny of expectful wishes. And they failed miserably though in some respects much of it was not of their own making. But at the end of the day it is the coach who has to take blame for the lack of success on the field of play. With the firing of all three coaches by their respective franchises the New York Jets,Cleveland Brown and Detroit Lions. All three men became casualties of the merry-go-round we’ve come to know as the coaching carousel. Albeit that it’s not expected that either if any of the three will ever find themselves back as a candidate for a mangerial position within the NFL. Crennel’s own boss GM Phil Savage also found himself out of a position when he too was let go by Browns’ owner Randy Lerner. The axe does tend to swing both ways then ?
Romeo Crennel the now former coach of the Cleveland Browns looks up at the scoreboard in a game played between the Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers. Crennel’s team would go on to lose the game 31-0 and post a 4-12 record for the regular season. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Tony Dejak …..
But as much as we see with each passing season coaches let go because of the undue pressure that’s placed upon them to succeed. What does that tell us about the state of the game itself whereby a single mistake by a player or official may well be all that it takes to sink the career of a coach ? However it can also be said that a coach should be able to instill into those whom he leads what it is that is expected of them. And that he ought to be able to communicate with them effectively. If the players themselves aren’t willing to buy into what it is that the coach is srtiving to achieve. Then how will they go about achieving the success that they all strive for ? If those teams aren’t prepared on the day to meet an opponent then the result endured is all too appropriate. Seventy percent of the game may well be physical but the remaining thirty percent being said to be psychological, is just as important, if not more so.
Martin Mayhew,foreground, is the General Manager of the Detroit Lions. Seated alongside Mayhew at the convened press conference is team President Tom Lewand. The announcement being made was that the franchise’s coach Rod Marinelli as well as several members of his coaching staff wouldn’t be returning next season. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Paul Sancya ………………..
As to the travails of those coaches who escaped the axe,guillotine or whatever rudimentary instrument one might like to imagine being swung above their head. Is it fair to believe that they’re lucky to survive this most gruesome of rituals, given the evidence that come next season they too will be under even more scrutiny not just from their owners and fans alike ? If anything the quartet of NFL coaches who’ve succumbed to the perfunctory ritual of being shown the door this season are the one who ought to be thought of as being lucky. Granted expectations were heaped upon their shoulders and albeit that they failed. But who amongst us would want to be placed in that sort of a situation from the outset ? And less I’m not mistaken unless you’re Jesus Christ himself you’re indeed being asked to perform a miracle. And last I looked the coaches within the NFL aren’t being viewed as the Messiah but yet the situation for which they of their own volition choose to be placed within are looked upon as deities when they succeed. But are either viewed as oafs or buffoons when they falter.
Wade Phillips wraps up his press conference with the members of the press at the team’s facility in Irving, Texas. Phillips and his much heralded team failed to make the playoffs this year having posted a 9-7 record this season. They sufferered a humiliating season ending loss to their divisional rivals the Philadelphia Eagles 44-6. Thereby depriving themselves of a postseason berth in the playoffs. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Tony Gutierrez …..
We know that they’re highly paid individuals and they come at a premium. But are they infact any different from a titan of industry who’s asked to lead a multi-billion dollar conglomerate ? By their decisions made on and in some cases off the field can lead tothe success that’s envisioned by the hierarchy of a franchise as well as that of the fans themselves. And be that as it may one can only summize that the coaches who aspire be amongst the professional ranks of the NFL have not only belief in their own abilities. But also in that of the people who hire them to undertake such a demonstrative task. Failure at any price isn’t an option but what ought to matter are the strategies and the acceptable risks that are part of that endeavor. So much of what’s predicated as success within the NFL nowadays isn’t just about the results on the field. But it also has a lot to do with the business side of the issue off the field. A languishing and less than what’s deemed successful franchise can cost a team and its owners tens of millions of dollars each year in revenues. And the bottom line at the end of the day may well be all that matters to a number of owners no matter what their own wealth constitutes. Though many of them will have you know that certainly isn’t always the case. But when have you ever known a wealthy individual not to want just a bit more money lining their pockets or bank accounts looking considerably fatter ?
Herm Edwards of the Kansas City Chiefs strolls the sidelines having to endure his team’s 16-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in his team’s final regular season game. The game played in Cincinnati ensured that the Chiefs ended the season with a 2-14 regular season record. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Al Behrman ………………
I won’t begrudge those who make the decisions to fire an individual if they fail to offer a succinct reason as to why they ought not to be. I do know that there are also some who were more deserving of the fate than others. But I’d also preface this with a caveat.Becareful of what you wish for as you aspire on down the road to find the person who you deem fit enough to lead your franchise up from the depths which they now find themselves within. Because at the end of the day it’s not only the fans who you may also be answerable to but also to your own lust for untold wealth and the greed therein that goes along with it. But also your own conscience whatever persona, form or guise it may well take. Afterall this may well may be a business first but in large part it is nothing more than a rudimentary form or entertainment for us all.