Showing 1 - 10 of 11 posts found matching keyword: coaches
I was notified over Christmas dinner that Uga IX, aka Russ, died this week at the age of 11. What can you say to that? I settled for "Please pass the deviled eggs."
Why was it that whenever Mark Richt had a bad year, an Uga died? In 2009, Uga VII died after losses to Oklahoma State, LSU, Tennessee, and Florida. After the 2010 season, which Georgia finished 6-7, Uga VIII died of cancer. Despite wining nine games (with a bowl game still to go), 2015 was so disappointing, we said goodbye to both Richt and Uga IX.
(To be clear, Richt is still alive. At least I think he still is. No one said otherwise during dinner.)
Let's hope this tragic trend ends with Kirby Smart. May Uga X's reign be long and fruitful.
I'll have more to say about old dogs on Monday. In the meantime, I'm going to Florida. If it's going to be 80 degrees in December, I might as well be at the beach.
I hadn't even gotten around to contributing my two cents here on the University of Georgia firing Mark Richt this past Sunday, and already he's been hired to lead another marquee program at the University of Miami. Good for him.
I would not have minded if UGA had given Richt another year to try and correct the mess he'd let his program devolve into. The failure to recruit or develop a quarterback prior to the season was a gamble that failed to pay off. When Chubb was lost for the season, Richt was too tolerant of Offensive Coordinator Schottenheimer's inability or unwillingness to restructure his offence for the, uh, "differently abled" QBs he had to work with. There were too many games this year where Georgia's offense was unwatchable. The team never beat an opponent with a winning record, and was woefully unprepared in every game that counted. That UGA finished with 9 wins says more about Athletic Director McGarity's ability to gimmick a schedule of cupcakes than the football team's ability to actually play football.
Still, I think the fault of the season lies more with the fans than the coaches. Every year, UGA fans desperate for a little success and national recognition buy into the hype that this will be the year. When UGA was nearly unanimously picked before the season to win the SEC East, the Sword of Damocles was hung above Richt's head. By failing to live up to the hype, Richt fell victim to his own past success.
Is UGA being short-sighted in dismissing the second-winningest coach in school history? Probably. But sometimes a change will do everybody good. Richt returns to his alma-mater with new motivation to win in a weaker conference. UGA gets a new coach to blame if we don't win the SEC East every year. It may not be a win-win, but as the old adage goes, when action is necessary, do something even if it's wrong.
We'll see how quickly I change my tune if Richt take Miami to the Bowl Championship Series before UGA wins another SEC title with his successor. Sour grapes never fall too far from the vine.
"Word on the street" is that Miami Dolphins' head coach Joe Philbin might not survive the day in that position following two terrible, terrible losses in a row as the now 1-3 team heads into their bye week.
As I type this, I don't really expect Philbin to get fired. I suspect that the axe will fall on some other scapegoat for the inept Dolphins organization, probably Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle who can be blamed for Ndamukong Suh's complete invisibility over four games or the defensive backs tendency to make the Bill's Tyrod Taylor and the Jet's Ryan Fitzpatrick look like Tom Brady and Bret Favre, respectively.
Besides, NFL teams whose organizations panic and fire their head coaches mid-season don't have a very good record of improving things in the short term. Most simply swap one losing coach for another. Only the Cowboy's Jason Garrett comes to mind as a step in the right direction, and he was already being groomed to eventually replace predecessor Wade Phillips anyway.
Assuming Philbin is fired before the end of the year — because let's face facts, this team stinks like dead fish no matter who is in charge — who would the Dolphins replace him with? An Offensive Coordinator who can't coordinate more than two touchdowns in a game? The 32-year-old Quarterbacks Coach? Certainly none of the defensive coaches deserve it. There don't seem to be any good candidates in the entire building.
Hmm. What's Dan Marino doing these days?
UPDATE 1:00PM: Philbin has been fired, replaced by the team's former tight ends coach, 39-year old Dan Campbell.
No team who has fired their coach 4 games into the season has gone on to post-season victories, so I guess everyone can now tune out for the remainder of the 2015 campaign. Unless you like watching train wrecks.
To be perfectly clear, this news doesn't disappoint me. Go back and check, and you'll see I've been no Philbin fan since the beginning of his tenure. But I'm also not eager to support any organization that gives a bad head coach a contract extension at the end of a bad season only to turn around and fire that same coach part way through the following bad season. The Dolphins have now done that twice in four years. Go team!
I don't know how owner Stephen Ross made his money, but he certainly doesn't manage it very well.
The Miami Dolphins are replacing every seat in whatever the hell it is they call their stadium these days. Gone are the orange seats that looked so empty on television (and real life). They are set to be replaced by aqua colored seats the same color as found on Dolphins uniforms. I'm sure a sea of empty aqua seats will look much better as Joe Philbin leads the 'Fins to another not-quite-winning season in 2015.
I find this particularly amusing because the Georgia Dome used to have aqua seats. They were replaced in 2008 with red seats that made the Dome feel much smaller. The red seats sure have been visible in recent years as the Falcons reverted to form. (The Dome got new seats in 2008 and a new field in 2011, and now it's too old to use. That sure seems like money well spent. Glad the taxpayers aren't on the hook for any of it.)
When the football season ends, the coaching carousel begins.
Bad news: On Sunday Miami Dolphins team owner Stephen Ross announced that the team will be retaining Head Coach Joe Philbin. This should come as not too much a surprise because Philbin had a year remaining on his contract. However, let's take a look at Philbin's tenure with the team:
- 2012: Philbin joins the team. The nations watches on Hard Knocks as the new coach is unable to look Chad Johnson in the eyes as he cuts him from the team for beating his wife. Great start. Dolphins miss the playoffs with a final record of 7-9, one game better than the previous year.
- 2013: Again, the Dolphins are in the national spotlight as the locker room becomes a school yard where bullies reign. Philbin says he didn't know anything about it. Great management. Dolphins collapse at the end of December and miss the playoffs with a final record of 8-8, one game better than the previous year.
- 2014: With the Dolphins acting as NFL ambassadors during a game in London, Philbin declines to name a starting quarterback despite having only one option. Great motivational technique. Dolphins won 7 of their first 12 games, then fade late and miss the playoffs. As I write this, there's still a chance the Dolphins will finish one game better than the previous year.
So the news that Philbin will be back doesn't inspire me with anything other than a knowledge that the 2015 Dolphins will be one game better than 2014 and still miss the playoffs. I've got better things to do with my time than wait for that to happen. I'll catch up with you in 2016, Dolphins.
Good news: Georgia Bulldog Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo will be leaving to become Head Coach at Colorado State, effective immediately. I've been opposed to Bobo for years: his play calls are predictable and his players are often unprepared for four quarters of football. That Georgia has been successful owes more to superior talent than superior coaching. Perhaps Bobo's talent lies in recruiting. we'll see how well he does in Colorado. If he's successful there it won't hurt my feelings so long as he stays far, far away from Georgia.
I feel the need to comment on some recent coaching/staff departures from my preferred football teams.
Last week, GM Jeff Ireland and OC Mike Sherman were fired by the Miami Dolphins. Good riddance to both, but especially Ireland. It will be hard to hire someone with a worse eye for talent. Maybe now the Dolphins will stop overpaying for free agents and develop some talent through the draft. Who knows. In a few years, they might actually be able to post a winning record.
This week, DC Todd Grantham chose to leave the Georgia Bulldogs to go to work for shitbag Bobby Petrino's Louisville Cardinals. Grantham had his worst year as a Bulldogs coach in 2013, allowing opponents 189 more points than in his second-worst year. Keeping in mind that he did have a very young squad and that the SEC decided to go all-in on offense in 2013, I wouldn't have minded if Grantham had stuck around for the final year of his contract. (Bobo is STILL the problem at UGA.) That said, I can't begrudge him leaving, especially since Petrino is throwing a $150,000/year raise at him. (Petrino just got the job, and already he is throwing away Lousiville's money. What a dick.)
Of course, the Dolphins and Bulldogs haven't replaced the departed coaches yet. Whoever they hire, I'm sure I'll hate them just as much as these outgoing guys once I get to know them.
[UPDATE 2014-01-15: Of course, the day before this was posted, UGA announced the hiring of Jeremy Pruitt, former DC for the 2013 champion FSU Seminoles. He was only at FSU for one season, coming to UGA for a $350,000 raise. (The previous two seasons he was at Alabama. That means he's been on 3 consecutive national title teams!) If he can do for us what he did for FSU, that's be great, but don't expect him to stick around for long. If he improves the UGA defense — and it will be hard not to — some other college will be throwing $1 million or more at this guy in 2015.]
I guess now that even The Daily Show is talking about the Dolphins' locker room meltdown, I, as a Dolphins fan and frequent critic, should probably comment on it, too.
Was offensive tackle Jonathan Martin bullied? Was offensive guard Richie Incognito following orders when he called Martin racial slurs and extorted $15,000 from him? Did the Dolphins coaches really have no idea what was going on? I don't know. All I see is the second half of the 2013 season getting flushed down the toilet.
At this point, we've lost two starting offensive linemen, probably for the rest of the year and maybe forever. Through eight games, we're already allowed 35 sacks. Given that half our starting offensive linemen have left the team, that's not going to get better.
Also, I think I've mentioned before that I'm not impressed with Coach Philbin's ability at managing people. This is just more of the same. I've never been in an NFL locker room, but I find it inconceivable that Philbin had no idea that there was bad blood on his team. If Philbin's staff really did encourage Incognito, that's not just morally wrong, it also might cripple the team. Last year the NFL suspended several coaches for encouraging players to injure other players on the field. What's the likelihood that the NFL won't come down hard on a coach who encourages the same sort of behavior in his own team?
Because I can't talk about the Dolphins' off-the-field drama without taking a parting shot at my least favorite member of the organization, let me point out that we wouldn't be in this situation at all if General Manager Jeff Ireland hadn't drafted Martin and signed free agent Incognito. Yes, I'm finding a way to blame Ireland for this mess. It's what I do.
UPDATE 2013-11-08 4PM: ProFootballTalk.com reports that Martin's agent reported the bullying to Ireland before Martin left the team. Ireland's response was to tell Martin to punch Incognito. Imagine telling your boss that you were being harassed, and your boss telling you just to punch your coworker. Yeah, that'll do it. The Dolphins continue to pretend that it doesn't have to conform to the same workplace conditions as the rest of the country. I think they'll find that defense isn't going to stand up for itself.
Also, the NFL's "independent" investigation announced that Martin will be interviewed about the situation late next week. This thing is going to drag on forever. *sigh*
Alright, Randy. You want it, you got it.
The Miami Dolphins are currently 0-7, staring down the barrel of a potentially win-less season. The remaining schedule is, in a single word, difficult. Some say the silver lining of the second-worst season in franchise history is the opportunity to draft first in the 2012 NFL Draft. The media calls this phenomenon "Suck 4 Luck" in honor of apparent first-overall pick Andrew Luck.
The Dolphins were terrible in 2007, too. That year the team narrowly avoided becoming the worst team in NFL history in their third-from-last game of the season by beating the hapless 4-9 Baltimore Ravens. The team had the first pick in the following year's draft and used it to select Offensive Tackle Jake Long. Long is pretty good, but is hardly a single-handed game-changer. In 2007, no one said the Dolphins should "Suck 4 Long," but certainly the team did (and still does).
Just for the record, Andrew Luck isn't a senior. He was projected as the number one overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, should he have chosen to leave college, but he didn't. Another year later, and he's still the best quarterback in college sports. Will he go pro? Maybe. But why would he want to play for the Miami Dolphins? I wouldn't.
There are currently 7 players on the 2011 Miami Dolphins roster who were on the 2007 Miami Dolphins team that finished the season 1-15. One of those players is Jason Taylor. Said Taylor to the Miami Sun-Sentinel:
"You do your best to ignore it, but sure, there's an elephant in the room, and you have to realize you have nothing to do with it. You can't control it. The only thing you can do to control it is play well and win games. It's something that's hanging out there, and people are going to talk about it because people love to talk."
I understand and share your frustration, Jason, but we would rather win than talk. We be talking about "it" at all if you would actually win a few games. Or even a game. If you want us, the fans, to stop calling for the head of the coach, try winning for a change.
The Miami Dolphins have 20 individuals listed as coaches on the official team website, and none of them appear to be doing a very good job. One of those 20 coaches is the Head Coach's son, Tony Sparano, Jr. There can't be any nepotism involved in his position: unlike the other coaches, Jr. seems to be living up to his job title, "Offensive Quality Control," because the team is very offensive right now.
The problem here is that either the team doesn't have players good enough to compete or the team doesn't have coaches good enough to prepare the players to compete. The solution to both of those problems lies in the front office, which holds the purse strings and makes the tough decisions. Since buying the team in 2008 from a desperate-to-sell Wayne Huizenga, the Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross has demonstrated a management style of paying ridiculous salaries to players and coaches for which the adjective "mediocre" is too kind. I'm sure that style is what made him the billionaire he is today.
It's past time for someone to do something to fix this season. Like the 2007 season, this one is already in the tank. But it sure would be nice if we could look forward to something next year other than the prospect of letting our career-destroying coaches get their hands on another potentially franchise-defining player. That just plain sucks.
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Have I mentioned that I am pulling for a lockout in the NFL next season?
After failing to recruit another head coach, Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross re-signed coach Tony Sparano -- who is responsible for 2 consecutive 7-9 seasons -- to a 2-year contract extension. Both of the Dolphins' starting running backs are free agents, and at least one will not return. The Dolphins' first string quarterback was among the worst in the NFL in all statistical categories in 2010. Despite being snapped like a twig on his first play in 2010, "Noodle-Arm" Chad Pennington is promising to make a comeback next season, stealing a roster spot from a potentially useful player. And now our departing Offensive Coordinator who thought it would be a good idea to throw on a majority of our plays despite producing the worst team passer rating in our conference, has been replaced with some shmuck named Brian Daboll.
Daboll was the Offensive Coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. He lost his job because every coach in Cleveland is getting fired following their second consecutive 5-11 season. But that's not the whole story. To give you an idea how good Daboll must be at his job, take a look at the Brown's stats compared to the other 31 NFL teams from 2010:
- 20th in rushing yards per game. The Dolphins were 21st.
- 29th in passing yards per game. The Dolphins were 16th.
- 29th in total yards per game. The Dolphins were 21st.
- 31st in total points per game. The Dolphins were 30th.
Of all the coaches in the League, we hired not only one who was worse than we were, but one of the worst in the entire League? Of course all of those numbers do rank as improvements over the Brown's success in 2009, Daboll's first year with the team. In 2009 the Browns ranked 32nd of 32 teams in passing yards and total yards. I suspect that we could have hired a ball boy with better coaching skills.
The only thing that can make this all make sense is if Ross is planning on positioning the team to draft Andrew Luck of Stanford. Luck is projected to be the number one pick in the NFL Draft when he graduates from college next season. I sure hope that kid looks good in aqua and orange.
Comments (2)| Leave a Comment | Tags: 2011 sucks andrew luck brain daboll chad pennington coaches dolphins football nfl stephen ross tony sparano
If you've been paying attention this week, you've gotten the message: the Dolphins suck. The lingering question is "why?" Dolphins' owner Wayne Huizenga has been on the offensive this week, meeting with the Miami Herald and making a few interesting statements:
''Is Cam [Cameron, Dolphins Head Coach] a mistake? I don't think so, but it's too soon to tell. I don't think you can blame everything that's happening now on Cam.''
''It's tough because Randy's been here two years and when Randy [Mueller, Dolphins General Manager] was here, Nick [Saban, previous Dolphins Head Coach] made all the decisions.''
Looks like we're going to blame Nick Saban for our current mess. Sure, Saban was a piece-of-shit who lied about a few things and broke his undeserved megabucks-contract to flee the NFL for the comfy confines of a megabucks-contract Alabama. Sure, Saban's personnel decisions were questionable. (And that's a generous evaluation.) And worst of all, Saban was a lousy coach, unable to motivate or game-plan on an NFL level.
But should we be crucifying Saban, who has had nothing to do with the team since January for our winless record this year? Is it Saban's fault that we drafted a wide-out with a history of injury when that was far from our weakest position? Is it Saban's fault that returning Defensive Coordinator Dom Caper's defense (YPG) has fallen from 4th last year to 27th this year? Is it Saban's fault that the Dolphins have started going through coaches (Johnson, Wannastadt, Bates, Saban, Cameron) like some teams go through tear-away jerseys?
Don't get me wrong. I don't like Saban. That guy started to piss me off during his first month on the job. But the Dolphins have been on the wrong road for awhile now. Hmmm. Since about 1993, when the Dolphins loaded up on expensive free agent talent in a season that was bound to prove only that you can't win by loading up only on expensive free agent talent. The team also renamed Joe Robbie Stadium (named for the late Dolphins owner) Pro Player Park in an effort to generate more cash. Really, nothing much but downhill from there. What else happened that year? Oh, that's right: Wayne Huizenga took full ownership of the team. Coincidence? Or was that Nick Saban's fault as well?