I have never had the responsibility of running an NFL franchise. In addition, my economic situation provides 100% certainty that I will never own an NFL franchise. Notwithstanding those two facts, there have been two recent announcements of personnel decisions in the NFL world that have me scratching my head.
The Rams fired defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips. I understand that the Rams had a serious fall from grace in 2019 – – as happens frequently to teams that lost the Super Bowl a year before such a fall. I also understand that someone – – or some ones – – involved with the team must “take the fall” for the fall from grace. However, it was not the Rams’ defense that was responsible for the 2019 record of 9-7. If you insist on pinpointing the Rams’ deficiencies last season, consider these two areas of shortcoming:
- Jared Goff did not perform to the same level of proficiency in the passing game in 2019 as compared to 2018. His stats were not bad, but they were not as good as in the prior season.
- The Rams running game was underutilized for at least the first half of the season – – possibly to effect “load management” on RB, Todd Gurley.
The problem with examining and looking for remedies in those areas is simple. Those relate to the offense and that is where wunderkind head coach, Sean McVey, holds forth.
The other discordant announcement was buried at the bottom of a list of “NFL Notes” in today’s Washington Post. Here is that item:
“Buffalo offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who got his first offensive coordinator position in the NFL with Cleveland under Eric Mangini, interviewed for the Browns’ head coaching job.”
Let me be clear; if Brian Daboll walked into Curmudgeon Central and bit me on the ankle, I would have to ask him who he is and wonder why he was biting me on the ankle. However, neither of the two résumé items cited above would make me interested in him as a “hot prospect”. The Browns under Eric Mangini went 10-22 over two seasons in 2009/2010; the Bills’ offense over the last two seasons has been better than pathetic – – but not a lot better than pathetic.
Between his time with the Browns and his current job with the Bills, Daboll spent 3 years with the Pats and one year at Alabama with Nick Saban. I have to say that those “credentials” are interesting but less than compelling in terms of what I might look for in a new head coach for the Browns. But remember, I don’t have any experience in doing such a hiring search…
Or … maybe … this is an indicator that serious coaching aspirants are not taking calls from the Browns regarding this opening. Is it possible that the Browns have quietly moved on to “Plan B” already?
Moving on… I have sampled FS1’s morning sports show, First Things First a few times since Cris Carter and FOX decided to go in different directions. While it is true that I had tired of Carter to some extent, his departure from the program was not an “addition by subtraction”; I did not particularly like the program when he was there and I don’t like it very much now that he is not there. I just cannot maintain interest and focus on Nick Wright; I do not watch very often; and still I find his commentary to be repetitious and that is hardly an inducement to watch more frequently.
I do not watch early morning sports on TV more than once a week. Probably, that is because I do not like any of the ESPN offerings at that time of the day much better than I like First Things First. I continue to try to enjoy watching Get Up! – and I admit that it is better that it was when it launched – but it too is repetitious. The reason that I prefer to watch Get Up! is Jalen Rose. The more involved in the program that he is, the better it is.
Basically, my morning routine is simple:
- Say good morning to my long-suffering wife.
- Make coffee
- Tune in The Weather Channel long enough to see the local forecast and the radar picture.
- Turn the TV off and pour coffee.
- Chat with my long-suffering wife and read the morning paper.
The Weather Channel gives me information I can use. FS1 and ESPN are not likely to meet that standard with regard to enticing me to tune into their morning offerings, so the only thing left for them is to be entertaining. Here is the status as of January 2020:
- Neither First Things First nor Get Up! come close to meeting that “entertaining standard”.
The college basketball season is about to get much more interesting as conference play begins in the 32 conferences that make up Division 1 NCAA basketball. As of this morning there are only two undefeated teams left in the country:
- Auburn 13-0 Southeastern Conference
- San Diego State 15-0 Mountain West Conference
And, of course, here in Curmudgeon Central it is de rigueur to mention the only winless team in the country as of this morning:
- Mississippi Valley State 0-13 Southwestern Athletic Conference
[Aside: Twelve of those thirteen losses were road games for the Delta Devils. The NCAA loves to refer to its “student-athletes”. Surely those 12 road games enhanced significantly the “student” portion of college life for those “student-athletes”.]
Finally, here is a Tweet from Brad Dickson:
“Tom Brady may’ve played his last game ever. Husker fans refer to Brady as ‘The second best quarterback ever, behind Luke McCaffery.’”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………