Yesterday I said that the NFL was going to fine coaches for not wearing masks on the sidelines during games. Evidently, the league decided to make an example of three coaches who were serious offenders in terms of violating that aspect of the health and safety protocols because according to a report by Adam Schefter:
- The league fined Pete Carroll, Vic Fangio and Kyle Shanahan $100K each for not wearing a mask.
- And it fined the clubs of those three coaches and additional $250K each on top of what the coaches will cough up.
I guess the message here is that the NFL is serious about the COVID-19 protocols and that it does not want to deal with coaches appearing as scofflaws on the sidelines. I have not seen the Jets/Niners game yet, so I have no sense of the degree to which Shanahan was “in violation” but I agree that Carroll and Fangio were “serially unmasked’.
- Memo for Jack Del Rio: Wearing your mask around your neck and covering your Adam’s Apple is not in compliance with the protocol. Defensive coordinators are not paupers, but they do not make what head coaches make; $100K could be a significant financial hurt.
While on the subject of the NFL, the Detroit Lions have now lost their last 11 consecutive games. Yes, I know that Matthew Stafford was out for many of those losses; but still, 11-game losing streaks are not to be ignored. That is especially the case when just about every NFL fan recalls that in 2008 the Lions went 0-16 for the season and that there were 19 consecutive losses surrounding that winless season. For the last decade or so, I and other commentators on the NFL have banged on the Bengals and the Browns and the WTFs for the ineptitude of those franchises. Somehow, the Lions have not received a similar level of scorn – – but they deserved it.
Since that disastrous 0-16 season in 2008:
- Lions are 74 – 103 – 1 as of this morning
- They made the playoffs 3 times in those 11 seasons and lost in the Wild Card Round.
- They are working on their 3rd head coach in those 11 seasons.
That is sufficiently inept to put the Lions’ franchise in the cross hairs for some imaginary “Scorn Weapon”, but the Lions demonstrate incompetence over a much longer time scale:
- The Lions’ last playoff win was in 1991.
- Prior to the playoff win in 1991, the playoff win before that one was in 1957 when the Lions won the NFL Championship and then traded away QB, Bobby Layne.
- The Lions joined the NFL in 1930; from that season through 2019, the combined regular season record for Lions teams is 555 – 657 – 33 (winning percentage = .445).
The Detroit Lions have earned a place in the public’s Hall of Shame as a franchise as much as do the Bengals, Browns and WTFs. It is time that they receive their due…
Now that I am in a “Negative Nancy Mood”, allow me to ask if it is too soon to pose this serious indictment in the form of a rhetorical question:
- Is Adam Gase as bad a head coach of the NY Jets as was Richie Kotite?
Yes, I know; that is a shocking question. Take a moment and clear your head and think upon the current situation of the NY Jets. Adam Gase came to the Jets after 3 seasons with the Dolphins where the team record was 23 – 25. His credential at the time was as a “good offensive mind” and a “guy who had a relationship with quarterbacks”; the Dolphins had a young QB in Ryan Tannehill and that seemed to be a competent narrative. When he was let go in Miami, the same aura brought him to the attention of Jets’ ownership.
Looking at that “credential” a bit more analytically, Gase indeed was the offensive coordinator and the guy working with the QB on a team that won the Super Bowl. However, that team was the Denver Broncos and that QB was Peyton Manning at age 39. Let me suggest that Peyton Manning had as much to do with the offensive success for the Broncos in 2015 as did Adam Gase.
In last week’s loss to the Niners, the Jets trailed 24-3 with less than 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Obviously, the Jets’ win probability at that point is pretty small, but the Jets had the ball on the Niners’ 8-yardline with a 4th and goal situation. At that point, the game is a “3-TD Game” for the Jets to win it; time is getting short; Adam Gase chooses to kick a 25-yard field goal to make the score 24-6. So in addition to needing the Jets’ defense to pitch a shutout from that point on, instead of needing “3 TDs to tie the game”, the Jets now needed “2 TDs + a 2-point conversion + a field goal to tie the game”.
Yes, I know; neither of those outcomes was ever going to happen. However, kicking that field goal was almost a form of capitulation; it is not as if getting those 3 points would prevent the team from the ignominy of being shut out.
I wonder about the Adam Gase narrative as an offensive genius and QB-guru. Ryan Tannehill got a lot better once he left Miami and Coach Gase’s tutelage. Sam Darnold has not yet learned to play with matches let alone set the world afire. Moreover, Gase and the team’s best running back – LeVeon Bell – have been at odds for about a year now and there are plenty of reports that the “team chemistry” in the Jets’ locker room smells like rotten eggs.
I recognize that comparing Adam Gase to Richie Kotite is harsh so let me put a less severe query in front of Jets’ fans and NFL fans:
- Just what is it that Adam Gase does for a living?
Finally, let me close with an NFL observation by Bob Molinaro in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:
“New rule: No longer is anyone allowed to call the Dallas Cowboys ‘America’s Team’ with a straight face.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………