Before the playoffs even begun, five NFL coaches have either resigned or been fired. Dennis Green, given the Herculean task of building a team run by a family that hasn't experienced a winning record since 1998 under Vince Tobin, was given Kurt Warner, a rookie quarterback two all-star receivers and a great running back. The Cardinals have only two winning records since 1984. That, my friend, isn't a coach, it's a trend that points to one consistent, ownership. Jim Mora Jr. punched his departure ticket making the mind-boggling decision to publicly admit he'd coach the Washington Huskies if the job opened. Art Shell was hired right before the season started because Al Davis likes to wait.. and wait.. and wait. As a result, the Raiders had no chance in 2006 because Shell was a convenient choice after Davis lost out on the quality coaches available. Nick Saban, the NFL's version of Larry Brown, lied about the Alabama job until the Tide offered $32 million guaranteed for eight years. Don Shula isn't a fan of Saban saying, "there were four or five direct statements that were blatant lies. That tells you a little bit about the guy... The guy likes to hear himself talk and then doesn't follow up on what he says." We've heard several conflicts with why Bill Cowher is leaving. Is he leaving to be with his family and take a year off even though he said he's "not burnt out"? Or, as ESPN reported, is he leaving because he feels he should be the highest paid head coach in the league -- especially higher paid than ex-GM and head coach Mike Holmgren -- who he beat in the Super Bowl? On a personal note, I'm THRILLED this happened. I'm so ready for a Steelers team post Cowher. I respect him, but he's been a thorn to Bengals fans for years!
If you listen to local radio, there's plenty of dissatisfaction directed towards head coach Marvin Lewis. Some of the frustration includes (but not limited to), game management, timeout usage, half-time adjustments, player preparation and the disastrous defense on the field a full four years after arrival. Here's the point: it's frustration. I've heard no one suggest we need a change. Most, if not all, reasonable Bengals fans think Lewis should be here. But some are questioning whether or not he can take the team to the next level. My only contention is that fans shouldn't use this season as a sample to prove their points. A lot of things went wrong. There's a lot of second guessing going on with Lewis. But realistically, there was way too much that went outside of Lewis' hands disabling his ability to control the team. He said he'll change things and that's all we can ask. You live and learn in life and Lewis' learned a lot as a head coach in 2006.