(This image comes from the Houston Chronicle and AP)
I'm serious, I should be a football coach and this is coming from a guy who hasn't played Madden since being priced out of PS3 and XBox 360. I'm sure anyone playing Madden four hours a day would be better coaches than me, which really indicates how bad the coaching in the NFL has become and how bad the coaching always is in college football.
College football should just create co-coaches and get it over with. You would have the one who can recruit all the talent and practice with the team, while the other one can handle game management. I mean look at the travesty of a final drive Les Miles handled last week against Ole Miss. After lucking into a onside kick, LSU hit a WR screen to get into field goal range at the 32. Then, Miles being to call some bad plays, a couple of slow developing pass plays, then a foolish RB screen on 3rd and 19. Then, the ultimate sin by a coach was committed when he waited 15 seconds to call timeout with :09 on the clock. He failed to have his team ready should they make the 4th and 26, which they did. With :01 on the clock, either set up the field goal or throw for the end zone; LSU did neither. In college, I blame the coaches more than the players because the coaches need to know better and Les Miles last Saturday didn't.
However, watching coaches like Bob Stoops and Pete Carroll have shown me over the years that college football is easy as long as you can recruit. The NFL is supposed to be tougher to coach, you're supposed to have a clue of what's going on. Yet, there's a reason coaches change at least seven times in the offseason. Look at the following coaches: Wade Phillips, Norv Turner, Andy Reid, Marvin Lewis, Brad Childress. Each of these coaches head teams who would be in the playoffs, despite not being good coaches. Whether it's questionable challenges, playing not to lose, losing control of the team and just anything that makes you shake your head, each of these coaches fall into that category. And I haven't gone into the worst examples.
Let's begin with Eric Mangini, who I have called the Rich Kotite of this era (meaning a bad coach on a respectable team, who then goes to a worse team and makes them awful). He should have never been given another team this soon after the Jets meltdown, but the Browns felt like they needed to continue hiring failed Belichick assistants because of the outstanding performance Bill had when coaching the Browns. Two great moves by Mangini: going for the fake field goal pass at the end of the 1st half against the Lions, despite the Lions being ready, thus they get the first down and have to kick anyway. But that didn't matter, unlike the last play of the game. You know you're not coaching well when your team is the one team who commits a pass interference on a Hail Mary. He makes things worse by calling timeout before the untimed down. Normally, it's not awful, but Matt Stafford got hurt pretty bad on the previous play and Daunte Culpepper was going to take the last snap cold. Mangenius' timeout allowed Stafford to come back in, because obviously, you want the guy who's torched your defense for 400 yards to throw one more time over a backup QB who's erratic and is just as capable of throwing a 100-interception than he is a touchdown. What a moron.
Of course, the reason I'm even writing this was because of the Texans game Monday night. It started with a Tweet about the 3rd down play by Houston with :08 seconds left. This was before Kris Brown missed the game-tying field goal, giving the Titans the win. Now, the Titans clearly played for the field goal, because Jeff Fisher knew Rob Bironas knew he could consistently hit 50 yard kicks. If anyone knows Kris Brown, you know that he hooks every big kick left. The Texans still had a timeout, yet Gary Kubiak decides to fall on the ball. No, no and no. You have to try to get closer, because you can't depend on Brown making a 49 yard kick. As a matter of fact, if you life was on the line based on Brown making a big kick, you can start buying burial plots and coffins. Conversely, if Vegas put a spread on Brown hooking a kick left, it would come off the board because everyone knows he misses there. Thus, the Texans need to make the kick easier for Brown, since I can't say don't kick in any circumstance. Trust your quarterback, which Matt Schaub isn't to be confused with a Trent Edwards or a Jake Delhomme, and try for the first down to Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter or David Anderson, turning a 49 yarder into a 39 yarder and then it's all on Kris Brown. However, Kubiak didn't know his team and the Texans are now 5-5, on their way to another 8-8 season and Kubiak's last. Once again, another guy I can out-coach.
Here's my Thanksgiving Day picks and from me here at The Cycle, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Home team in CAPS.
DETROIT (+11.5) over Green Bay- Normally I would believe the Lions would fail to show up and get pasted, but I think they will play close in a rare sellout.
DALLAS (-13.5) over Oakland- Unlike the Lions, the Raiders won't show up in big D. Plus, the Cowboys can expect a huge game from Tony Romo, Mr. Thanksgiving and I consider that akin to Mr. May.
DENVER (+6) over Giants- Having a game in Denver three days after playing in New York will be difficult. Unless the Broncos player-only meeting failed and they continue self-destructing, I think it will be hard for the G-Men tonight.