Fire Philbin! Fire Whisenhunt! Fire Caldwell! …Don’t Fire Pettine?

This week I’ve spent a considerable amount of time ranting about potential and actual coach firings. And as frequent readers know, I’m a proponent of cutting a guy loose when it’s obvious he’s not the guy. I am the kind of asshole who doesn’t think about the coach as a person, or of his kids who will have to move…he’s a commodity, and that commodity needs to be unloaded like an old couch that won’t fit through the doorway of your new bungalow.

I thought firing Philbin was the right move. I thought firing Whisenhunt was necessary. I think Caldwell will go and it will be a good move.

So why am I okay with Mike Pettine keeping his job, even after how bad the Cleveland Browns look so far?

"Someone's defending me? What a welcome change!"

“Someone’s defending me? What a welcome change!”

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An Easy But Necessary Column On Why the Jim Caldwell Hiring Was an Astronomical Mistake

When you write about sports, it’s fairly easy to pile on when a team is struggling or a team made a bad decision. And it’s even easier when you’re using hindsight. “Look how bad the Detroit Lions are! Wasn’t it so dumb of them to hire Jim Caldwell instead of literally any coach in the universe?” That sort of piece is easy.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

I still wake up in the middle of the night saying "JIM CALDWELL IS AN NFL HEAD COACH" (Getty)

I still wake up in the middle of the night saying “JIM CALDWELL IS AN NFL HEAD COACH” (Getty)

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RIP In Peace Ken Whisenhunt

I have an article already written about how hiring Jim Caldwell was an awful move by the Lions, and that he needs to be fired. But rather than post about a theoretical firing, I’ll post about a real one!

Ken Whisenhunt’s Titans coaching career died today at the age of 23 games. The Titans went 3-20 in that stretch, and only 1-20 in games that weren’t season openers. It’s not like the Titans are riddled with talent, but I think they should be able to win more than 13% of their games, especially in the worst division in football.

The cause of death is stubbornness, an overwhelming unwillingness to change anything about his approach, even in the face of crushing losses. Whisenhunt built up a reputation as a hardnosed, asshole coach who got results in Arizona. But then he lost Kurt Warner, and it turns out the only true part of his rep was that he was a hardnosed asshole. And hardnosed assholes are tough and resilient when their team wins. But when they lose?

Well, you’re just an asshole. And now you’re a jobless asshole.

"My hat is better so I'm right." (Getty images)

“My hat is better so I’m right.” (Getty images)

The Titans are survived by Mike Mularkey, who will probably have head coaching jobs like this until he dies because he’s good enough to run a decent offensive set, but not good enough to actually run a team. Their first opponent is the New Orleans Saints, who have a history of losing to opponents they should beat. That coupled with the resurgence of the Dolphins after hiring Philbin, and I’m predicting a 45-3 Titans win.

RIP In Peace, Ken Whisenhunt. You won’t be missed.

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Monday Morning Jerkface: Week Eight

“He died as he lived,” the priest said, in front of a congregation full of teary eyes.

“Amen!” one of the mourners uttered.

“Making pre-snap adjustments to have the halfback stay in to block and protect from the double A gap blitz and then hit the slot receiver on the bubble screen,” the priest finished, nodding solemnly.

This is Monday Morning Jerkface.

Ever feel like Peyton's arm might just get stuck like this and he has to be hauled off the field in this exact position?

Ever feel like Peyton’s arm might just get stuck like this and he has to be hauled off the field in this exact position?

Night of the Living Arm

Never in my experience watching football had a 6-0 team come under as much fire as the 2015 Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning’s arm was called a noodle, and football analyst have been training us to believe that there is only a matter of time before the defense can’t carry them any further.

But maybe there was another 6-0 team we should have been worried about. And in retrospect, it makes sense.

The only team with a winning record that the Packers had beaten coming into Sunday night’s showdown against Denver, was the Rams, and even that was a struggle at home. They were coming off of a game where they had surrendered over five hundred passing yards to the Chargers, Eddie Lacy has been unable to run the ball effectively, and none of the wide receivers have been able to get much separation down the field.

Aaron Rodgers is likely the best quarterback in the NFL, but Sunday night’s performance is a painful reminder for Packer fans that he is not a one man team. The Packers had to fight and claw for every inch. Three yard passing plays looked entirely too difficult, and relying on defensive penalties was their most surefire offensive formula. The loss of Jordy Nelson looms larger and larger, as none of the Packers current crop of wide receivers is a legitimate deep threat. The Broncos, on the other hand, cruised down the field with big chunks of yards nearly every single play.

To me it had been a foregone conclusion that the Patriots would end up with home field advantage in the AFC, but maybe not. Maybe the Broncos ability to rush the passer and blanket receivers will be the difference. And yeah, maybe Peyton Manning’s arm isn’t dead yet.

It’s Time to Stop Talking About Cowboys Football

After their blown fourth quarter lead against the Seahawks, the Dallas Cowboys are a game and a half out of first in their division, but so are the St. Louis Rams. Seen a lot of debate about the Rams on Sportscenter recently?

Now, don’t get me wrong…the Cowboys can still be discussed. But just not in a football context. Below are acceptable Dallas Cowboy talking points:

-Dez Bryant loves it when people almost get paralyzed

-Jerry Jones is an enabling piece of shit

-Has anyone ever defecated on the star?

So the next time you think about discussing the Cowboys’ playoff chances (non-existent) or if this team can run the table when Tony Romo comes back (they won’t) just…don’t. There are plenty of alternative Cowboy topics.

Like: what kind of screams would Greg Hardy make if he were on fire?

Random Jerkiness

-The Steelers lost to the Bengals, but the bigger blow is the loss of Le’Veon Bell for the year.

-The Giants and Saints combined for the third most points in NFL history, in a game where Brees and Manning combined to throw thirteen touchdown passes. Thirteen!

-I had a clever bit about how irrelevant the Texans win over the Titans was, but after taking a look at the standing they are now only a half game out of first. The AFC South isn’t uh…great.

-The Bears must be literally saying “Almost win on 3!” during the pregame pep talk huddle.

-Colin Kaepernick might need some help reading the defense.

-Steve Smith is done for the year, which means that the Baltimore Ravens will continue to trot out pass catchers with made up names. Crockett Gillmore? THAT’S NOT A REAL FUCKING NAME.

-Most of America was still in bed when the Lions were being destroyed by the Chiefs in London, and I think Detroit’s strategy should be to insist that it didn’t actually happen.

-The Raiders are happy to be 4-3, but if they could have managed to score more than 16 points against Denver and not blown the game in the final minute against Chicago this could be a team that is competing for first place

-Enjoy watching the announcers make excuses for Andrew Luck on Monday Night Football tonight!

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Monday Morning Jerkface: Week Seven

“Trick or treat!” the man says, dressed in full pads.

“And what are you supposed to be?”

“The linebacker you didn’t pick up in blitz protection!”

He lunges towards you, tackling you into your foyer. Some people would call the police. But you call an offensive line meeting.

This is Monday Morning Jerkface.



And then a Car Crashed Into the Dumpster Fire

If you drafted Andrew Luck in fantasy football this year, you had to be pretty excited to see him fall behind by three scores in the first half. For whatever reason, this is the only time he puts up numbers this season. Continue reading

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