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The Airing of Grievances
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
 
NFL Coaching System Needs Fixing
Just came across this NY Post piece where Giants players are verbally taking head coach Tom Coughlin to the woodshed. A few comments from unnamed players:

"Guys absolutely hate Tom Coughlin. He's not the type of coach we're going to go and put everything on the line for. Guys don't play for him; we play because we have to play and you're not going to win that way."

"Honestly, they might as well fire him now. The players on this team have quit on him. That's a very strong word, but mark it down: this team has quit on him and quit really caring and quit listening to what Tom Coughlin has to say."

"Most guys are just hoping that either they'll be gone or he'll be gone after this season. Guys just tune him out, ignore him and don't care what he says. They just want to play the season out and get it over with."
The article goes on to detail incidents of Coughlin mistreating players, and it's fairly interesting stuff, but that's really not what I'm concerned with. What I am concerned with is that white coach, after white coach, after white coach, not only gets their groove on before any bruthas are invited to the NFL head coaching party; and, more distressingly, that white coach, after white coach, after white coach gets invited back to the party despite well-established records of ineptitude.

Just take a look at some of the worst coaches in recent memory. Dennis Erickson? Recycled white coach. Dave Wannstedt? Recycled white coach. Bruce Coslett? Recycled white coach. Richie Kotite? Recycled white coach.

Then you have the plethora of white college coaches -- and yes, I do realize that's pretty much redundant -- who are consistently catapulted into the NFL and who consistently do an atrocious job. Steve Spurrier? College-to-pro bust. Butch Davis? College-to-pro bust. Lou Holtz? College-to-pro bust. Bobby Ross College-to-pretty much a pro bust. And I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting.

Yet somehow, while all these white coaches getting recycled or promoted, black coaches who have proven their worth as top notch assistants, or as quality head coaches, in the NFL receive no more love than sham affirmative action interviews under the Rooney rule.

I mean really, about 99% of aspiring black coaches can't even get a gig in Division I-A football and these white college guys are not only getting the gigs, but using them as a platform to multi-million salaries in the show.

Of course, there are certainly instances where a white college coach
comes to the pros and gets things done (see Johnson, Jimmy) and where a recycled white head coach transforms from trash to treasure (see Belicheck, Bill), but these are the exceptions rather than the norm.

In light of these consistent recycle and promote failures, it really is ridiculous that these jokers keep getting shot after shot when a guy like Marvin Lewis has to wait forever and a day to show what he's got, when a guy like Ted Cottrell is still waiting outside in the cold, when a guy like Denny Greene does not get a legitimate sniff until many years after he left behind an incredibly stellar record, when Art Sell barely hears a peep (and no, that sham interview in Miami, while the red carpet was rolled out for yet another white coolege-to-pro coach, does't count).

Yes, there is Lovie, Herm, Marvin, Tony, and Denny, but five coaches in thirty-two head coaching positions in league where 70% of the players are black is certainly not enough. Unfortunately, however, it seems that so long as the good 'ole boys network is in place, the recycled trashed and the promoted unprepareds, will keep getting invitations while the bruthas are left knocking on the door.
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