Tuesday, January 17, 2006

NFL Coaching Openings As of January 17, 2006

Listed above are all of the NFL teams with open coaching positions, who the previous coach was, and who was hired to replace that coach. (Update this to reflect the selection of Sean Peyton to coach the New Orleans Saints.)

If you look at this from a perspective of minority hiring, there has not been a net gain in the number of African American coaches. Herman Edwards, who's black, shifted teams marking the first time in NFL history that an African American man has went from one team to another without being fired first.

But the pattern of disturbing hires continues. The latest being Eric Mangini, who after only one year as a defensive coordinator -- one year -- is selected as the new head coach of the New York Jets. Meanwhile, Donnie Henderson, who's black and who interviewed for the Jets head position, may not be retained on the current staff.

This follows the Packers' shocking, disturbing, and alarming hire of the 49ers Offensive Coordinator Mike McCarthy, and Sean Peyton was just hired as the new head coach of the New Orleans Saints.

There are currently six head coaches and 31 assistant coaches who are black in the NFL. You can't tell me the teams can only find three African American assistants -- Tim Lewis of the NY Giants, Maurice Carthon of the Cleveland Browns and Donnie Henderson of the NY Jets -- to interview for head coaching positions? Look, if New York Jets Owner Woody Johnson can hire Mangini, with a paper-thin resume he can select Hue Jackson.

What really bothers me is the complete silence of the black football writers -- Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post and Michael Smith of ESPN, to name some of the most widely read scribes. They've not raised a voice in protest over this problem at all.

Heck of all the famous pens out there, only Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Mike Silver has actually tried to do something about this both by mentioning it in his writing and even lobbying our beloved Cal Berkeley to hire a black coach -- Marvin Lewis -- before he was rightly snapped up by the Cincinnati Bengals (Cal hired Jeff Tedford).

Oh, I forgot to mention that my friend Sil's Jewish, not black.

Michael Smith -- in a ridiculous puff job written for ESPN's website -- even went as far as to recommend Mangini for the Jets job. Way to stick it to the brothas, brotha.

It's too bad the Johnnie Cochran's of the world are passing on; they're leaving us with a world mostly populated with African Americans in postions where they can make a difference, but are afraid to make a difference.

Do SF 49ers Talks with Ex-Raider Coach Norv Turner signal the end of The Walsh Offense in SF?

According to many reports, San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Mike Nolan is negotiating to bring ex-Oakland Raiders Head Coach Norv Turner in as their new offensive coordinator to replace Mike McCarthy, who after one subpar year was hired by The Green Bay Packers as their new head coach.

Turner, long considered one of the league's brightest minds, is not known as an expert in the Bill Walsh system of timed passes, large steps, muliple formations, and team organization. Indeed, he's placed as an expert in a style of offensive passing popularized first by Sid Gillman, and then Oakland Raiders Head Coach and now Owner Al Davis before being improved by San Diego's coach Don Coryell during the 80s, and who's system set numerous passing records with Quarterback Dan Fouts as the target.

The reasons why Turner is being considered by the 49ers are someone strange.

First, when Turner was the head coach of the Washington Redskins, he hired Nolan as Defensive Coordinator, then was forced to let him go by Dan Snyder, the team's owner. Pro Football Weekly reports that there may be "some issues" with what would be a reversal in relationships, but it appears Turner is able to come into the 49ers fold without a problem. He certainly wouldn't have to uproot his family and leave the Bay Area.

In my view, the real problem exists for the Niners 2005 NFL First Round Draft Pick Alex Smith. After just one year of not only learning a new system and the speed of the NFL, he faces the very real prospect of having to learn a new offense all over again. There are over 10 different teams that use the Walsh Offense terminology, including the 49ers under McCarthy.

Turner's not familar with a lingo that really can take a simple play and make it sound more complex than it is. So if Turner comes in as the Niners new offensive caretaker, will the plays and nomenclature change?

I think Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Coach Hue Jackson
would have been a better choice for the Niners needs.

But that's not going to happen, so if Turner's able to come in and rip apart the playbok look out for another long year for Alex Smith.