Thursday, February 08, 2007

Field Position Podcast Featuring Bill Chachkes, Zennie Abraham, Wil Mara, and Walter Anaruk

Bill Chachkes leads a round-robin discussion with Field Position’s Walter Anaruk, NFL Business Blog and Sports Business Simulations CEO Zennie Abraham, and noted author Wil Mara who’s most recent novel The Draft is on shelves now.

The group discusses the ever changing NFL coaching carousel and the hype surrounding the Super Bowl. They delve into why the issue of Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy’s and Bears Head Coach Marvin Lewis’ race is not only newsworthy but very relevant to our every day lives. Then they delve into the Super Bowl, breaking down player match-ups, offensive and defensive philosophies, and coaching styles.

You can hear this MP3 download with a click on this sentence.

Wade Phillips the new Dallas Cowboys Head Coach

I went all the Way to the Hometown newspaper of Wade Phillips-see my end notes

The Port Arthur News

It’s a little scary — no make that downright frightening — when Jerry Jones and I come to the same conclusion on a football coach. But I must give Jethro a standing ovation for having the good sense to go against the grain of conventional wisdom and hire Wade Phillips as Bill Parcells’ successor.

Wade is easily the best coach of the 10 Jones interviewed, and will be the Cowboys best coach since Jimmy Johnson. If it is possible to get Dallas back to the Super Bowl in what is less than an ideal situation, as far as the owner being too hands on, this son of a Bum will get it done.

Up front, I must admit that I am about as unbiased on Wade as I was on Jimmy. I’ve known him since Neil Morgan gave him his first head coaching job at Orange Stark High School, his wife, the former Laurie Nunez of Port Neches, was a bridesmaid when my wife and I got married and there’s nobody I respect more than his dad — Bum Phillips.

That said, I have absolutely no reservations in crawling out on a limb in print and saying the guy who quarterbacked Port Neches-Groves to a 7-2-1 record in 1964 was a great hire. I said the same thing when Jones hired Johnson to replace Tom Landry, didn’t waver after the Cowboys went 1-15 his first year and wound up looking like a genius.

Actually, there is that one reservation about Jones, but Wade has the ideal personality to deal with him. Like Bum, who skillfully dealt with a jerk of an owner in Houston named Bud Adams until a devil named Ladd Herzeg got his ear, Wade’s people skills and lack of overblown ego can make it work with Jethro.

What impresses me about Jones’ bold move is that Wade was not the popular hire. Or, as some of the clueless idiots on ESPN keep saying, “a sexy hire.” From Dallas Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin to Jimmy Johnson, to the Metroplex media, Jones was besieged with people around him lobbying for Norv Turner.

It certainly looked like the decision had already been made last week in Miami, when Jones and Turner kept being spotted together. The way everybody had it figured, Jones was going to interview Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera — the guy Norv wanted as his DC — after the Super Bowl, then make the announcement.

Jones, however, went against the grain, and he’s going to get skewered in a lot of circles for it. What most of the critics don’t understand, though, is that Jerry has long admired Wade, sought his opinion often over the years and was obviously sold after an eight-hour interview a couple of weeks ago.

Perhaps the only one not surprised at the decision was Bum Phillips. Every time I checked with Bum the last couple of weeks, he kept saying he had a good feeling Wade was going to get the job. I kept saying reminding him that all the evidence pointed to Norv Turner. But Bum didn’t waver.

Contacted Thursday morning, as he was enroute to the press conference at Valley Ranch, the 80-year-old father of the new Cowboy coach was ecstatic.

“I didn’t know anything in advance and Wade didn’t either,” he said. “But I just felt that Jerry Jones knows enough about football that he couldn’t spend eight hours with Wade and not realize this was an exceptional coach and the man he needed.

“I am so happy,” he continued. “This is great for Wade and it’s going to be great for the Cowboys. Wade’s a great coach. He’s a better coach than I ever was. Him not being able to hire all his own assistants is not the perfect situation, but he can make it work.”

That part of the terms of accepting the job was taking Jones’ choice, Jason Garrett, as offensive coordinator is going to cause considerable grief for Wade. The first person I spoke with in Dallas on Thursday, a guy whose football knowledge I hold in high regard, said he will be labeled as Jones’ puppet for going along with Garrett and other assistants Jones wants to retain.

If that’s the case , so be it. Wade’s no fool and he didn’t go into this with his eyes closed. He’s 60--years old, he’s totally confident in his abilities and he wanted one more shot at being an NFL head coach. Seeing as how he’d more or less been blackballed by Buffalo owner Ralph Wilson, there might not be another opportunity.

Really, what does he have to lose? Being head coach of the Dallas Cowboys is one of the glamor jobs in all of professional sports? As opposed to his last six coaching stops, where he walked into losing situations, the Cowboys are a playoff team that could be a Super Bowl team — especially in the NFC — with a few tweaks.

Ok: so we have beat this old Horse to death at this Point here on this Blog, at our sister Podcast, and all over the internet. several people wanted Ron Rivera, Norv Turner, Jim Caldwell, and a few sick indivuals even want
Anyone available from the Parcells tree(anyone sen Ray Handley lately?) This is the right choice for the Cowboys of now,..because no one is riding into Dallas on a white Horse like Jimmy Johnson did.....