Barstool Banter

Do NFL owners even know what they’re doing?

Wealthy folks who are not football lifers are in charge of hiring…football lifers.

From my anecdotal and secondhand experiences that are purely subjective, very wealthy people tend to be a little more detached from how society functions. Even moreso, when it comes to hiring front office or football coaches who bleed football 24/7, there seems to be some detachment. Sure some owners can’t get the hell out of their own way (Jerry Jones), and clearly got to where they are from doing things THEIR way, but there are enough front offices that have issues.

Issue 1: They aren’t “FOOTBALL” People

Take for example the Chicago Bears, who are looking to replace their GM and Head Coach. Again. Chairman George McCaskey will now be looking for his 4th coach and third GM in ten years, and the constant flux has created an arguable unstable environment. Last year, McCaskey was sold a bill of goods from the collaborative team of Pace/Nagy because they were allegedly so good at “collaboration”. (Apparently they can collaborate on where they are going to work next year.) The Owner/GM/Head Coach/QB needs to be a flawless chain of command. As we saw in Miami recently, when one of those chains are not linked up, a good coach who vastly improved the teams record can get axed by an owner who couldn’t find the where the center is on a playcard. Most importantly, an owner can definitely put their thumb down on their GM to dictate that choice. Speaking of GM’s….

Issue 2: What does a GM even do!?

Ryan Pace looking for someone to collaborate with…..

GM’s might be even more confusing to the mind of a business genius owner, because what exactly do they do? How do you know is qualified? Frankly, a majority of them have a scouting background, or are in charge of player personal. Only a small amount come from a financial or salary cap background, and in that case, having great scouts can help figure it out.

The NFL is still trying to dip its toe into the waters when it comes to outside the box hiring, or guys that have front office experience but maybe in a different sport. It’s kind of a Catch-22 because you want to have a FOOTBALL guy and clearly not Ted Philips, but then always having a FOOTBALL guy leads to tunnel vision, where owners keep doing the same thing over and over again.

Issue 3: Society wants Immediate results. Immediately!

The Bears got immediate results in 2018 thanks to an opportunistic defense with their two best players in Hicks and Mack still in their prime, and then dealt with the hangover from the offense that never materialized for three years as Nagy got exposed. Apparently owners have fallen prey to the speed of society, and they aren’t letting coaches marinate like they used to. A great example would be a coach like Marvin Lewis, who took over a decrepit Bengals squad and even with some low seasons with 4 wins in the in ’08 and ’10, the owner held on to him, and he helped deliver more in the ensuing decade. A current example would be a guy like Dan Campbell of the Lions, who if had a talent influx, seems like he could motivate better players, kneecap biting and all.

Cutting bait with coaches early works, and sometimes it’s obvious. Urban Meyer’s train wreck comes to mind (So does Rich Kotite) and so does Adam Gase, whose dumbass who got not ONE, but TWO Head Coaching gigs simply off of “coaching” Peyton Manning for one year. As an owner, you can’t hire and fire guys willy nilly and expect stability, unless you make the right hire. WEIRD RIGHT!? If they are a first time coach, or don’t have college experience, you have to give some sort of leash. Two years might be too short, but as we saw with Nagy, four is plenty. Hell, the Raiders made the playoffs, and their GM Mike Mayock got the axe after three years, but he also had awful drafts. So he had that going for him, which was nice.

The NFL got so sick of retread Head Coaches by the middle of the 2010’s, and even some guys getting a THIRD turn (JOHN FOX!), that the league collectively said, let’s find the freshest guys with barely any damn experience! Which leads us to…….

Issue 4: What’s the newest trend

Wait, that guy was just a position coach, and only had one year of running an offense, and now he’s a head coach? What in the hell? Oh, you may not have noticed three years ago, but apparently, if you stood next to Sean McVay at a mens room urinal, you automatically won a Head Coaching gig. It’s not that simple, but after his dominant 2017 season, owners and GM’s were chomping at the bit to find the next guy who hadn’t even had the chance to yell out “I’m a man, I’m 40!” at a press conference, because well, they weren’t 40 yet. Who is the next Sean McVay, they dared to ask!? 

They left out our guy Zac Taylor, and the guy on the right might be the next in line. (Mike McDaniel).

So the question is, are these guys good? In a way, yes, because their teams are all in the playoffs. Barring a little devils advocacy they all have good quarterbacks not named Jimmy G. The Bengals just drafted back to back Pro Bowlers in Burrow and Chase, so surely that’s surely helpful to Zac Taylor. The Packers have never been close to 6 losses or a top 10 pick in what seems like my entire life (okay, had to google this, they went 4-12 in 2005? When the hell did that happen!? Also won 6 in ’08, and in ’17. So sorry, under .500 4 times in the last 30 god damn years. Life is tough.) Also, one of the best QB’s alive is playing for Matt LaFleur. We’re still waiting to see how good these guys really are, but as long as owners are continually repeating the same mistakes, NFL teams and their fans will be punished unnecessarily for it.

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