Clue-less: A tale of five NFL coaches
November 6th, 2010 by Chris Humpherys
Nobody said being an NFL head coach was easy. This past Sunday, however, was a rough one for five gentlemen in particular, who continue to find fresh and exciting ways to lose football games. After a ghoulish Halloween Sunday, Mike Shanahan, Wade Phillips, Brad Childress, Josh McDaniels and Marvin Lewis, all appear one step closer to getting the axe.
Since they’re millionaires and we’re mired in a recession, let’s have some fun at their expense, shall we? Put on your best Sherlock cap for it’s time to play some Clue, sports fans. Let’s see if you can correctly solve the mystery of which coach will be the first to terminated.
Choice One: Professor Childress (with a lack of authority in the North Star State)
Ever since his Favreness first stepped foot in Minnesota, it’s been widely perceived that Brad Childress has no control or say over this team whatsoever. Favre runs the offense, Favre calls the plays, Favre determines whether he starts or whether he doesn’t.
Leading up to Sunday’s loss to New England, Childress answered question after never-ending question about whether his injured quarterback would start. And you thought YOU were tired of Brett Favre. During the game, Favre got carted off the field with a busted up chin and the once-promising Vikings lost their fifth contest of the season.
As if Favre’s ego, chin, ankle and other body parts weren’t enough of a distraction, Childress’ recently-acquired and amazingly-disgruntled wide receiver, Randy Moss, told reporters he wouldn’t answer any more questions for the rest of the season. He was waived almost instantaneously.
The Vikings are a soap opera spiraling out of control and most feel it’s only a matter of time before Coach Childress is sent packing.
I wonder if Brett Favre will give him a ride to the airport.
Choice Two: Mr. Shanahan (with benching capabilities in the nation’s capitol)
The Redskins made a huge splash this off-season by landing Donovan McNabb and of course their new head coach Mike Shanahan. As if dealing with the dietary habits and lack of motivation of one Albert Haynesworth wasn’t trying enough, down six points to the Detroit Lions, Coach Shanahan benched McNabb, thinking his back-up, Rex Grossman, gave them a better chance to win. All of DC is still collectively scratching their heads over that move.
Shanahan continues to take heat for not only sitting McNabb, but for flip-flopping on his explanation for doing so. We’ll see if pulling Donovan out from behind center created a rift in his locker room. If so, the ‘Skins might just be in trouble from here on out… and so might Shanahan.
Choice Three: Mr. Lewis (with immeasurable dysfunction in the ‘Nati)
The Cincinnati Bengals are a tough team to figure out. They signed Terrell Owens in the off-season, have a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback who has yet to win a playoff game and a another wide receiver who legally changed his name to a number. The Bengals lead the NFL in the unenviable statistic of most reality TV shows per roster spot.
The Bengals are the very definition of dysfunctional. Their last five seasons, they’ve finished 11-5, 8-8, 7-9, 4-11 and 10-6. Marvin Lewis has been at the helm for all of this. This year, they’re 2-5 and a team that had Super Bowl aspirations at the beginning of the season will likely once again miss the playoffs.
On second thought, maybe the Bengals aren’t that difficult to figure out after all.
Choice Four: Mr. McDaniels (with no ground game in Mile High)
After winning his first six games as Denver’s head coach, it’s safe to say Josh McDaniels’ honeymoon is officially over. After the hot start, he missed last year’s playoffs and has since gone 4-14. Not even Tim Tebow can save him now.
The Denver Broncos sit at the bottom of the NFC West and have lost four straight games, including allowing a record 59 points to the Oakland Raiders. That’s not a good way to win brownie points with ownership.
A team that could traditionally start a cadaver at running back and have them amass 100 yards on the ground has yet to have a 100-yard rusher on the season.
Fortunately for Coach McDaniels, the Broncos have a bye this Sunday, so losing five straight will be put on hold. But how long will Bronco fans have to wait before someone else takes the reins.
Choice Five: Mr. Phillips (with underachievement in Big D)
And then there’s good old Wade. You know how certain people just have that deer-in-the-headlights look? Meet Wade Phillips, the man who’s job security comes into question on a weekly basis.
Imagine picking up a local newspaper and seeing every single article call for your dismissal. Imagine running one of the proudest sports franchises into the ground.
Imagine year after year, living in the shadow of your father, or your predecessors. Imagine having to face a very disappointed Jerry Jones every Sunday evening. Then imagine admitting to everyone listening that you don’t have the answers. Welcome to the life of Wade.
Does anyone else hear the clock ticking?