Archives for: 2008, week 33

08/23/08

NFL Coaches Who Must Produce in 2008

Permalink 08:07:42 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

As NFL teams inch closer opening day, a few head coaches will have to produce winning seasons if they want to remain with their teams. The revolving door has been standard of late for Miami, Dallas, Washington, Detroit, Minnesota, Arizona and Oakland. Heading into 2008, here are a few coaches who need winning seasons to save their jobs.

Andy Reid (Eagles)
From 1999-2004 Andy Reid's Philadelphia Eagles were one of the NFL's most talented and feared teams. Philly lost a close Super Bowl contest to New England (24-21) and things have not been the same since. Donavan McNabb's future in Philly has been called into question for years. Philly's lack of WR talent will stifle this offense unless Reid and his assistants can find a way to score points. Reid's off field distractions (family issues) had to take it's toll on maintaining focus on Eagles football. His teams have failed to qualify for playoff football in two of past three seasons. 2008 will be no different as all division foes (Dallas, New York, Washington) have dramatically improved increasing the odds of this team heading for a last place finish.

Marvin Lewis (Bengals)
Marvin Lewis was named Bengals head coach back in 2003. He took over a floundering team with tremendous upside potential. He quickly built a top rate offense leading Cincinnati to a 2005 playoff birth. The Bengals have had a few misfortunes due to signing hot headed selfish players. Chad Johnson's rants and public fueds with Lewis have kept Ohio sportswriters and bloggers on the offensive. CJ's a talented player who can't keep his feet out of his mouth. The Bengals resigned legally toubled Chris Henry to further detract from clubhouse chemisty. Players argue, front office brings in more head cases, injuries... Lewis has to show everyone he's in charge by taking control in a hurry. Something which many of us still question, who's in charge? This is a very talented group on both sides of the field. Tremendously incohesive as a "team" and will get beat often unless they can find a way to heel as a group. If not, Lewis will ge gone.

Herman Edwards (Chiefs)
Edwards has a talented football mind best suited as a coordinator, not head coach. His teams do not produce consistently from week to week and he's one of the NFL's worst clock managers. Kansas City is coming off an injury riddled 4-12 season in 2007 and will have a tough time winning games again in '08. This squad is a far cry from former Kansas City teams. Herm is odds on favorite to be first mid-season coaching casualty. KC needs to pick a different direction before the wheels fall off.

08/22/08

NFL '08 Gridiron Grunts Will Face Heavy Scrutiny

Permalink 03:13:55 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

NFL is gearing up for opening day kickoffs. NFL Champion New York Giants stunned an unbeaten New England Patriot team to close out '07. A new season offers new hope for fans, teams and players. Spotlights will be shining bright on a few controversial players from loudmouths to potential or former convicts.

Here are a few mini-stories to be followed:

Super Bowl Champion New York Giants survived a few team controversies in '07 all the way to winning the Lombardi trophy. New York had all spotlights prepped and ready to tackle the Giants every '08 move. Then, the Jets traded for Brett Favre creating a nice media distraction away from questions of repeating in '08 or injury concerns to most team wide receivers. Eli Manning's passing mechanics this pre-season has been his best ever. New York is attempting to become the NFC's first repeat Super Bowl Champions since the 1993-94 Dallas Cowboys.

New England Patriots - can they recover from a devastating Super Bowl defeat, QB Tom Brady's bad ankle, and residual effects from last years' Spygate scandal? This crew is still one of the most talented in the NFL and are favorites to challenge for AFC Championship honors. Can they do it without knowing defensive playcalling in advance?

Chad Johnson loves to trash talk his team. Here's a classic example of a premier player who's big mouth keeps getting him into trouble. He spewed venom at Cincinnati's ownership, coaches and players all off season. In CJ's first pre-season game a big hit jarred his delicate shoulder. Were his adversaries snickering? When Johnson gets back on the field he should just shut up and run plays as called. It's amazing Cincinnati didn't trade him. Perhaps no one wanted a club house distraction.

Chris Henry.. ok, spotlights will not necessarily be directed at Henry beyond league offices. Most probably, local Cincy sports reporters and talk radio will be blasting front office guru's who thought resigning this crazed player could possibly help team chemistry. Henry has a long rap sheet (arrest/suspension record) and will miss the first four games of 2008 while serving a league mandated suspension.

Adam "Pacman" Jones had an eventful offseason. This troubled kid has been under investigation stemming from a nightclub shooting in Las Vegas. Multiple NFL suspensions add color to his career highlights. Dallas' Jerry Jones went to great lengths to sign this guy. A headcase all the way. Dallas will have their hands full calming charismatic players.

Donavan McNabb has been center of attention for all the wrong reasons after laying an egg with time winding down during Philly's '05 Super Bowl three point loss. His teams and his health have not been the same. He's been on the media hotseat ever since arriving on the scene. If the Eagles front office brought in receivers who could hold onto the ball... then Philadelphia could have dominated the NFC East. McNabb is a victim of his surroundings. He'll be held accountable for every hiccup in '08. There will be plenty as his Eagles cannot compete with New York or Dallas. A likely last place finish could run Donovan out of town. Philly boo-birds will be loud.

Tom Brady is one of the NFL's All Time greatest QB's. A solid team leader of record setting Championship teams. His successes diverted attention from being the recipient of opponents defensive play calling in advance. It'll be interesting to see how well New England's new offense clicks without a cheatsheet?

Kyle Orton vs Rex Grossman Chicago Bears revolving door quarterback controversy continues. Rex seemed to be team QB #1 heading into camp until struggling. Orton was recently named opening day starter despite not having directed the Bears offense into the endzone this preseason until tonight vs SF. Times are tough when coaches try to pick the lesser or two evils. This battle will be front and center in Chicago for quite some time to come. If Orton can get passes to his talented receiving corps then good days will be had in Chicago. This squad is only one year removed from a Super Bowl loss.

Tony Romo is Dallas' brightest star. He was having a spectacular season until the ill-fated Jessica Simpson game. The Metroplex media had a field day with the superstar tandem as the Cowboys collapsed just in time for playoff football. Consecutive last minute playoff failures haunt Dallas. 2008 features a very deep team as the Cowboys positioned themselves to make a title run. They can only go as far as Romo takes them. Dallas media will be in hot pursuit of headlines coming from free talking players (Terrell Owens). Romo must keep them focused on football.

Buffalo Bills - will the City of Buffalo soon lose the Bills? Buffalo team ownership might be lured out of town into Toronto. The Rogers Centre was host to preseason game two and Buffalo takes on Miami in a regular season matchup north of the border December 7. Buffalo has had its' share of greatness over the years. They'll be best remembered for all those Super Bowl losses which is too bad for a franchise which dominated AFC play for years. Buffalo is a tough place to fill a stadium. Hopefully ownership figures out a way for keep the Bills in western New York. Seems as though the writing is on the wall for an eventual move across the border.

2008 has many other stories facing public examination heading into opening weekend. Coaches on the hot seat will be featured next.

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