January 3, 2013

Blog: NFL coaching changes often come too quickly

The Express-Star

— NFL's "Black Monday" came and went this week, and seven head coaches lost their jobs this season.

Chicago's Lovie Smith, Philadelphia's Andy Reid, Cleveland's Pat Shurmur, Kansas City's Romeo Crennel, Buffalo's Chan Gailey, Arizona's Ken Whisnehung, and San Diego's Norv Turner were all fired.

It's the way of the world in the NFL; coaches get only a short period of time to turn a program around before impatient management makes a change to re-energize teams and fans.

Crennel, for example, was fired from the Cleveland Browns after the 2008-09 season, and now has already been fired from his most recent job.

NFL coaches are expected to take terrible organizations with terrible histories and often terrible players, and expected to do the impossible.

And sometimes, coaches fall victim to circumstance. Take Smith, who's Chicago Bears won 10 games this season. The Bears would have been in the playoffs if Green Bay had beaten the Minnesota Vikings in week 17. Instead, Smith is unemployed and will likely end up having to take a coordinator position somewhere before getting another shot as a head coach.

We live in a society that demands fast results, and that is always looking for the next big thing. But sometimes, in sports, it takes some time for a coach to establish a program, and if he knows he only has two or three years to get the job done, he's often doomed before he gets started.

Oregon coach Chip Kelly should take notice of the trend, and think twice before leaving the Ducks for the Browns, or whatever team offers him a contract.