Monday, December 18, 2006

Cold Water on the Jags Hire

The more I look at this Jags hire, the more concerned I get. Did a firm handshake, a Cheesehead hat, and a holy cross pendant really win him the job over the eminently more qualified Mark Whipple? God I hope not. But Jags' resume leaves me wondering. It is not the stuff of a hot young coach on the fast track, shall we say. Aside from the fact that he has never been a head coach at any level despite being a little long in the tooth (43 yrs old), the vast majority of his coaching career (18 of 21 years) has involved serving as a positional coach. Check it out:

1985 Wisconsin-Whitewater Running Backs
1986 Northern Illinois Offensive Line
1987-88 Louisiana State University Offensive Line
1989-91 East Carolina Tight Ends/Asst. Offensive Line
1992-96 East Carolina Offensive Line
1997-98 Boston College Off. Coordinator/Offensive Line
1999-2003 Green Bay Packers Tight Ends
2004 Atlanta Falcons Tight Ends
2005 Atlanta Falcons Offensive Line
2006 Green Bay Packers Offensive Coordinator

I find a few things alarming:

One, that he has spent two very long stretches treading water. The first was when he was an offensive line coach for 10 years, from 1986 to 1996, at the collegiate level. That's a pretty long time to go without a promotion. Then he ran into another rut when he was a tight ends coach for 6 years in the NFL, from 1999 to 2004. Not exactly a rising star in the Eric Mangini mold.

Two, it looks like he had at least a couple of curious career moves, which were probably not volitional. In 1996, he left LSU, where he had been offensive line coach, to preside over East Carolina's tight ends. Could it be that he just loved the Outer Banks so much he was willing to take a demotion and spurn the powerful SEC? I don't think so. Then in 2003, after sitting in the breakdown lane as a tight ends coach with the Packers for 5 years, he took a job with the Falcons in the same capacity. Why?

Three, his two OC jobs have not been particularly successful. His first stint was at BC in 1997 and 1998. Those were a couple of baaaad BC teams for those of you with short memories, each finishing 4-7. And his current post is no resume highlight either. The Packers are 6-8 in the very weak NFC. His offensive unit has been shut out twice, moreover, including the 35-0 shellacking the Patriots gave them last month for all of New England to see.

What does GDF see in this guy over Whipple? Amazing.

I'm just rocking back and forth right now mumbling "hope I'm wrong, hope I'm wrong..."

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