Last night, a buddy and I were talking about this year’s Eagles team and season on the whole. He’s a huge Eagles fan and has been all his life despite growing up in Steelers country. So, he feels your pain.
Anyway, I said to him, "Listen, man, it’s time to just admit it. The Eagles stink. Donovan McNabb is back to throwing his skipping stone passes and Andy Reid stands on the sideline debating whether to throw the red challenge flag or eat it."
The blame doesn’t rest with McNabb. It also doesn’t rest with the personnel (Andy Reid is absolved of at least one sin). It’s the atrocious play calling. You might be saying to yourself right now, "But Andy Reid calls the plays." Well, yes and no. Marty Morningwheg is closely involved in the play calling as well which brings me to my point…
One, two people cannot be responsible for the calling of plays throughout the game. It never works. You know, a camel is a horse built by committee?
And, two, if I was to create a Mount Rushmore of horrendous professional coaches and call it Mount Suckmore it would include: Dave Wannstedt, Bill Callahan, Norv Turner, and the aforementioned Morningwheg.
Author's note: I had a really sick doctored photo of Mount Rushmore with the four coaches' headshots super-imposed, but since they're not collectively for commercial use I couldn't appropriately credit them. Suffice it to say, it was badass.
Dave Wannstedt didn't turn out to be the coach everyone thought he would be after his days as the defensive coordinator in Dallas during their championship run in the early-mid 90s. He was hired by the Bears in 1993 to replace someone you may have heard of named Mike Ditka. Over the next six years in Chicago, Wannstedt went 41-57 and only made one playoff appearance. After that he joined the Miami Dolphins as the defensive coordinator. In 2000, after Jimmy Johnson retired as the Dolphins coach, Wannstedt replaced him. The season the Dolphins made the playoffs only to monumentally collapse by getting destroyed by the Raiders 27-0 in the second round because his running back, Lamarr Smith, could barely walk after carrying 40 times in the previous week’s game. In 2001, the Dolphins made the playoffs again only to get dismantled by the Ravens 20-3. Even beyond that, folks in Philadelphia should love Wannstedt for the bonehead move of trading a second-round draft pick for A.J. Feeley. The mustachioed monster made so many epically bad decisions with trades involving draft picks that he set the Dolphins back at least three years. See: the Miami Dolphins’ 2005-2007 record of 16-32.
Read the rest of Mount Suckmore after the jump...
Bill don’t-call-me-Beau-Bridges Callahan coached the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and 2003. You might be fooled by the Super Bowl appearance Callahan made in 2002 in his first season as head coach, but don’t be. He inherited a team Jon Gruden left behind when he was unceremoniously released from his contract which allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign him. You’ll remember that in 2001, the Raiders were upended in the playoffs by the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the infamous tuck rule game. After his fluke performance in 2002, the real Bill Callahan stood up and led the Raiders to a 4-12 record, their worst since 1997. Things were so bad that players on his team accused him of sabotaging the season. Quoth Bill Callahan, "We’ve got to be the dumbest team in America in terms of playing the game." Yeah, it was his job to prepare them to play the game.
Norv Turner has only had five winning seasons throughout his 11 years as a head coach in the NFL. Last year, he took the Chargers to the AFC Championship game where they promptly lost to the undefeated Patriots. His overall record in 11 years is 73-93-1. You’ll recall that he inherited a phenomenal team from Marty Schottenheimer. You’ll also recall that Schottenheimer was run out of town by the Chargers brass in lieu of Turner. Just like Callahan, after inheriting a solid team from a previous coach and appearing passable, Turner returned to earth this season and his Chargers sit at 4-6 entering Sunday's game against Indianapolis. Norv Turner is infamous for many reasons, the least of which are his collapses in the playoffs and down the stretch in meaningful games which would potentially lead his team to the playoffs. He’s also the namesake of ESPN’s Bill Simmons’s "The Norm Turner Face" - you know, that dumbfounded look that falls over the faces of coaches/players who just can’t fathom what is going on in front of them at that point in time.
Marty Morningwheg is an absolute buffoon. Seriously, I want you to google "Marty Morningwheg" and try to find a positive thing about him. You won’t. As the head coach of the Detroit Lions in 2001 and 2002 Morningwheg compiled a pitiful 5-27 record while going an abysmal 0-16 on the road. That’s right; the Lions did not win a single game on the road in two years. You think this year’s Lions team is poor? Well, in 2002 under the tutelage of Morningwheg they started off an impressive 0-12. I’m serious about that being impressive. It’s almost undisputed that it is more difficult to run the table in reverse than it is to go undefeated. As Vince Vaughn said of Jennifer Anniston’s sister in The Break Up relative to her sleeping with the entire Arizona Cardinals offensive line - "it’s not she has problems, it’s she is the problem." Marty Morningwheg is the she of the Eagles.
So, if you want to revitalize the Philadelphia Eagles, the answer isn’t to fire Andy Reid, trade Donovan McNabb, or strip Andy Reid of his general managerial duties. The answer is plain to see. It was in Detroit in 2002 and it is in Philadelphia now.
Fire Marty Morningwheg.
Now onto this week’s picks.
I picked the Steelers last night at -11 and won. I’m 1-0 this week.
HOME TEAMS IN CAPS:
Boom. Outta here.
Last Week: 5-11 (gulp!)
Image Credit: Flickr user Jayel Aheram