Monday, May 18, 2009

7 comments MMQB Review: The Colts Lose Their Coaching Staff and It Is Not A Big Deal, But It Is A Big Deal

I love Mondays for the simple fact I get the privilege/horror of covering Peter King's MMQB. This week he ignores his usual East Coast teams and goes a little West to cover his western-most favorite football team, the Indianapolis Colts. Considering the Colts actually used to be in Baltimore and they have a white quarterback we can see why Peter considers them one of his favorite teams. He loves the Colts.

This week he wants you to know despite the fact they have lost their defensive coordinator, head coach, offensive coordinator, and offensive line coach, they are going to be absolutely fine. I know what you are thinking..."but Bengoodfella these are people that we have heard announcers wax poetic about their ability to run the Colts offense (except the DC of course, who ran the defense) and have provided stability for the team over the past 11 years, how could this not affect the Colts? How can these same people be crucial to the success of the team one minute, but when they are absent the team is not going miss them at all?"

My answer? I have no freaking clue. It does seem a bit contradictory how Tom Moore could get such great credit for running the Colts offense and Mudd got a lot of credit for the play of the offensive line, yet when they leave the team doesn't feel any negative effects. Let's see what Peter has to say.

But in a football sense, the big news last week had to be the divorce between the Indianapolis Colts and two of the best assistant coaches of this era, offensive coordinator Tom Moore and offensive line coach Howard Mudd.

This was huge news. I can remember SportsCenter leading with this story and myself looking at the television breathless for the next development. Ok fine, I barely would have heard about this story if I did not read PFT. I don't know why it is such a big story in Peter's world, but he feels the need to write about it this week.

I still don't get why they are so good as assistant coaches, yet their no longer being with the team should not slow the team down. Also, if this should not affect the Colts at all, why is it such a big story? I don't recall Peter writing 1 page about the Seahawks change from Jim Mora to Mike Holmgren as head coach during this offseason because the transition was supposed to be smooth. Basically, if this is not a big deal, don't lead your weekly column off with it.

In today's football, imagine your quarterback, offensive coordinator and offensive line coach being the same for 11 years. Those three men, I believe, are the keystones to any offense in the NFL. The quarterback, obviously. The offensive coordinator because he has to work as one with the quarterback and has to be the one who designs and implements what teams are doing on offense every week. The line coach because he's the one designing schemes to keep the quarterback clean -- and, in the case of Mudd, because he and Peyton had such a Yin and Yang relationship

See? Nothing to see here. Go about your business everyone. Peter wants to make a big deal out of these departures, but wants you to know this is not a big deal.

The new offensive coordinator, Clyde Christensen, has been the receivers coach for seven years; he'll formulate the gameplan in concert with former quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell, now the head coach, who has also been on staff for seven years. The new offensive line coach, former Bills tight end Pete Metzelaars, has been on staff for five years, working under Mudd as his apprentice. The successor-in-waiting for Mudd, Metzelaars coached the unit on the field during practice for three weeks in 2008 while Mudd was mostly in the office recovering from a knee replacement.

These best assistant coaches of all time? Apparently they are easily replaceable.

I am also excited to see the ex-head coach of Wake Forest University from 1993-2000 who carried a 26-63 record at the school is now coaching one of the most powerful offenses in the NFL. He seems qualified for the job. Maybe since a bunch of college coaches come to the NFL and fail, a failure as a college coach can come to the NFL and succeed!

I am not burying the Colts, but you have to be blind to see all these red flags for them this year.

This isn't to diminish the losses of Moore and Mudd.

With the title of the piece, "Tom Moore, Howard Mudd leaving won't slow down Indianapolis Colts" and saying there are coaches that can replace them currently on the coaching staff, you have just diminished the losses.

It's big deal dammit, but not really a big deal.

"I think these are two of the greatest assistant coaches of their time,'' said Polian. "But when you watch us this year, from a recognition standpoint, you won't be able to tell the difference. The idea of a succession plan has been in place for some time.''

Greatest of all time, but they also had plans to replace them a few years ago. I wonder if Bill Polian would actually ever say he thought the Colts were fucked? I really doubt it, but you can still believe everything he says, at least according to Peter King. Polian nor King would ever deceive the public I am sure.

"This,'' Indy GM Bill Polian told me over the weekend, "is about 1 percent related to changes in the pension system.''

After this, Peter King wrote about 7 straight paragraphs about the pension plan and how Mudd and Moore could have gotten screwed out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by coaching one more year or something to that affect. Pension plans are very boring and I am not going to discuss them here.

My point is this. If 1% of the reason they left is the pension plan and Peter wrote 7 paragraphs about it, WHAT THE FUCK WAS THE OTHER 99% OF THE REASON THEY LEFT? We will never find out because Peter doesn't tell us. We get nothing. Was it because of in-fighting in the organization, Mudd got caught with Manning's wife in a compromising position, or various other reasons?

Why write an entire one page column about the departure of two experienced and valued assistant coaches, call it no big deal, and then give us only 1% of the reason they left the team to retire? Peter King has to be the worst NFL Insider in the world. The worst. Ever. I want to know why these coaches left the team. Was it because they knew Jim Caldwell was incompetent, didn't like the way Ron Meeks left the team, or because they thought they should have been head coach? These are the type of things you should include in an article about these coaches leaving. It's really, really informative and important to the article as a whole.

If you think this is not going to be my question of the week to Peter, you are wrong.

Here's what I really think happened and this is pure speculation. I think there was in-fighting among the coaching staff due to Dungy's retirement and this pension thing gave Mudd and Moore an out so they took it. Polian pretty much admits something was going on by calling the pension plan 1% of the reason they left. I bet Peter King also knows EXACTLY why they really left but because he wants to keep his sources and friends he won't tell us. He gives us no information, except they are such great coaches they have already been replaced. I want to know why these guys left and I think Peter knows but won't tell us because he is a little girl-man.

Quote of the Week II

"With all the support from everyone, we will get through this. He will walk again.''--Michelle Behm, the wife of fallen Dallas scout Rich Behm, who was paralyzed when the Dallas Cowboys practice bubble collapsed 16 days ago.

Michelle Behm recently lost her mother. And she just had the couple's third child seven weeks ago. Talk about a challenging time for a family.

Sounds to me like the type of family that could use a benefit held by many NFL players and coaches to help them pay for some medical bills. Right Peter?

I'm like you: I like the Dolphins getting Jason Taylor for one more year at a very reasonable price -- $1.1 million in real money, with $400,000 in incentives.

What do you know? Something else Peter King was incredibly wrong about. From his MMQB two weeks ago.

8. I think Jason Taylor will be a Patriot, unless Miami steps up to offer some real money.

What good is he as an NFL guy? Really. If someone doesn't outright tell Peter what is going on or what will happen, he tends to get it all very wrong. Not only did New England not get Taylor, and Miami did not even offer real money, but they got Taylor cheap. I don't want to insult Peter and the way he does his job, but I really question sometimes what he really knows or is able to find out about the NFL.

Then Peter waxes poetic about what a great signing it was for the Dolphins. Well no shit, they got him really cheap. I just want to know why Peter didn't find out Taylor would choose his family over the money. Maybe I am confused about what he does for a living, but I thought Peter interviewed NFL players, personnel, and coaches to get information and then disseminated that information to the public. Sometimes when he may not have complete information, he takes guesses, but they should be informed guesses based on the information he has received. This is a guy who thinks he can do reviews on restaurants food, coffee, and movies, yet he can't seem to nail anything in his day-to-day job correctly. I don't get it. He has the access. (I am still miffed we can't find out the other 99% reason Mudd and Moore left Indy)

Things like this press release come across my desktop quite often, maybe 50-75 times a year. "PeyBack Foundation awards more than $500,000 in grants to 104 community agencies.'' It was an item about Peyton Manning's annual distribution of money to needy groups in Indianapolis, Tennessee and New Orleans, the three places he's lived and been schooled and worked in his life.

I never knew Peyton Manning did any community service or anything of the like. Why hasn't there been a United Way commercial about this yet?

What was different about this one was the magnitude of it.

Meaning Peyton Manning was involved.

I want to make it clear that Manning is not the only player who does good charitable works, and if the press release came from the charities of Jason Taylor or Brian Dawkins or Drew Brees or Derrick Brooks, I'd have taken a look at it and maybe made a note of it, or maybe not.

I like how Peter admits if the press release came from someone else he may pay attention to it or he may ignore it completely. At least he is honest about this.

I don't want to be too much of an ass and sarcastic about Peyton Manning giving back, it's a good thing. I just found it interesting the same week Peter chose Manning's foundation to highlight, we all know he does a lot of good things and don't necessarily need reminding, he gave us no information about why the two irreplaceably replaceable assistants that helped Manning tremendously left the Colts. These two events means nothing to each other, but are interesting to me.

And speaking of good things, how about Michael Irvin raising $140,000 -- including $40,000 of his own money -- for the family of paralyzed Dallas scout Rich Behm the other night?

For nearly two months now Peter has been begging other individuals to donate money to purchase football related items that can help Dr. Z (his friend and co-worker) get expensive therapy for his strokes. Granted, we don't know how much money he has put up, but every week he has talked about how everyone needs to give up money for it, and then Michael Irvin puts $40,000 of his own money up for a Dallas scout he probably never worked with to help him and his family out. Again, not to sound like an ass, but while Peter King is planning on entertaining everyone by eating lunch with someone who bids enough to do this, Michael Irvin is actually doing something firsthand for Behm's family.

Dr. Z/Nothing Is Impossible Event Update

It's tonight, which means I will not write about it again! Everyone cheer silently to yourselves.

I really hope Dr. Z doesn't come back to write senile columns like Furman Bisher does.

2. I think there is no good reason why Michael Vick, who's scheduled to be released to a halfway house in Virginia this week, should not be reinstated to play in the NFL this fall. None.

I have a very important question about this whole Mike Vick situation. I love animals, probably more than I love humans, and I would like to shock Mike Vick for 20 seconds when he throws an incompletion like he did to those dogs. I really, really hate Mike Vick and have for a while now. I find what he did to those dogs to be despicable. Here's my question though:

How the hell did Leonard Little get only an 8 game suspension for killing a woman while driving drunk at twice the legal limit? He also only got four years probation for killing a woman while driving drunk? Yet Mike Vick has been in jail for 18 months and people seem to think he will not be able to play this year, in essence serving a one year suspension after getting out of jail. How in any world are these punishments fair? One guy kills a lady, shows zero remorse by fucking driving drunk AGAIN (which means he got caught again, which means he probably drove drunk prior to that and did not get caught) and another guy does his time for killing animals, yet the NFL is probably not going to allow him to play this year. I am not arguing with Vick's punishment, I am saying it is a much greater punishment compared to killing another human being for a lesser offense in my mind.

Yes, I would like to see Leonard Little in jail and have nothing but bad feelings for him. 8 games for killing someone...

I'd suspend him for the first four games of the 2009 season for lying on at least three occasions to his employer (Arthur Blank and other club executives) and Goodell about his involvement in dog-fighting. His serial lying and coverups should not be forgotten.

Serial lying, that does deserve 4 games. Forget the whole "killing animals thing," it is the lying that really takes the cake for Peter. Of course, as Gregg Doyel would say, he lied because some idiot would believe him.

I shed tears for the game because of this stupid decision, whenever it happens. I wish you could go into an NFL locker room in December and see how beat up the average team is.

I actually completely agree, I think it is stupid. Peter doesn't wish we could all go in an NFL locker room though. There are some talented writers in this world who would take this cushy ass job Peter has away from him.

7. I think this is one last thought about a 17- or an 18-game schedule: What about the stats? Do you realize in an 18-game slate a running back would have to average 55.6 yards a game to gain 1,000 rushing yards? What a milestone! Wow! A thousand yards! In an 18-game season, a starting back should get cut for gaining ONLY 1,000 yards.

Yes, that 6.9 yard difference will make an absolute mockery of the game. That is the difference in yardage required per game for a 1,000 yard season in a 16 game schedule and an 18 game schedule. That's what, two more carries? This is Peter's big concern? I have to say 55.6 yards is not a lot of yardage per game to get to 1,000 but 62.5 isn't exactly blazing to break the NFL record either.

a. David Ortiz had to have made a deal with the devil in 2004. Give me two World Series titles and then you can have your way with me. You can embarrass me and turn me into the worst hitter since Rafael Belliard.

You mean that was a reference to this guy who was the worst hitter in the world and took time away from this guy? For defensive purposes of course. Who needs fucking offense? I will say it again, and I don't want to piss any Braves fan off, I could have won a World Series managing the 90's Braves teams. Bobby Cox is a great manager of people, but as an in-game manager in the playoffs, he is not as strong in my opinion.

Fortunately no one has to worry about him managing in the playoffs anymore.

b. I'll be at Fenway on Tuesday night. Plan to give Ortiz a standing O in his first at-bat.

I doubt Peter will be doing that. First at-bat? The one in the 1st/2nd inning? How he is going to stand up and clap with nachos, a soft pretzel, a bratwurst, and peanuts in his hand? Also someone had better tell Peter very quickly that Fenway Park doesn't have any type of coffee flavored drinks or else he is going to demand they set up an expresso machine. I have a feeling Fenway is going to get a bad coffee-related review.

"How do you expect fans to enjoy a game without a latte? Add in the fact there was not a pillow in my seat, I just find it hard to enjoy a baseball game in this environment. I will email Theo Epstein about this problem."

g. Can't believe Pam's pregnant. What a way to end The Office season. At least it's more believable than Pam the volleyball star.

(Cueing sarcasm) Yes, it is more realistic that a fictional woman character would be pregnant as compared to that same character being a great volleyball player. Everyone knows women can't play volleyball.

With the character being fictional it doesn't matter, but what I don't get is why it is not realistic for a completely fictional character to not be a good volleyball player. It's a fictional character. Isn't Peter the same guy who updated us on his children's athletic exploits like we were to believe those? What about Peter King screams "my offspring are going to be athletes?"

I am going to go get my question for Peter together about the 99% reason Tom Moore and Howard Mudd left the Colts.


The Casey said...

My thing is that Moore is 70 years old and Mudd is 67. Of course a good organization would have at least given thought to what's going to happen when those two guys are not around. If it weren't retirement, it could easily be health issues. I don't have any idea how it will all play out. I can see it going either way.

Also, I certainly wouldn't risk a million+ dollars for what is likely only going to be a couple more years of work anyway.

I personally think the main difference between Little's punishment and Vick's is that Little's crime (his first one, with the vehicular homocide) was in 1998, while Vick's was in 2007. I think the Internet & the growing nature of 24/7 coverage makes the spotlight shine brighter.

Rob said...

Ben - thought you might have caught on to this one.. but I had to chuckle and re-read it again.... but when King said "His serial lying and coverups should not be forgotten" - and that suspensions should result because of this? Ummm.. would that mean his butt-love crush Brett Favre should get suspended for 4 years given all of his 'serial lying'? C'mon Peter.. call a spade a spade.... Your write-ups of his MMQB are one of my highlights of the web at work on Mondays.... !

KentAllard said...

So going from 16 to 18 games a year will make records meaningless? It's a shame, since PK apparently believes it didn't happen when the league went from 10 to 12, 12 to 14, or 14 to 16. When he's crowing that manning or Brady or someone is breaking a season record set in the 70s, he usually doesn't mention the two extra games.

Bengoodfella said...

When two coaches are that age, you of course have to consider them as risks to retire. I don't really know how much it will affect the Colts with them gone. I am not worried about Peyton Manning as much as I am the rest of the offense. Manning is like a coach on the field but I am going to be interested to see how this plays out as well. I just want the real reason if the pension is not it...of course counting on PK to deliver it is not very smart.

I heard Mudd and Moore did not completely get a long with Jim Caldwell and that is the reason, but it may just be a rumor. I wanted to know more about this situation though. I was shocked at the non-chalant attitude Peter had about this turn of events though. He thought it was a big enough deal to talk about it as the lead item, but doesn't think it will change anything. I guess we will see.

You are right in the differences in punishment for those two is the coverage and the Internet, as well as Goodell is a hardass commissioner while Paul Tags was not so much that way. I don't know how I would feel if Little played for the Panthers. Since I bring up Little once a month, you can tell I am not a fan.

Rob, I should fire myself for missing that one. I had a chance to point out Peter King's contradictions and call Brett Favre a liar and missed it.

Under Peter's rules, Brett Favre would get 8 games for the two times he has retired and 4 games for the fiasco with the Packers last summer and that may be very lenient. I think I may email this question to Peter King as well. It's a great one. Thanks for the compliment, Mondays are probably my favorite day as well because I know there is a MMQB waiting for me.

Bengoodfella said...

Kent, it's funny that those records that have been set since the league expanded at any point aren't mentioned at all by Peter. I actually don't agree with the idea of expanding to 18 games, I have the same fears of injury will occur, but I guess we will see. I think he will only mention the increased number of games and it's impact on records when it is convenient.

To base your reasoning on the fact now players will have a better chance of breaking records is kind of dumb though. Anytime you increase the amount of games played records are going to be easier to achieve generally.

I sent Peter two question, the first one about Brett Favre lying (in no way will it get published) and about the other 99% of the reasoning Moore and Mudd left Indy. I tried to tone it down to get answered. It will not happen but that is fine.

KentAllard said...

The NFL has never seemed to care how lengthening the season affects season records. When baseball went from 154 to 162 games in the early 60s, there were bitter fights over how easy it would be to break old records (Maris notwithstanding, it really wasn't. That had to wait for the juice). I don't recall ever reading about similar arguments for football, even though going from 12 to 16 games in a fairly short period of time is a lot bigger change.

Bengoodfella said...

Going from 14 games to 16 games was a big change as well. That's like MLB going from 154 to 176 games in the 60's and the NBA upping their schedule to 93 games. I am sure the concern over records is a part of the decision but only until they figure out how much more money they can make with more games. I actually agree with Peter and have a concern about injuries. I kind of wish the NFL would keep it like it is.

In MLB, the records are not as easily broken because the increase was not that great, but the NFL is increasing the number of games by over 10%. I guess we will see.