Now that the season is over, Gregg Easterbrook can point out exactly what every single NFL team did wrong this year and why they in certain situations they used the wrong strategy. Of course, Gregg only knows what these teams should have done after the play on the field occurred. This week talks about NFL coaches being fired and how they deserve what they are getting. Gregg also discusses his annoying "Creep" theory, continues hyping up what he called "Arkansas football" which doesn't actually mean being ranked highly in preseason college football polls only to be a terrible team once the college football season starts, and consistently reminds us all that he seems to know very little about the sport he writes a weekly column about.
Off with their heads! The season has ended, and NFL coaches, assistants and general managers are being fired left and right.
To a certain extent this is poetic justice.
Why? Because these coaches at some point in their lives decided to take a better, higher-paying job like every other working human being would like to do?
If the football part of the franchise doesn't win, by definition the coaches and front-office types have done a poor job.
Or there could be extenuating circumstances like injuries that caused a team to not win as many games as expected. But since Gregg lives in a black and white world with no shades of gray involved, let's just say if a team doesn't win then it is only because the coaches and front-office types have done a poor job.
So if the team does badly, the buck should stop for coaches, assistants and general managers.
The situation is different in college football, at least in theory. For a
college football coach, victory is only one of several objectives.
No, the situation isn't really different college football. Yes, in theory it is different, but a head coach will nearly always be judged on whether he is winning games or not. It's fun and sweet to pretend otherwise.
One of the things wrong with NCAA football is that increasingly it is
treated, including by ESPN, like pro football -- as if all that mattered
was wins. But at least in theory, a college football coach can do a
good job even if his team loses.
Yes, I would agree this is one of the things wrong with college football. The problem is a football coach is hired to coach player and win football games. Just like the Dean of the College of Business may not be evaluated based on how college athletes perform in their business classes, the head coach of the football team is responsible for his players graduating, but he is hired to win football games. The Dean of the College of Business is responsible for college athletes showing up to class and getting good grades in some way, but he shouldn't be fired because college athletes aren't getting good grades in their business classes. He will be judged on the overall merits of how he performs in his job, much like how a college football coach is judged by how many games he wins.
An NFL coach whose team loses by definition has not done a good job. NFL coaches don't have any educational responsibilities.
College coaches have a responsibility to make sure athletes attend class and try their hardest to graduate and make good grades. I wouldn't say college coaches really have any "educational" responsibilities outside of their responsibility to make sure their players attend class.
On a practical basis, the owner can't fire the entire team. But he can
fire the head coach. It's a prompt, decisive action. Nearly all NFL
tickets are sold in the offseason.
It's NFL Ticket Creep!
Gregg has a way of saying really, really obvious things and trying to make them seem deep or non-obvious. It makes complete sense that most NFL tickets are sold in the offseason before the NFL games actually begin. That's the nature of PSL's and season tickets, they are sold before the games actually begin so there fans in the seats and the games don't get blacked out. After all, it wouldn't make sense for 40,000 tickets to go on sale a week before the first game of the season. That seems like it would be a clusterfuck of epic proportions.
They need that reason fast, for sales purposes. Firing the head coach creates hope for next year.
I know Gregg Easterbrook thinks that no one is as smart as he is, but NFL fans are sophisticated. Owners can create hope by firing the head coach, but fans can see when a franchise is spinning its wheels and the owner is just trying to churn head coaches and trick the fan base into having hope. Yes, a new head coach gives hope, but fans can see through some of this false hope if the franchise has a history of choosing bad coaches.
In the Jets' case, firing Tannenbaum may mean he will be blamed for
trading up to draft Mark Sanchez in 2009. That will allow Ryan to claim
he was just humoring the general manager by starting Sanchez. It may be
nonsense, but will create hope among ticket customers.
It really isn't nonsense though. Rex Ryan can only play the players that Tannenbaum drafts and provides for Ryan to play. So Tannenbaum should be to blame for trading up to draft Mark Sanchez because that was his decision to make and he made it. The Jets don't have a coaching problem, they have a personnel problem. There is a lack of talent at key positions on the roster and no matter how Gregg Easterbrook tries to ignorantly shift it around, that blame falls on Mike Tannenbaum. I don't think Gregg understands the responsibilities of a General Manager if he believes it is nonsense that Rex Ryan started Mark Sanchez to humor Tannenbaum. Sadly, Sanchez was probably the best quarterback on the Jets roster. Whose fault is that?
Which leads to an obvious question -- will firing the head coach do any good?
Depending on who a team hires as their next head coach then it may do some good. Gregg can't ask a general question like this and expect an easy answer to appear immediately. Like anything else in life, some changes are good, some changes are bad, and other changes don't make any difference.
Everybody wants Chip Kelly, who would seem ill-advised to leave his
dreamlike situation at Oregon for the backstabbing environment of the
Because we all know that college football boosters would never backstab Chip Kelly if Oregon's football team started losing more games than they "should" be losing.
Many teams want Bill O'Brien, who would seem a weasel if he walked out on his promises to Penn State after a single year.
Of course O'Brien has a longer history of coaching in the NFL than in college football, but that doesn't matter to Gregg. O'Brien is still a weasel if he leaves Penn State for an NFL head coaching job.
pro football teams invariably look to the ranks of current NFL
assistants, and end up with head coaches who have never been head
coaches before, making their potential hard to gauge. And who, a few
years later, will be blamed and fired.
You can't win with Gregg. He says NFL assistants' potential as NFL head coaches can be hard to gauge, which would make it seem more logical to hire someone with head coaching experience as a head coach. Yet, if a college head coach takes a job with an NFL team as their head coach then Gregg accuses that person of walking out on promises he made to the university. He admits it makes more sense to hire someone with head coaching experience as a head coach, but then calls someone a weasel for daring to move to the NFL from college football.
What else besides Manning is happening in Denver?
balance. Denver was the sole club to finish in the top five on both
offense and defense. If New Orleans had a defense this season, or
Pittsburgh had an offense, either would have been formidable. Denver had
an offense and a defense.
Again, Gregg says something obvious and tries to make it seem deep and non-obvious. The better NFL teams are the ones that have a good defense and a good offense? No way!
When Manning was surveying the NFL, wanted by almost every team, he
looked at blockers. The Broncos have one of the league's best in left
tackle Ryan Clady. They used their second-round picks of 2010 and 2011
on talented, hustling offensive linemen Zane Beadles and Orlando
But doesn't Gregg tell us that first and second round picks are lazy, money-grubbing assholes? Then how could Beadles and Franklin hustle like they do? Wouldn't the Broncos have been better off using undrafted free agents on their offensive line since these are the type of players who try hard and don't care about money?
So Seattle, which won the game with the botched call on the final play,
ultimately did not benefit. Green Bay lost a bye, and the bye is essential to reaching the Super Bowl.
Not necessarily Gregg. The Giants, Packers, and Cardinals have all reached the Super Bowl in the last five years without having a first round bye.
Chicago leading 26-24, the Bears faced third-and-3 at midfield with 3:28
remaining. Jay Cutler play-faked and dropped into the pocket; right
defensive end Lawrence Jackson abandoned contain, running way up the
field to try for a sack; the slow-footed Cutler saw no contain and
jogged for 19 yards, then slid inbounds to keep the clock moving. Soon
the Bears would be in victory formation. Detroit has had issues with
football IQ all season.
Gregg constantly bitches about defensive ends abandoning contain. He doesn't think when he writes though and believes a defensive end should try to contain the quarterback and not go for the sack. Why the hell would Lawrence Jackson try to keep contain on Jay Cutler, especially since Gregg admits Cutler is slow? The odds of Cutler scrambling out of the pocket for a first down is much lower than the odds of Jackson being able to sack Cutler. It's important to keep contain against good scrambling quarterbacks and Cutler isn't a good scrambling quarterback. This is one of those situations where Gregg has a point, but then tries to make this point constantly, which eventually ruins the relevance of his point. Defensive ends need to keep contain, but not necessarily worry too much about this as it pertains to Jay Cutler.
DeAngelo Williams carried 54 yards for an untouched touchdown, setting
in motion a Panthers comeback victory and a strong finish -- four wins
in the final five contests -- that gives Carolina ticket customers
reason to be optimistic about 2013. Sweet.
Under Gregg's theory that NFL teams fire their head coach to create hope for their fans, does this mean if Carolina fires Ron Rivera then they are giving Carolina ticket customers a reason to be optimistic? There is already optimism among Carolina fans according to Gregg, but would changing head coaches give more optimism or ruin the optimism? After all, Carolina ended the season well but Rivera was responsible for 1-2 losses this year with bad coaching and game-managing. In Gregg's opinion if Rivera is fired, is this false optimism or not?
The Times isn't crazy -- print edition subscriptions are good for its
advertising bases, as a reader who both receives the paper at home or
the office and also views it online is someone advertisers want to
reach. And the printed papers the subscriber doesn't want are not
actually thrown away, they are left in the office for anyone who wishes
to pick them up. Printed editions read by someone other than the
subscriber expand the impact of newspapers and magazines in a way
digital subscriptions do not.
Yes, the printed paper isn't thrown away EVER. A person takes the time to put the newspaper in the car with him/her rather than just doing the easy thing and throwing the newspaper away at home.
Minnesota leading 27-17, Green Bay faced third-and-4. The Packers lined
up trips right: Vikes nickel back Marcus Sherels was confused pre-snap
and made the "who do I cover?" gesture.
A little fact that Gregg leaves out is that Marcus Sherels is an undrafted free agent. If Gregg mentioned this then it would ruin the narrative he furthers that undrafted free agents are better than highly drafted players.
Aaron Rodgers noticed and went to a fly pattern to Jordy Nelson against
Sherels, who just let him run past for a 73-yard gain. Note to future
Packers opponents -- if you are confused about whom to cover, do not
make an obvious gesture to ensure Aaron Rodgers knows this.
Ok asshole, Sherels wasn't telling Rodgers he didn't know who to cover. He was doing the right thing and communicating to his teammates that he didn't know who to cover in order to allow them to help him out. He was doing the right thing to communicate to his teammates he was confused.
Minnesota would be a dangerous postseason team if it had a play-action
passing game. Considering how good Peterson is, play-fake passes ought
to be a gold mine for the Vikes. But Christian Ponder averages just 6
yards per pass attempt, worse than all other NFL starters save the
hapless Blaine Gabbert.
BREAKING: The Vikings would be a better team if they had a better quarterback. You can get such great football-related insight reading TMQ.
That RG III seems pretty good. But so is the Redskins' zone-read option
offense. When the Dolphins rolled out Wildcat plays five seasons ago,
initially this worked,
Not to be a homer, but Carolina rolled out the Wildcat with Dan Henning as the Offensive Coordinator of the Panthers before Henning rolled it out as the Offensive Coordinator of the Dolphins. DeAngelo Williams ran the Wildcat against the Falcons when Chris Weinke had to be the starter in place of an injured Jake Delhomme.
TMQ rails against mega-blitzing, and Washington won the NFC East partly by mega-blitzing the Cowboys.
Is this Gregg Easterbrook saying he was wrong? Probably not.
The Redskins' season is already a huge success compared to expectations, which may mean a letdown in the postseason.
What? I don't understand the logic behind this statement. Why would exceeding expectations in the regular season mean a letdown in the postseason?
In high school football, on Senior Night anyone who has never played is
supposed to get on the field for at least one down. High school head
coaches who don't follow this tradition should burn in hell for
Well okay then. At least Gregg isn't emotional about this issue.
If there really are millions of Earthlike worlds in this galaxy alone,
there may be many societies with intelligent life. There may be means of
faster-than-light travel, so far unknown to us. And in the one place we
know to host intelligent life, there has been both constant war and use
of technology to build ever-more-deadly weapons.
So why is it assumed that belligerent intelligent aliens are unlikely?
Sadly, it may be that other advanced beings are likely to be very
So the guy who questions the truth contained in science-fiction television shows thinks there are alien forms of life that are belligerent and dangerously fighting intergalactic wars that can be seen in space. Don't try to convince him to watch a television show that isn't 100% scientifically accurate though.
The Colts had been using high draft choices on offensive linemen, hoping
to protect Manning and prolong his career: that meant Luck stepped into
a situation with a stout pass-blocking unit.
I see Gregg is outright lying again. The Colts have one offensive lineman on their roster who they drafted in the first round. In fact, most of the linemen on the roster were drafted by another NFL team and one first round draft choice. So Gregg is lying when he says the Colts used high draft choices on offensive linemen and that is the situation Andrew Luck stepped into. I'm not shocked, but saddened and irritated, that Gregg doesn't do the research or care enough about his audience to not outright lie in TMQ. Gregg just made an absolutely false statement and neither ESPN or Gregg himself give enough of a shit to care whether this statement is true or not. It's an embarrassment to ESPN, but as we have seen every week, Gregg Easterbrook has no shame.
Improved medical care, the proliferation of hospital trauma centers and
more helicopter ambulances are among factors improving the odds that a
gunshot victim will live. Unlike on TV shows, where a bad guy who is
shot expires instantaneously, an adult gunshot victim may survive the
So television shows should show more people being shot and easily recovering from the gunshot? Doesn't Gregg complain constantly about television shows being unrealistic when a person gets shot repeatedly and then is healthy enough to move around or fight back against his assailant? It's like Gregg is incapable of any consistency in his bitching. He complains movies and television shows don't show the real nature of a gunshot wound and how a person can't quickly and easily recover, but then also complains television and movies show too many people dying after being shot.
Unlike some head coaches fired this week who've had shining moments
(Andy Reid, Lovie Smith), everything about Gailey at Buffalo was a
downer. So was everything about his predecessors, Dick Jauron, Mike
Mularkey and Gregg Williams. The Bills need a young, ambitious head
coach who wants to make his mark in the sport, not a time-server.
You mean like Mike Mularkey, who was 43 years old when he got the Bills head coaching job? How about Gregg Williams who was 44 years old when he got the Bills job? Or were they not ambitious enough? So Gregg is saying the Bills should hire a coach younger than 43 years old? Seriously, Gregg needs to do some fucking research before typing some of the things he does. The Bills have hired young, ambitious head coaches and they didn't work out for Buffalo.
When Les Mouflons traded the chance to choose RG III for the Skins'
first draft choices in 2012, 2013 and 2014, Rams management assumed the
Redskins would stay terrible, which would make the 2013 No. 1 among the
top selections in the draft. Instead the Skins finished the regular
season 10-6, dropping their first draft choice back into the pack.
I am sure the Rams are upset the Redskins pick isn't a lottery pick, but it is still a first round draft choice. So while the Rams are upset they passed up on Robert Griffin, they still have two first round draft choices this year, which no matter where this Redskins draft pick is located in the first round isn't something to be terribly upset about.
Next Week: Vegas books issue odds on which NFL coaches will be fired in 2013.
This is entirely possible to do based on which teams had coaches on the hot seat for underperformance after the 2012 season. More importantly, what are the odds Gregg gets fired for deceiving his audience? Probably not good. Of course ESPN seems to encourage this type of behavior.