The next Texas football coach will experience success, but will he experience more success than Mack Brown? I wouldn’t guarantee that happening. And in case you’re wondering what criteria we should use, try the following. Here’s the job announcement athletic director Steve Patterson should post:
WANTED: Head football coach/CEO.
SALARY: Negotiable, but don’t worry; we’ll overpay.
Win a minimum of two national championships.
Average more than 9.9 wins per season.
Appear in a minimum of three national championship games.
Appear in a minimum of five major bowls and win at least four of those five.
Win a minimum of three Big 12 titles.
Register at least 10 consecutive 10-win seasons.
The bar is pretty high, but reachable with the right guy. But reaching the bar and raising it even higher are two different things altogether.
“He’s undefeated, I know already. He hasn’t lost a game at Texas,” Brown said Sunday in his farewell press conference. “The most successful run I had was the time I took the job 16 years ago till the first game. After that, it gets tougher because you had to coach.” Here’s betting that Patterson and UT President Bill Powers come up with a nice splash hire. But will the new guy do for Texas post-Mack what Mack did for Texas post-Mackovic? If I had to call it right now, I would say no.
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Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett granted petulant wideout Dez Bryant a pass for leaving the field with 1 minute, 21 seconds left in the game as Green Bay prepared to go to the victory formation.
“I understand why (he left the field) to a certain extent,” Garrett told The Fan, a Dallas radio station. “They’re kneeling the ball; the game essentially is over. He’s an emotional guy … but he needs to stay on the field. He’s one of the great team guys I’ve ever been around. He has a great passion for winning, but you have to understand how to handle yourself in those kinds of situations.” That’s funny coming from the same coach who threw quarterback Tony Romo under the bus for checking out of a run play on one of his two fourth-quarter interceptions.
Bryant tweeted that he left the field because he was emotional. Well, his mentor Michael Irvin was just as competitive and just as driven and didn’t leave the field after the San Francisco 49ers crushed his team’s hopes for an unprecedented third straight Super Bowl in the 1995 NFC championship game. As the seconds ticked down on the loss, Irvin stood on the sideline with his teammates, tears streaming down his face.
Bryant is still a very young player who is growing up before our very eyes, but these little snapshots of immaturity continue to pop up during adverse times. He’s going to have to understand that character doesn’t reveal itself in winning moments, but during the tough times.
Don’t you miss the good old days, when NFL teams actually played defense and tacklers were actually allowed to blow up guys with the ball? In the league’s attempts to make the game more fan-friendly and safer for its offensive stars, defenses have been forced to take a back seat. As a result, the scores are up, the personal fouls are being called at an alarming rate, and the art of tackling has been blurred to the point of unrecognizable status.
Defense is quickly becoming an endangered species. On Sunday, five teams — Dallas, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Tennessee, and Oakland — scored 30 points and lost, the first time that’s ever happened on an NFL weekend.
And to think, there was a time when people laughed at the Houston Oilers for daring to use a “gimmick” offense like the run and shoot.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was fraudulent for benching Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season and playing the health card as the reason. It was a performance-based demotion, and Shanahan, who is obviously in a battle of wills with his soon-to-be-ex-boss Daniel Snyder, would have scored more points in the locker room and with the fan base had he just admitted that Griffin was benched because he wasn’t playing nearly as well as he did his rookie year.
Every coach has the right to make personnel decisions with stars who aren’t playing well. But own it when it happens. Don’t try to pass off arsenic as pumpkin pie.
Some of you have asked why I persist in calling the NFC East the NFC L-East. The numbers do not lie. Eight of the past 15 weeks have had two East Division rivals playing each other. In the other seven weeks, the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles and Redskins are 8-19, with Week 9 (3-0, the Giants on a bye) serving as the only week in which the division finished above .500.