Thursday, July 23, 2015

kickoff 2015: coaches power poll part uno ...

“It may seem to you,
That I’m acting confused,
When you’re close to me.

If I tend to look dazed?
I read it someplace –
I’ve got cause to be.

There’s a name for it.
There’s a phrase that fits.
But whatever the reason?
You do it for me!

Oh Oh!  What’s love,
Got to do, got to do with it?
What’s love,
But a second hand emotion?

What’s love, got to do,
Got to do with it?
Who needs a heart,
When a heart can be broken …”


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So if yesterday was about the State of the Blog, and “The End Game” potentially being invoked, then today should be about getting things into focus for the potential final stretch run on this site.

It’s time to truly kick off the upcoming NFL season … by hauling out the post that tends to kick off every season on this site.  It’s a tradition that began fifteen years ago on a couch in central Shawnee.  It’s a tradition that has continued every year since – originally by email, then by Site Numero Uno, and now Site Numero Dos.

Yes, peoples and peepettes – it’s time for the Stevo’s Site Numero Dos 2015 NFL Coaches Power Poll!  Please – try to contain your excitement.

Let’s review a few quick guidelines for this post, and then get to this year’s rankings, deal?  (Done and done.)

1. The higher your rank, the better the coach.  Number One is Chuck Noll awesome.  Number Thirty Two is Joe Walton / Bruce Coslet / Rich Kotite / Al Groh / Eric Mangini / Insert Crappy Jets Head Coach Here awful.

2. New coaches tend to be undervalued by me.  Sorry, but when ranking these dudes, I tend to trust the proven over the potential.

3. Wherever “Fat” Andy Reid lands in these rankings, every coach that appears after him?  I’d fire “Fat” Andy and hire that dude to coach the Chiefs.  Every coach that appears before him?  I’d give “Fat” Andy an extension to avoid hiring that dude to coach the Chiefs.

Got it?  Good.  Here we go.

(julie chen (aka “the chenbot”) voice) BUT FIRST!  Let’s flash back ten years, to explain truly and completely how Numero Tres above works.  Imagine for a moment, it’s late July / early August 2005, and you’re on the distribution list, that gets my Chiefs related writings, and bammo, the 2005 Coaches Power Poll lands in your inbox.

If you remember me ten years ago (and this really hasn’t changed much, to be honest), you would know that I despised the Richard A. Vermeil reign of error here in Kansas City.  I was not a fan of Ol’ Dicky.  (Although I am a fan of his line of fine wines.  The man is an overrated coach … but one helluva winemaker.)

So let’s run through the list of NFL head coaches in 2005, to see how many (if any) I’d let Tricky Dicky V go, in order to hire.  This, folks?  Should convince you of at least two things, and one of those is “my God, there were some sh*tty ass head coaches ten years ago in this league!”

(The other?  Sometimes my personal bias, isn’t a good thing.)

If the answer after a coach is “Yes”, then I’d fire Mr. Vermeil to hire that dude.  If the answer is “No”, then I wouldn’t.  Trust me – you’re gonna be stunned how great Run RAV looks in hindsight.

Patriots: Bill Belichick.  Yes.
Dolphins: Nick Saban.  No.
Jets: Herm Edwards.  Yes.
Bills: Mike Mularkey.  Uuh, no thank you.
Bengals: Marvin Lewis.  Absolutely not.
Browns: Coach Buffoon (aka Romeo Crennel).  Hell.  F*cking.  No.
Ravens; Brian Billick.  Yes.
Steelers: Bill Cowher.  No.  But a tough call.
Colts: Tony Dungy.  Tougher call … but no.
Texans: Dom Capers.  Not a chance in hell.
Jaguars: Jack “Of The River”.  That’s a no.
Titans: Jeff Fisher.  No.
“Super” Chargers: Marty Schottenheimer.  No.
broncos: mike shanarat.  Hell yes.
raiders: Norval Eugene Turner.  Hell no.
Giants: Tom Coughlin.  2005 Tommy?  No.
Eagles: “Fat” Andy Reid.  Yes.
Cowboys: Bill Parcells.  Gun to my head … yes.
Redskins: Joe Gibbs.  2005 Joey?  No.
Bears: Lovie Smith.  No.
Packers: Mike Sherman.  Absolutely not.
Vikings: Mike “Meathead” Tice.  Is this a joke?  No!
Lions: Steve Mariucci.  2005 Stevie?  No.
Saints: Jim Haslett.  Never.
Bucs: Jon Gruden.  Absolutely yes.
Panthers: John Fox.  Without question, yes.
Falcons: Jim Mora Jr.  No.
49ers: Mike Nolan.  No on every day that ends in Y.
Rams: Mike Martz.  No way, no how.
Seahawks: Mike Holmgren.  2005 Mikey?  Yes.
“Super” Cardinals: “Drunk” Dennis Green.  Nope.

Dick Vermeil would have rated tenth in the 2005 Coaches Poll.  An upper third coach, and I’ll freely grant, two of my “Yes” votes (Holmgren, Parcells), I could rank Mr. Vermeil ahead of, even at the time, without ten years of hindsight.

Just goes to show you.

And now, the 2015 Stevo’s Site Numero Dos’ Coaches Power Poll.

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32. Jim “Corpse” Caldwell, Detroit Lions.  I know the Lions made the playoffs last year.  I know they won 11 games.  I know Ol’ Corpse has made a Super Bowl, once opened a season 14-0, and somehow drew up the thrilling, awe-inspiring play that forced overtime at fake mile high three years ago, the eighty yard bomb to Jacoby Jones. 

He’s also the dude who couldn’t win 35% of his games at Wake Forest (while his successor routinely took Wake to upper tier bowls, including a BCS berth).  He’s also the dude who opened 0-13 without peyton in 2011, blew that 14-0 season at home to The Sanchize, lost a home playoff game to The Sanchize, lost a Super Bowl thanks to an onside kick recovery, and blew a gigantic lead in the wildcard game at Dallas last year.

In short, Ol’ Corpse would lose the pooch if he let said pooch out to pee.  I don’t want this man within 500 miles of Arrowhead Stadium … unless he’s on the opposing sideline.  Which, sadly, thanks to the idiocy of playing football in London, we may never get to witness in our lifetimes.

31. Joe “Regis” Philbin, Miami Dolphins.  Three years, three disappointing finishes.  The good news for Dolphins fans, is that year four is likely the last one.  The bad news for Dolphins fans?  Given the craptacular coaching hires of the post-Shula years?  “Regis”’ replacement is likely to be worse.

30. gary “krap of” kubiak, denver broncos.  I’m still a solid four, five weeks away from running the schedules and making my season predictions, but I’m going to make one right here, right now.

The denver broncos will not post a record better than 6-10 this season.

And I’m going to make a second prediction, free of charge.

peyton manning will be seen at least once this season verbally b*tch slapping “krap of” kubiak on the sideline, for his utter and total rank incompetence as a coach.

And hell, I’ll throw in a third, just for sh*ts and giggles.

Wade “Son of Bum” Phillips will snag his FOURTH interim gig, by Week Fifteen.  (After being the interim in Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.)

I have a feeling I am really, really, really going to enjoy this denver broncos implosion … I mean, season, this fall.

29. Todd Bowles, New York J! E! T! S! Jets Jets Jets!

I hated this hire six months ago.

I hate it more today.

The Jets have had exactly three* even semi-competent coaches in my lifetime – Bill Parcells, Herm Edwards, and Sexy Rexy Ryan.

Todd Bowles will not be the fourth addition to that list.

(*: technically, Bill Belichick coached the Jets for two days.  At the time, however, semi-competent would have been praise for Mr. Belichick.  I prefer “rat bastard traitor” myself to describe the forty some odd hours of the Belichick Era.  But I’m ok with “semi-competent rat bastard traitor”.)

28. Gus Bradley, Jacksonville Jaguars.

You Shane Falco-ns fans who think Dan Quinn is the answer?

Might want to look a few hours to the southeast, and start asking a different question.

27. Mike Pettine, Cleveland Browns.

I’d like to feel sorry for Browns fans … but when your owner is a convicted felon, your taxpayers are too damned cheap to pay to keep the alleged city franchise twenty years ago with a new stadium, and you keep hiring such inspired hires as Chris Palmer, Butch Davis, Coach Buffoon, Eric Mangini, and Mike Pettine?  I don’t feel sorry for you.  You get what you deserve.

26. Jim Tomsula, San Francisco 49ers.

True story time!  And I’ve told this one before, so if you’ve heard it, I apologize for a fiftieth time … but one of the five or six happiest moment of my Chiefs fandom life was a random afternoon in January 1999, when as I left the beautiful environ of Lyons, Kansas, the radio station I was listening to broke in to carry the presser where Gunther Cunningham was hired as the Chiefs head coach.  I had to pull over to the side of the highway, I was crying so hard.  And they were tears of joy.

I’m rooting for Mr. Tomsula like I rooted for Gunther.  I fear it’s going to end, like it did for Ol Confident and Classy.

25. Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons.

See Number 28, Falcons fans.  That’s your fate.

24. Jay Gruden, Washington Redskins.

I refuse to believe Jay Gruden is this bad.  He gets one last crack before dropping into the 30s.

23. Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

I refuse to believe Lovie Smith is this incompetent.  He’s one more indefensible season away from reaching “Corpse” Caldwell territory.

22. Tom Coughlin, New York Giants.

Before you question my sanity, this is a 2015 ranking.  Not 2000, not 2010 – 2015.  The Giants have been thoroughly outmatched and outcoached the last two years, and haven’t made the playoffs in three years. 

Which, come to think of it, is damned near exactly what happened from 2008-2010, after the Giants prior Super Bowl victory … and then in 2011, a weak Giants team turned it on in January after backing into the postseason.

Ol’ Tom might be six spots too low, on second thought.

21. Ken Whizenhunt, Tennessee Titans.

For those who doubt that Kurt Warner has Hall of Fame credentials?  (And for the record, I’m one of you, although if I was a voter and he came up, I’d vote yes.)  He virtually single-handedly carried two coaches to millions of dollars their coaching acumen didn’t deserve.  Mike Martz … and Ken Whizenhunt.  That’s the narrative entering 2015.

I am in the (possibly not a) minority, however, who thinks Marcus Mariota is gonna be a massive success in this league.  And I think Ken Whizenhunt’s gameplan plays perfectly to his strengths.  Tennessee is one of my sleepers, pre-running the schedules, for 2015.  If I’m right about that, then Mr. Whizenhunt will get an extension in five months.  If I’m wrong?  He’ll simply become the latest victim of Mr. Obama’s economic “recovery”, about six months from now.

20. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers.

I’m aware he’s won a Super Bowl.  So did Barry Switzer.  I’m aware he made a second Super Bowl.  George Seifert made two as well.  I’m aware he’s a routine playoff participant.  So were Wayne Fontes and Dave Wannstedt.  Would you hire ANY of those four men to oversee your franchise?  (And please, ignore the fact I irrationally love Wayne Fontes – even I wouldn’t hire him to oversee the Chiefs.)

Favre.  Rodgers.  That’s what makes the Packers the team they’ve been the last twenty years.  (Plus Reggie White, rest in peace.)  I’ll give Mr. McCarthy credit – he doesn’t screw the proverbial pooch and mess with what ain’t broken.  A lesson a few coaches left to appear, could certainly stand to learn, before it’s too late.

19. “Riverboat” Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers.

Two straight division titles, in a division that saw a team go worst-to-first four straight years before last year.  Got his first playoff win against an overmatched “Super” Cardinals squad last January, before giving the Seahawks three decent quarters, on the road, in prime time, in the divisional round.

I’m not sure what to think of this guy yet.  Hence landing damned near in the middle.  He’s good enough to get you to January.  I’m not sold yet on him being good enough, to get you to February.

And if you can’t get your team to February?  You have no business coaching my favorite team.

18. Mike McCoy, San Diego “Super” Chargers.

We have officially reached “The Moment” in this poll.  “The Moment” being, EVERY coach from Mr. McCoy onward, I’d be ok with coaching the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Doesn’t mean I’d be thrilled by it – the next three coaches, plus Mr. McCoy, I wouldn’t be at all happy about, coaching the Red and Gold.  But I could at least accept it.  I wouldn’t revolt against it.

Two mediocre seasons so far in San Diego … and yet, a team coming down off a top-heavy run, trying to rebuild on the fly and stay competitive?  I admire the job Mike McCoy has done so far.

He’s a riser.  And in the words of Dierks Bentley, I’d really admire him if he’s “getting drunk on a plane”.

17. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals.

I have to laugh at Bengals fans b*tching about Mr. Lewis’ 0-4 playoff record.

Y’all are aware you’ve gone LONGER than the Chiefs, since you last won a playoff game?

And that you were the laughingstock of the league for ten plus years?

Marvin Lewis has made the league’s worst franchise not just respectable, and not just a perennial playoff team, he’s gotten them popular enough to score 3-4 prime time contests a year.

As Metallica would note: “careful what you wish – you might regret it.  Careful what you wish – you just might get it!”

16. Jeff Fisher, St. Louis Rams.

At the risk of getting physically b*tch slapped by my Second Mother when she reads this … Mr. Fisher is THE most overrated head coach in the NFL.

Twenty years as a head coach in the NFL.  (To be fair, I’m only counting 19, as Year One was as an interim after Jack Pardee was fired in Houston.)

In those nineteen full seasons?  Six playoff berths.  Six winning seasons.  (Yes, every year ABOVE .500?  Mr. Fisher makes the playoffs).

Of the other thirteen seasons?  NINE were .500, or within a game of it.  Two more went 6-10, another 5-11, his rock bottom was 4-12.

He’s a perfectly mediocre, middle of the road coach.  Your team will never outright suck under his watch … and it rarely if ever will dominate the conference.

And go figure – he lands squarely at the midpoint, of this Power Poll.

15. Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys.

THIS?  Is THE hardest placement in the Power Poll.

I happen to love Jason Garrett as a coach.  And I’m thrilled that Jerry Jones has given him the time to grow into the job.  (Probably because Mr. Jones sees the same positive traits in him, that I see – namely, he not only never quits or gives up hope?  He NEVER blames anyone but himself, when he fails.  I ADMIRE people like that.)

But with one exception, the coaches that are left?  I cannot justify ranking Mr. Garrett ahead of.  And that coach is appearing next.

14. Jack “Of The River”, oakland raiders.

Perhaps the 2007 run in the playoffs overrates Del Rio for me … but sorry.  You roll into The Ketchup Bottle and throttle the Steelers, then roll into Foxboro and are within four with fifteen to go against the only 16-0 team in my lifetime?  You know what you’re doing.  Especially when David Bleeping Garrard is your quarterback.

Perhaps it’s watching his denver defense the last couple years in action.  That Sunday nighter at Arrowhead last year – so many would argue denver won that game in the first eight minutes.  (That number includes me.)  So many would argue it was satan carving up the Chiefs secondary that did it.  (I’m not in that number.)

It was “Of The River’s” defense that won that game inside the first twenty minutes – and clearly won it, when the Chiefs were still very much in it, down 13, midway through the fourth, but driving deep in denver territory, when the denver d forced a turnover that ended all hope … just like turnovers ended most hope three hours earlier.

oakland with a competent head coach frightens me.

Jack Del Rio is competent.

Circle me frightened.

Because if he has the balls to turn derek carr loose …

13. Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings.

I apologize to every Vikings fan.

Next year?  He’ll be at least five spots higher.

12. Chuck “Strong” Pagano, Indianapolis Colts.

Probably four spots too low.

11. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks.

Yes, he’s made two straight Super Bowls, and won one of them.

The Jets fan in me cannot dismiss 1994.  The man LOST the “Fake Spike” game to Dan Marino.  His team fell for a fake spike.

And yet somehow, the throw at the goalline in the Super Bowl was the “worst playcall” of his career?

In the words of the late Nell Carter: “gimme a break!”

And now … for the Top Ten.

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Which is coming tomorrow.

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The coaches left, coach the Patriots, Bills, Steelers, Ravens, Texans, Chiefs, Eagles, Bears, Saints, and "Super" Cardinals (although not quite in that order ... although it's DAMNED close.)

The remaining ten coaches include:

* Four former Super Bowl winning coaches.
* Two more coaches who coached in (and lost) Super Bowls.
* THE brightest star in the coaching circuit right now (and I’d argue, deservedly so … even if “The Voice of Reason” will rub it in my face, at how wrong I was about "Kip Chelly" making it at the pro level).
* Of the three remaining not mentioned above, one is the second brightest star in the coaching circuit right now, one has overachieved ridiculously in his first two years on the job, and the other should never have had to move six hours across the state, this offseason.

Those ten?  Come tomorrow.


Same bat time … same bat channel …

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Lastly, tonight -- let me address a comment "The Voice of Reason" made to me today, about yesterday's post.  

(And in fairness to said Voice of Reason, he was one of three people, to email me the same basic theme, of "let "The Family" go; it's not worth lamenting or obsessing over".)

I know a few of you who read this site regularly -- or at least on occasion -- were fans of "How I Met Your Mother".  As I was.

Season 9, Episode 17, entitled "Sunrise", explains why I feel as I do.  And I quite frankly don't care how anyone takes this -- it's how I feel about each and every godd*mned person, I have EVER counted as a friend.

It's Ted's comments to Robin, on the beach, as the sun begins to rise, on the day he's dreaded above all others, the day he has to let her go, to his (ostensible) best friend.  As he so perfectly stated to crazy Jeanette on that bridge in Central Park:


(and here's the kicker)

"That?  Would be some other disposable thing that is not worth fighting for!  But that?  Is NOT what this is!"

As I said last night -- tell me where I'm wrong, to feel as I do.  Either friendship is worth fighting for, no matter what ... or how the f*ck can you call it a friendship?  How can you call a relationship great, if its not worth sacrificing damned near everything, to save it?

I guess my way of saying, I want my locket back ...

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also, apologies on the layout ...

Something went bat sh*t crazy when I tried to upload the previous post.  I'll work on fixing it Tuesday.  I didn't change a thing; t...