Sunday, December 30, 2012

Black Monday is Looming...

The final day of the 2012 NFL regular season is today.  All of the teams not going to the playoffs will be cleaning out their lockers and headed home.  These players are most likely looking forward to a nice long vacation with their families where they can rest their bodies after the long, grueling NFL season. 

The coaches of these teams view today a little differently.  Today could be the last day they have jobs with their current organizations.  You see, the Monday after the last day of the regular season is known as "Black Monday".  Every year there are an abundance of NFL teams that are going to make a change with their head coach will do it on this day. 

As I write this at 9 pm on Sunday, there are already rumors flying around the internet about which coach's are going to be fired (right now I've heard Andy Reid in Philadelphia, Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns, and Romeo Crennel of the Kansas City Chiefs will both be fired tomorrow). 

One name that has also come up in reports is current Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz.  Now, as a former Lions fan, I am used to a new coach every two to four years.  To be honest though, I figured that Schwartz would get at least one more year at the helm of the Lions (after all, he did just sign an extension recently).  He did guide the Lions to a 10 - 6 record and a birth in the playoffs last season.  The Lions have gotten considerably better than what they were when he inherited them (keep in mind though he inherited a team that had gone 0 - 16 the year before). 

I imagined the Lions would make a change with at least one of their coordinators this off season, and Schwartz would enter the 2013 season on "the hot seat" and have to answer questions about the stability of his job all season long.  Then, after another disappointing season he would be fired and a new coach would be brought in.  The Lions organization and all of their fans would then get way too excited about the team's chances before the team turns in another lackluster season in 2014.  That is typically how this roller coaster of an organization operates.

So, whether it's this Black Monday or next year's Black Monday when the Lions fire Jim Schwartz, I'd like to give them some advice for their coaching search.  Don't go with an "up and comer" coach.  Every year there is a new offensive or defensive coordinator that everyone believes is ready to step and and become a great NFL head coach.  The Lions have tried that in the past and it hasn't worked (remember Marty Mornhinweg and Rod Marinelli?).  Remember, Jim Schwartz was a successful defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans when he got the head job with the Lions.  The thing to keep in mind is that some people are just going to be coordinators, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Mornhinweg has done a great job with Philadelphia and Marinelli is doing well guiding the Chicago Bears defense.  And I'm sure that Schwartz will get a job next year as a defensive coordinator and be fantastic. 

The point is, the Lions have been such a horrible organization with a terrible reputation that there is no way a rookie head coach could come in there and be successful.  They need a guy that has won in the NFL as a head coach.  They'll probably have to overpay him to come to Detroit, but never the less, they need him to come in and bring a breath of fresh air...because right now, that air stinks. 

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