Thursday, October 16, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
Coaching carousel turns early
(Editor’s Note: This week’s column was written prior to games of October 11-12.)
What a difference a weekend makes. The recent shakeup was huge in the collegiate ranks but not as devastating as it was in the pros.
By the time week five had concluded, there was not an undefeated team left in any division. And, get this, at least one head coach had been terminated. That old carousel really started to spin early.
The NFL always hands out “byes” early in the season, and the Oakland Raiders used their “bye” week to tell head coach Dennis Allen that the Raider combine had decided to go in a different direction – without him. The franchise didn’t open up a search machine right away, choosing instead to hire an interim replacement. Tony Sparano, once the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, has been given the unenviable task for now. There is speculation that a search in earnest won’t begin until sometime in January (2015).
The team did approach Mike Holmgren. The Oakland organization had attempted to hire Holmgren to a managerial position before, but was turned down.
Coach Sparano will lead his Raiders into their first game of his regime on Sunday, Oct 12. They will be hosting arch-rival San Diego. The Chargers are 4-1 and the Raiders are still winless (0-4). I don’t know if there are any implications which can be immediately derived from this event, but the game is completely sold out. The game will be televised in the local market. The other winless team is Jacksonville.
There have been a couple of shifts in the quarterback ranks which didn’t necessarily involve injuries. There was quite a rift created last week when starting QB Geno Smith, for the New York Jets, was benched in favor of Michael Vick. Remember him? The Jets’ group maintains that the shift was not a permanent one and that Geno would be back under center come Sunday (October 12).
Rex Ryan, who heads up the Jets and has been under fire for some time, asked what team wouldn’t want to face one of the best teams in the league with arguably the best quarterback?
The Jets’ record is 1-4 and they face Peyton Manning and the Broncos and their record of 3-1. This game should be watched for sheer intrigue. Which Jets quarterback will have the ball at the end of the game?
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