Sunday, January 07, 2007

Breaking News!

Bobby Petrino is coming to coach the Falcons. Can't say I saw this coming. Louisville's balanced attack over the last few years has been impressive, but I don't think (hope) that Petrino will come in planning to shoehorn Mike Vick into a particular offense.

Let's hope Blank opens the checkbook for the right D coordinator too.

On that, Petrino's salary looks huge. The only thing that'll stop Blank is the salary cap.

Big catch for the Falcons.

Before this, I was thinking that Blank would hire a retread NFL guy with some experience. Someone like Dick LeBeau or Dom Capers or Jim Fassel. There are two directions coaching hires seem to go, and they tend to alternate. Hire an "experience guy", which is code for retread dude who never got over the top, or hire an assistant/college guy, typically younger, and hope that you catch lightning in a bottle.

The Texans followed Dom Capers (retread) with Gary Kubiak (assistant). The Redskins went from Marty Schottenheimer (retread) to Spurrier (college) to Joe Gibbs (not a retread, but an experience guy). The Cowboys followed Dave Campo (longtime assistant) with Bill Parcells (experience guy). The 49ers followed Dennis Erickson (retread) with Mike Nolan (assistant). Likewise, the Seahawks followed Dennis Erickson (at the time, college guy), with Mike Holmgren (experience guy). The Giants followed Jim Fassel (when hired, a longtime assistant) with Tom Coughlin (retread). The Lions went from Marty Mornhinweg (assistant) to Steve Mariucci (experience) to Rod Marinelli (assistant). The Panthers went from Dom Capers (then, his first head coaching job) to George Seifert (experience) to John Fox (assistant). The Cardinals went from Dave McGinnis (assistant) to Dennis Green (retread). The Chargers went from Mike Riley (college) to Marty Schottenheimer (retread).

See the pattern?

And the Falcons have fit the pattern for a long time, too. Jerry Glanville (experience) to June Jones (assistant) to Dan Reeves (experience) to Jim Mora (assistant). I really thought the pattern would continue, and we'd hire a retread and there'd be plenty of spin about bringing experience to the organization, more discipline and a more businesslike approach. And the fans would be bored as hell.

I like the hire right now.

But I know one guy who is definitely happier than I am: Rich Rodriguez. His biggest rival is gone, and Schiano will probably leave in a year or two. West Virginia might be looking at a minimum 7 BCS berths in the next decade. Syracuse will eventually be back. Cincinnati just hired a good coach. UConn? South Florida has the best talent pool, but is fighting with others. Louisville has fantastic facilities and a good track record of hiring coaches on the way up. But WVU has the best coach in the Big East right now, and he's pretty well locked in for a long time.