“Pointless Offseason Moves” Versus “Doing Your Best”
We’ve got teams scrambling left and right to make moves in this offseason that will benefit them. Are they really doing the “right thing” –as Spike Lee would say?
My take on all of this can be summed up in a sentence: Don’t rock the boat unless you have to.
Teams always tell the media things like, “We’re evaluating every part of organization” and “Anything less than a Championship is a failure”. Are those things always true?
Have we really become such a “Succubae Sports Fan Base” that we need to have teams fall on the sword every year when we don’t get our way? Do they really have to cater to us that much?
I remember the days when the teams: Did their best, the coaches coached their best, and the chips fell where they might. Archie Manning is a Hall of Famer and he played on pitiful Saints teams, but they really were—I believe—doing their best.
At what point did “doing your best” simply become “not enough”? And why do a couple teams still operate the “old way” while everyone else operates the “new way”?
What makes the “old fashioned” teams different that the “hip” teams? I bet we can find many of our answers in the words of Coaches and Team Executives.
Cowboys May Move Jones Ahead of Barber
Jerry Jones spoke to the media the other day. Don’t forget that he’s the Cowboys’ Owner, President, and General Manager. He made some comments about the depth chart.
Jerry was asked if Felix Jones might start over Marion Barber and he said, “That has been a consideration, and it certainly is a consideration.”
For me that sounds like code for “We didn’t win the Super Bowl so we’ve GOT to do something”. Coaches and GM’s talk like this all the time for no reason.
In Atlanta, Jim Mora started the whole “The Entire Organization Is Subject To Review” thing. That ultimately got him fired. Plus, it meant moving pieces around and causing a regression from his NFC Title Game rookie campaign to 7-9.
Jerry Jones putting Felix Jones ahead of Marion Barber only does two things:
1. It pisses off Marion Barber, and
2. Makes everyone on the team unsure of their status.
Don’t the Ravens have 3 viable running backs just like the Cowboys? Are they shuffling their depth chart? They didn’t win the Super Bowl either. What’s the difference?
The only reason to say you are “Re-evaluating the whole organization” is to get the media and fans off your back. It would be a lot more profitable to say, “We’re going work hard on the draft and in free-agency to make the team better”.
This doesn’t involve hurt feelings or shuffling players you already have. If someone isn’t working out you deal with them individually—not in this corporate “Everybody’s on the chopping block” fashion.
Jerry Jones is making a move on his own players just to make a move. If it were more calculated—like the Steelers—then it might work.
Steelers Give Backup Batch 2-year Deal
The Steelers signed backup Quarterback Charlie Batch to a two-year deal. He supposed to be competing with Dennis Dixon to be the #2 to Ben Roethlisberger.
Not only has Batch been with Pittsburgh since 2003, but he’s also their player representative. If something happens and Big Ben is suspended or worse the Steelers will have done their best to make sure they are ok at the QB position.
They didn’t go into crisis/panic mode. They didn’t spend a ton of money on a free-agent or leverage their future on a draft pick. They just kept everything close to the vest and did their best.
By the way their “best” in Pittsburgh has netted them 6 Super Bowl titles in 7 appearances. More than any other franchise. Do we hear them jumping up to the mic every offseason ranting and raving about retooling the whole team and that “anything less than a title is a failure”?
No. They know these things and the players convey that disappointment when they lose. However, they also say they’re going to work hard next year and do their best.
Nobody does their “best” like the Steelers. Jim Mora could have taken a lesson here in Atlanta. Instead of trying to placate the media and fans he could have just said, “We’ll do our darnedest”.
Sometimes, that’s all the fans want. Look at all the teams that aren’t even trying, but copy the “big moves” of a Dallas.
Oakland, Kansas City, Detroit, Cleveland—this pretty much says it all. They’re copying the wrong team. Each of these franchises thinks saying the right thing and spending money makes fans happy. They’re wrong.
Genuine concerted effort, wise decision-making and fiscal responsibility makes fans happy. Cleveland had to revamp almost its whole team. Oakland needs to be sold. K.C. leveraged their future on a damaged QB, and Detroit fans staged a walkout.
Need I say more?
49ers and McClaughan Have a “Mutual Parting”
Then there are the teams who used to know what to do and then they got stupid. This brand of team completely ignores what WAS working and tries to do something else in spite of itself.
The 49ers were taken over by these York jackasses and they screwed it up—royally. When they got Mike Singletary and things started to turn around they decided they didn’t like their GM.
So, instead of keeping the team stable they are pulling the rug out from underneath their coach because of front office “squabble”.
The Denver Broncos worked fine under Mike Shanahan—then they brought in Josh McDaniels and let him set fire to Jay Cutler. He undermined the integrity of their entire team as he “tried” to mimic the actions of Bill Belichick.
Why would you change everything around when this franchise has been just fine for about 30 years?
Do you ever wonder if the 49ers look around and say, “Where did we go wrong”? They had it all. They WERE the dynasty. Now they’re just trying to make the playoffs.
They weren’t doing their “best” after the DiBartolos were kicked out. The Yorks were happy the won and never once thought about how much work Eddie DiBartolo and Carmen Policy put into this team.
In 12 months they undid 20 years worth of work. The DiBartolos and Policy did what the Rooneys are doing in Pittsburgh. The Yorks just wanted to own a team.
Dan Snyder is the same way. He isn’t truly doing his best. He just wanted to own a team. He wanted to have his ego stroked.
Spending money—per the Steelers—doesn’t just “work” on its own. You have to make smart decisions. Dan Snyder saw the Florida Marlins and said “I want that”.
What he—and his ilk—don’t realize is that their “best” also includes hiring good decision-makers. Snyder finally did that when he hired Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan.
Jimmy Clausen is going to visit with Buffalo, Jacksonville, Cleveland, St. Louis, AND Washington.
Why in the hell does Jimmy Clausen need to visit with the Redskins? Does Mike Shanahan think his “best” is scrapping Jason Campbell and drafting ANOTHER 1st Round QB?
If Clausen goes to the Rams, Bills, or Browns that would be their best effort. Their smartest move to help reshape and re-energize their franchises.
If Jacksonville takes him they aren’t trying—they’re just saying they don’t like David Garrard. Plus, they’ll be throwing money away.
This makes all the difference folks. Cleveland, St. Louis, and Buffalo NEED a Quarterback. That’s their best move. That’s a smart option.
Jacksonville and Washington WANT a Quarterback. That isn’t their best move—it’s just a move.
The Steelers don’t take what they want—they take what they need. Doing your best is using what you need and staying away from your wants.
The Steelers NEED stability at Quarterback. The Redskins WANT a new Quarterback. Jerry Jones WANTS to shake-up his running back corps. The Rams NEED a new Quarterback. The Chiefs WANTED a new Quarterback.
Wants and needs are different. For every workshop the NFL gives players on how to handle their money they should give one for executives too.
They should call it “How to control your urges”. Wouldn’t it be funny if the presenter was Dan Rooney?