I am beginning to understand what it was like being a pre Jon Gruden Oakland Raiders fan. The realization slowly begins to sink in. Then it hits you like a hook from Mike Tyson. “To Live In Hope, Is to Die in Despair.”
Jason Garrett has allowed me to taste the misery of being a post Jimmy Johnson or Bill Parcells fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Instead of seeing improvement, I am seeing a coach who continues to find ways to lose big games. The Oakland Raiders hadn’t won the division in 10 years the first time Jon Gruden walked in to the locker room. The results? “Change”. You see, a presidential campaign slogan can be applied to football as well.
Offensive statistics can be deceiving. When you have a gunslinger like Tony Romo, (4th all time in career passer rating) and weapons like Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams and Dez Bryant, your going to put up points. Your going to get a lot of yards. The question becomes: how can you be top 5 in scoring and remain a .500 football team?
Not running a QB and defense friendly offense is a good place to start. I could never understand why people want to blame the QB when he is at the bottom of the hierarchy. People seem to forget the structure of a football team. The owner, GM, Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and the Quarterback coach, all usurp authority over the QB. To be blunt, he is just another pawn in the army. At the end of the day, when it comes to the day to day operations and game day success or failure, it’s the head coach who is running the show. I am yet to see Jason Garrett on the sidelines actually coaching up players or trying to motivate them like I did Marinelli on Sunday.
The head coach is responsible for his staff. It is his responsibility to make sure Bill Callahan is calling the game properly. It is his responsibility to make sure Monte Kiffin puts together a good game plan. He is supposed to have enough coaching experience to recognize the mistakes his assistants are making and step in to correct them. He is supposed to maintain discipline and order amongst the players. He is supposed to be the “Leader” of the football team. Where in the hell was Jason Garrett when Dez Bryant was acting like a child having a hissy fit because he only got two cookies instead of three?
Do you think the “Tuna” would have stood by and let him be that much of a distraction? What about Tom Landry? Mark my words: it wouldn’t happen on his watch. Tate had a taunting penalty and Coach Carrol was on him the minute he hit the sidelines and took the time to sit on the bench with him further addressing the situation. Dez Bryant showed that he still hasn’t grown up. I don’t have a problem with passion if it’s Ray Lewis type passion that is motivating the team, but when it’s passion generated because he is crying about not getting the ball and is clearly pissing off his teammates like Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware, he is causing not only a distraction, but division among the players. Jon Gruden would have addressed that situation.
As a result of remarks Bryant made prior to the game in reference to Calvin Johnson, it was time to put up or shut up. He wasn’t getting his numbers and Johnson was having a career day. That is why Dez was ranting like a wild man. He was more concerned about trying to beat Megatron than he was about what was best for the team.
Jason Garrett should have told him to sit down and shut up, or hit the showers. The Lions did exactly what I said in my predictions and found a way to take Dez out of the game. They did it by playing the safety over the top. Had Tony Romo tried to force the ball to Dez Bryant and got picked off, it would have been national news for a week, and everyone would have forgotten that the defense gave up over 600 yards or that Terrance Williams was 2-10. (it would figure following my praise of him last week I hope to see some consistency) Jon Gruden brings the leadership and discipline aspect of coaching that Garrett lacks.
Being Princeton smart and football smart are two different things. Having experience watching others coach and hands on experience are two different things. Head knowledge and actual game time and/or coaching knowledge are two different things. I have a lot of “HEAD” knowledge about the game, but I have never played or coached. That is why I am an analyst and “NOT” a coach. I have no experience actually doing it. What is confusing to me, is how can I see the problems and the coaches can’t? Lets face it: I am a nobody! The odds of me getting hired by an NFL team in any capacity are a bazillion to one because I have no “Experience”.
Growth is important in any profession. I don’t care if you work at McDonalds or for a fortune 500 company. No one gets a position of authority without experience. You start at the bottom and work your way up. There are literally millions of college graduates either unemployed or working menial labor jobs because they have no “Experience” at their respective profession. If I own a successful business I am not going to hire some kid fresh out of college to run it. To be honest: in the world of coaching, Jason Garrett is that kid fresh out of college. Jon Gruden has a solid resume and worked his way up through the ranks to obtain the necessary experience to be an NFL head coach. He had 19 years exp at the time JG started coaching.
Hmm, which resume looks better to an employer? Keep in Mind, Jon Gruden took the Raiders to a championship and the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl.
Recognition skills are imperative. A head coach of an NFL football team needs to be able to recognize what other teams are doing and make the necessary adjustments to counter that action. Game after game, I see opposing teams making adjustments at half time that end up winning the game for them in the 2nd half. Game after game I see Jason Garrett find ways to lose games in the 2nd half. I can hear it echoing in my ear as if Bill Parcells was in the room: “Clock, Clock, Clock.” Jon Gruden has proven to be very effective at clock management.
At the end of the day the Dallas Cowboys are 14th in total offense, 8th passing, and 27th rushing, with only 5 rushing TD’s in 8 games. The defense is ranked 32nd in total defense; allowing 562 yards per game, 32nd against the pass; allowing 315.4 yards per game. (As compared to Wades D only allowing 145.6 pass yds per game.) They are ranked 17th against the run; averaging 80 yards per game, and still .500! Whatever this Jason Garrett process is, it isn’t working. It’s his staff,Ã‚Â his team, and his responsibility: not Tony Romos’.
I am sorry, but when I look at the “CHANGE” in SF with the addition of Jim Harbaugh, the Change in KC with the addition of Andy Reid: (both West Coast Offense coaches) knowing that Tony Romo is built for a West Coast offense, Jim Harbaugh is a Jon Gruden Protege, and part ofÃ‚Â Grudens staff is already in Dallas, I think the “CHANGE” we need in Dallas is “Chucky”. The only constant since Parcells left has been Jason Garrett.
Jon Gruden, spoke at a Gateway Bank event in Ocala, Florida recently, and pointed out his perfect record since being fired from Tampa Bay, but also admitted he’d like to take another shot at coaching in the NFL.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I haven’t lost a game in 3Ã‚Â½ years,” Gruden said jokingly. “But no, I would like to give coaching one more try.”
Is Jon Gruden sending a message to Jerry Jones? I sure as hell hope so. I also hope Jerry Jones is getting it loud and clear!