We had an interesting conversation on the Watercooler this afternoon about coaching, and the value of head coaches. My take is that coaching has always been dramatically overrated in the NFL. Very few head coaches make a significant impact in terms of wins and losses, and most of those don't last very long.
Here's a dramatic generalization, but I'll go with it.
The number of head coaches who make an impact where they're supposed to make an impact - Bill Walsh, Bill Belichick - are few in number. You knew that Walsh could make an offense better, and that Belichick would make a defense better. There are also system coaches, guys like Bill Cowher and Mike Shanahan, who can be successful consistently if you bring in the players who fit the system.
Most coordinating geniuses lose their genius when they lose their players, however.
Don't believe me? Take a look around the AFC North.
Brian Billick - Offensive "genius" who has failed repeatedly to do much on offense during his eight-year tenure in Baltimore, and has ridden the coattails of a talented defensive squad.
Marvin Lewis - Defensive "genius" who runs a team that's all about offense, because that's where the talented players were drafted.
Romeo Crennel - See Lewis, Marvin
If coaching was the critical element, you would expect to see these highly-valued coordinators make exactly the opposite impact based on their backgrounds and competencies.
Maybe someone can figure this out for me. Is there some sort of polarity shift when coordinators are promoted?
"THE POINT AFTER" RECAP
WKYC's "The Point After", with Jim Donovan, Sam Rutigliano, Doug Dieken and Tony Grossi is, for my money, the best Browns program on television, and the only one I consistently watch. There's a lot of expertise on that panel, they don't stay at the level of the obvious, and the show moves quickly.
Tonight, the group slammed time management near the end of the game, but was informed enough to know that it didn't go down the way Romeo Crennel planned. Tony Grossi pointed the finger at play-calling for the Browns offensive problems in the second half, saying that Derek Anderson was "hand-cuffed" by the team's coaching staff. I'm not sure I agree, but admit I would have liked to have seen the team mix it up a bit more with Cribbs or an alternative at running back.
Also, the group gave Willie McGinest props for his honesty in taking some of the blame for not having a good game, and didn't come down either way on whether to extend Jamal Lewis' contract. There were positive comments about the leadership and character of the Browns.
I would say that the answer to the question on Lewis is a definite "No", but, then again, I don't have stand in the locker room and talk to Lewis on Wednesday.
AROUND THE WEB
Sometimes, when you have a respected veteran player near the end of his career, it's welcome when an injury saves you from having to bench him, even when the head coach's steady focus has been primarily on self-preservation.
There is no place in the world where this isn't absolutely brilliant. Except in Dallas, and among those who take themselves far too seriously.
The day-after mountain of game recap content has been scaled. JT linked 76 stories in the OBR Newswire since this morning.
I really felt Jeff Biletnikoff's pain in his Fan View article today. How you react to a game is so dependent on how you watch it. Surrounded by howling Steeler fans had to be frustrating.
For those of you playing Jeopardy version of the newswire game, the answer is "Because Brian Billick wouldn't recognize one if it stepped up to him, slapped him across the face, started ripping out the few remaining hairs from his rapidly balding head, and them gave him a big kiss". Which is about as revolting an image as I'm ever likely to conjure.
This photo of Braylon Edwards is now gracing more than a couple desktops. One of the most impressive receptions I've ever seen... incredible control, and a great photo by Rick Stewart of Getty Images. Feel free to contact me if you want a copy without the OBR watermark.
I believe that an "imposter" is defined as someone pretending to be something they're not. This is as opposed to something you believe is something else because you don't know enough about it. One is sneaky. The other is just making a bad assessment Since I know a lot about the latter, I know it's an important distinction, one the Winnipeg Sun can't make, apparently.
Adam Caplan will be back in the chat room Wednesday at 10PM
The OBR Radio program will be on the air once more Thursday from 7-9PM. Lane Adkins and Jeff Schudel are scheduled to talk football with the OBR webdork.
We'll be doing a "Behind Enemy Lines" segment with Ravens expert Aaron Wilson this week. Keep an eye on the Watercooler for the question thread, where you can pose your queries for Aaron.
FORUM UPGRADES CONTINUE
Scout continues to work busily on our forums, upgrading network hardware to try to improve performance and reduce downtime. There will be some downtime in the middle of the night tonight around 2:30AM EST for more new technology to be shoehorned in.
FROM THE BLOGOSPHERE
More good stuff from the greatest football fans you're going to find anywhere on the planet. The Muni Lot blogs have been off the hook in the last three days. Check it out if you get a chance.
The Big Letdown - Papa Cass
A Typical Cleveland Ending - Dan Wyar
From Pittsburgh Stadium, My Perspective - BillyBongwater (Cooler, Discuss)
Digitally pester the author of this tripe here.