New post will be good for Sherman

The word came down on Wednesday that Mike Sherman took an assistant coaching job with the Houston Texans, 45 days after being fired as head coach of the Green Bay Packers. Good for him.

Sherman is a likable guy and a hard worker based on players' comments, and has a coaching background that is rather impressive. Being named to new Texans coach Gary Kubiak's staff as an assistant head coach/offense role will bring Sherman back to what he does best. It will be good for him for several reasons.

During Sherman's tenure in Green Bay as head coach over the past six years and general manager for four of those years, he experienced ups and downs. He learned on the job as a first-time head coach and was still learning up until his departure. He could not successfully handle the dual role of general manager and head coach when it was given to him by Packers' president Bob Harlan, but nobody can really blame him for taking on such a grand opportunity that so few have. He left Green Bay with a winning record overall, overshadowed by multiple playoff catastrophes.

So now Sherman takes a step back and goes to Houston. That will allow him to serve more in a consulting and teaching role, two areas he would appear to be able to thrive in to help the Texans find a winning formula they so desperately need. Such a singular focus in his new position should be a breath of fresh air, even during a time when he could look upon his new job as a demotion. If he lets it, his new role will even allow him to live a healthier lifestyle and spend more time with his family.

The exact duties Sherman will serve for the Texans have not yet been spelled out publicly. Kubiak, though, must have felt that Sherman's analytical and organized nature would be of benefit to him, a first-time coach himself. Sherman can not only help the Texans' offense and highly-criticized offensive line with his teaching background, but he will also be available to lend his experiences as a former head coach.

The big question will be, "How will Sherman, a determined and prideful man, be able to accept a secondary role with a new team when he has been so close to the top in such a powerful position?" The answer to that remains to be seen because there is no doubt that Sherman wants to be a head coach again soon.

As hard as it may be for him to swallow, Sherman may benefit from never being a head coach again. It would allow him to be more comfortable, more productive, and more engaging. He may even find a different perspective in the job and like it.

In Green Bay, Sherman was at the top of the coaching mountain and experienced moments he can never duplicate. He always saw the big picture there, though ironically it was the little things that played a role in his demise and gave others the opinions that he could be cantankerous and controlling.

Looking back, several of the not-so-finer moments for Sherman came in areas where all successful NFL head coaches seem to thrive. For example:

• He was indecisive when it came to game-day decisions and management – that included going back-and-forth with Tom Rossley on play-calling duties, being indecisive on fourth down calls, and never having a philosophy on when to go for two-point conversions.

• He did not always delegate enough responsibility or trust his assistant coaches and personnel people. Certainly Mark Hatley's unexpected death shook up the Packers' front office, but with Sherman in charge of football operations, the Packers' play on the field was affected by the general manager's work off of it.

• He did not always come across as endearing to the public in such a prominent role. Instead, he exhibited a stoic nature and was never too revealing in press conferences and interviews. His own television show, which was broadcast weekly around the state of Wisconsin during football season, was about as lively as a funeral.

Now that he does not have deal with the above situations and duties that head coaches and general managers encounter as part of their job, Sherman should be a great asset to the Texans. The spotlight is off of him and he may even be able to teach, a passion that carries roots dating back to his days at Stamford High School (1978) in Connecticut.

Though Sherman was not happy to lose his job with the Packers, relief was evident on his face on Jan. 2, the final day he addressed the Green Bay media before exiting. His closing comments that day were that he was "not even close" to being burned out from coaching, thus it should be no surprised that he is right back in it. This time, maybe he will find some peace and enjoy the ride.

Matt Tevsh

Editor's note: Matt Tevsh is a regular contributor to and Packer Report. E-mail him at

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