Tuesday, February 13, 2007

one month too late.

I really think the Chargers have screwed the pooch -- not because they fired Marty Schottenheimer, but because they waited an extra month to do it when all the candidates were being snapped up left and right. The only new candidate whom we KNOW is looking for a head coaching gig is the Bears' Ron Rivera, and if I remember correctly, the Chargers run a 3-4 defense (while Rivera prefers the 4-3 to run the Tampa two.)

Ultimately, it appears the final straw between Schottenheimer and general manager A.J. Smith was over hiring replacements for departed coordinators Cam Cameron and Wade Phillips, and owner Dean* Spanos decided it was just too "dysfunctional" to allow to continue. Marty got the ax not only because of his playoff record, but it might not be a bad guess to speculate that his refusal to sign an extension for 2008 may have been a sticking point. Coaches don't like being lame ducks, but I doubt GMs like to have a willingly lame duck coach hanging around. He feels like he got a raw deal though, and I'm not sure I can say he's wrong. D-Wil lays out a very good case that GM Smith was the dysfunctional end of this relationship. However, Marty will land another job in 2008 -- he is the NFL's version of Larry Brown, the master re-builder, although Brown got his teams further into the playoffs.

NFL Adam has a decent list of possible replacements over at the Hater Nation, but I don't think you can coax Johnson out of retirement of Carroll out of USC (Carroll clearly wants GM-style control a la Shanahan), and you want nothing to do with Norv Turner or Mike Martz as head coaches. Fassel and Mariucci are good options -- this is not a gig where you want a first-year head coach; this team is too close to doing very well in the playoffs.

(*originally Alex Spanos, Alex does own the team, but his son Dean made this decision.)

No comments: