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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

NFL's Hot New Trend - The Coaching Succession Plan

The NFL is such a copycat league it is amazing we haven't gotten to a discussion of cloning yet. The hot trend as this season came to end seems to be, the coaching succession plan.

When Jason Garrett the offensive coordinator in Dallas began seriously considering offers to coach in Baltimore and Atlanta. Jerry Jones decided that he didn't want to lose the man he saw as the future coach of the Cowboys. He gave Garrett 3 million a year, nearly equal to the salary of head coach Wade Phillips. While it isn't official since Wade Phillips hasn't even mentioned leaving. It is pretty widely accepted that part of Garretts return to the Cowboys is the fact he will be the next coach.

As the NFL world sat around waiting for Tony Dungy to return with a decision about coaching next season. Jim Caldwell sat around waiting to see if the announcement that he would take over for Dungy, would come into effect three days after it was made. When Dungy held the conference to announce his stay or go decision,. It turned out it will be at least another year before Caldwell takes over, possibly even more. Dungy is staying and has said he will go through the same process at the end of next season. Just as he has for the last several seasons.

You can now add Jim Mora and Seahawks to the list. They announced recently that when Homlgren, who also took a few weeks to make a stay or go decision at the end of this season, retires at the end of the 2008 season. Jim Mora will take over the head coaching duties. In a small bit of irony, Mora had recently withdrew his name from the, still vacant, Redskins head coaching job.

That particular position is still vacant despite the pretty much accepted succession plan that was in place for Greg Williams when Joe Gibbs retired. Thing is, it was pretty much accepted by everyone but 'Skins owner Daniel Snyder. Williams not only isn't the head coach, someone else has his old job at defensive coordinator, and he is gone. So take heed Jason Garrett, these other two teams have held conferences and made announcements about their plans. If Wade Phillips loses that job, it'll be because the team is losing and you're a part of that. I don't see Jerry Jones as a guy turning from one losing coach to the other to solve his problems.

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