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Coaching Grades...

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Pack93z, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

    Aug 1, 2005
    Might be of interest...


    NFC North

    Lovie Smith | Chicago Bears

    It’s true he didn’t miss any blocks or tackles or drop any passes, but after receiving a hefty new contract extension for the super job he turned in last season, Smith made one suspect move after another this season. It was his brilliant idea to sign S Adam Archuleta, whose best days were way behind him. Smith’s assertion that pass-rush specialist Mark Anderson could be an every-down player also turned out to be totally off base, as Anderson got trampled in several games. Smith also weakened the coaching staff by getting rid of defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and DL coach Don Johnson. His failings filtered down to offensive coordinator Ron Turner, whose unit sputtered more often than not, and new defensive coordinator Bob Babich, whose unit missed way too many tackles and didn’t force nearly enough turnovers. Smith gained more control over the operation than ever before, but at season’s end, it was clear that his team had taken several steps backward, conjuring up unpleasant memories of the Dick Jauron regime, which went downhill after reaching a 13-3 peak in 2001.

    Grade: C-minus

    Rod Marinelli | Detroit Lions

    At the midpoint of the season, the Lions stood at 6-2 with a chance not only to end a seven-year playoff drought but also seriously challenge for the team’s first division crown since 1993. Six games — all losses — later, the team was eating humble pie, left to pick up the crumbs and wonder what went wrong. Rumors of discord and infighting between coaches and players, and coaches and coaches, have made for what became a tough working environment. QB Jon Kitna, who spoke openly in the preseason about the team’s chances of winning 10 games or more, has called out several veterans for their lack of commitment and leadership. And with each loss, the finger-pointing escalated throughout the locker room. Marinelli expressed his disgust with the team’s deteriorating discipline after it had avoided that problem during its hot start. And his weekly struggles to get offensive coordinator Mike Martz and defensive coordinator Joe Barry on the same page as to what Marinelli wants has hurt, too. That said, this is not a tremendously talented team, and the two early losses by a combined 66 points should have said as much about the team as the six first-half wins by a combined 81 points did.

    Grade: C-minus

    Mike McCarthy | Green Bay Packers

    The youngest team in the league for the second straight year has responded quite favorably to McCarthy, who has pushed all the right buttons this season and has established himself as a very serious candidate for Coach of the Year honors — as well as a significant contract extension in the not-too-distant future. McCarthy has successfully tightened the screws on future Hall of Famer Brett Favre and inspired his veteran signalcaller to become more of a thinking man’s quarterback. His team continued to do exceptionally well on the road, he has been able to very effectively communicate one-on-one with his players, and his ability to keep those players fresh and at peak efficiency with a lot of well-thought-out personnel shuffling has paid off nicely. McCarthy is hardly flashy in front of the cameras, but his no-nonsense, straightforward manner and extreme attention to detail have earned him residence in the NFL’s high-rent head-coaching district.

    Grade: A

    For more on Mike McCarthy, see our feature "Up close: Right coach at the right time"

    Brad Childress | Minnesota Vikings

    Childress was not a popular figure last season with many players, the media and fans, and he made only minor changes to assuage the critics who claimed he was too hard-headed and straight-laced. And early this season, he fostered his reputation with his conservative handling of Adrian Peterson’s touches, despite the rookie’s early success. Childress also was criticized for his insistence on playing QB Tarvaris Jackson, who looked still-green and rushed. Defensively, Childress and coordinator Leslie Frazier took heat for sitting too much in their base Tampa-2 system, which led to the pass defense getting torched often. Eventually, the coaches changed their approach with these things and more, using Peterson more often, getting more out of Jackson during a five-game win streak and changing up defensive looks and having success despite missing a few starters. It was a run that got the Vikings into solid playoff position going into their matchup with the Redskins in Week 16. But Childress was thoroughly outcoached by Joe Gibbs and Co. in the game. Peterson was bottled up, Jackson was terrible and the defense had few answers for QB Todd Collins, of all people. It was a mixed bag for the Vikings and Childress, both of whom improved in Year Two — just not enough.

    Grade: B-minus
  2. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

    May 31, 2005
    Thanks for that article. Interesting to hear about the discord among the players and coaches on the Detroit Lions. Ever since Marinelli came in, I've been hearing about how he's "creating a new culture" in Detroit, but I have yet to see any evidence of it. They are still trying to win quickly with inferior talent. In that last game against the Packers, it looked to me like the players were trying to get Marinelli fired. What a poor team effort that was.

    I really enjoyed reading the glowing review of Mike McCarthy's coaching job this year. It burns me a little that he got outcoached by Lovie Smith twice this season, but considering that the Pack went 13-3, I'll take it. As for Childress, he at least was able to salvage his season, but there's nothing that really impresses me about him.
  3. favre2driver

    favre2driver Cheesehead

    Jan 8, 2008
    There was a video on Nfl on how Marinelli had been doing a good job. But that was a couple months ago. MM's "A" Grade is well deserved. As for Childress, he continued to make his young QB Tarvaris Jackson pass even when he was struggling. When he's had 4-5 straight incompletions, don't force him into deeper passes. Do screens, slants. and RUN!!!

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