Coaches Facing Extreme Pressure

Like Charles Barkely said, every coach gets fired sometime in their life, even if they turn out to be a great one. It is just a part of developing as a coach, but does it get any better when you distinguish yourself? Some would say yes and no, but the hoopla surrounding that coach every year after their high standard is never going to be relinquished. A town can fall in love with that coach, but that is a non-existent factor to the front office. If the team starts folding the blame always comes back to one person.

After several years under their belts, there are some big time coaching names that will be going into the 2005 off-season with eyes all over them. Bill Parcells, Mike Shanahan, Jeff Fisher, and Mike Holmgren better bring their sophisticated knowledge to full capability this year. If not it wouldn?t be shocking to see all four coaches either out of the NFL or elsewhere in the league.

If anyone is paying attention, there has been a big transformation of unknown coaches getting jobs. For years it was always just a reshuffling of former NFL coaches that would land elsewhere. Now though, more and more teams are realizing how great some of the defensive and offensive coordinators are in the league. It?s proving to be a critical move on the field, and also in management?s pockets.

For Jeff Fisher he has been roaming the Titans sidelines since their days in Houston. Tennessee has quickly aged, and Fisher may want to reconsider if he wants to go through another rebuilding process. Of course, maybe Fisher can pull a Bill Cowher and make a quick recovery to a youthful team. Odds are against him though, as the Titans are in a strong division and AFC in general. With Chris Brown at 100 percent the Titans were a factor last season until he got hurt, so with a move here and there, the Titans could get back to being respectable.

Out in Dallas, you could only see the disgust of shear disbelief in Bill Parcells every weekend. His quarterbacks were performing lower than an Arena Football quarterback, and the times he needed his defense to step up they didn?t. It seems like Parcells is becoming frustrated with coaching these days and is hiding it in. Look for him to bring in a veteran quarterback like Drew Bledsoe to make a run one more time. If it fails, I?d look for him to resign ala Jimmy Johnson did in Miami, and stay out of football for good so that he doesn?t tarnish his coaching legacy.

Mike Holmgren just hasn?t been able to get Seattle to the level they should be. They?ve had a talented nucleus of players that just aren?t shaping up on the field. No one knows the problem, but speculation has to be that time is running out for Holmgren. They have an All Pro running back and quarterback, with talented receivers that just need to learn to catch the football. Add to that a top five offensive line, and it equals to yearly average results. Their defense is average, but with an offense like theirs they should be able to ride it full strength like the Colts, Vikings, and Chiefs.

Out of all the coaches though, no one is facing more pressure than Mike Shanahan. He keeps giving fans wild card tastes of their past Super Bowl titles in the late 90?s, but to fans that?s like taking a steak off the grill too early. The taste is okay but not up to par of anticipation and satisfaction. Shanahan continues to marvel his surrounding peer coaches with the gems he finds at running back, but the main problem has been behind the center. Since Elway left, he has used numerous quarterbacks such as Steve Beurelein, Gus Frerotte, Brian Griese, and now Jake Plummer. Neither has been able to sustain a consistent year, and it doesn?t look like Plummer will change in the near future. With Al Wilson and Champ Bailey on defense the Broncos are geared to make their defense a strong point. Ashley Lelie is a top ten receiver in the NFL, but unless Plummer shows veteran skills it won?t matter. There is nothing more frustrating to a fan base than continual brief seconds of glory. When the Broncos lose every year in the first round it leaves them in a buried state when it comes to the NFL Draft. No one likes to be in the 20-23 range every single year. It gives you no room to draft a sure fire athlete, and they end up having to draft a player hyped from the combine that crosses over as much with their bust potential.


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