Daily Archives: January 23, 2009

FR: Super Bowl coaches

As an addendum to our post comparing the Super Bowl skill position players to their counterparts around the NFL, here’s a comparison of Mike Tomlin and Ken Whisenhunt to their fellow head coaches. We use a 10-point scale, with 10 being the best coach in the league (Belichick) and 1 being why-does-this-job have a job. We’re going to leave out new first-time coaches, because we’ve covered those hires in comparison to each other in ridiculous depth. We’ll include names across the board.

10- Bill Belichick – 3 rings plus this year’s changes make this no contest.

9- Jeff Fisher, Mike Tomlin. Fisher’s done more with less for more than a decade. Tomlin in two years has proven that he’s the truth, and if he wins the Super Bowl here, he’s set up for a legendary career.

8- Tom Coughlin. He’s building a resume that gets more impressive by the year. Don’t look now, but he’s on the edge of Hall of Fame consideration one day already.

7- Andy Reid. A consistent winner except in the two most important games.

6- John Fox, John Harbaugh, Mike Smith, Tony Sparano, Ken Whisenhunt. Fox has done a good but not great job for quite a while now. I’m putting Harbaugh, Mike Smith, and Sparano here for now because it’s still too soon to tell if they have staying power. All 3 will move up with good years next year. Whisenhunt’s regular season record is good, especially in Arizona. If he wins the Super Bowl, he moves up a level and begins to be seen in the light of the elite.

5 – Sean Payton, Norv Turner, Brad Childress. Payton’s offense is great, but his defense stinks, and his team was inconsistent this year. Turner is awful in the first half of the year, but his strong closes and playoff wins the last two years have elevated his status at least a bit. Childress’ belief in Tarvaris Jackson is to this point unjustified, but his quick move to Gus Frerotte this year helped the Vikings win the division. He’ll move up or down a level next year, depending on whether his team wins again or falls victim to its QB situation.

4- Mike McCarthy, Lovie Smith, Jack Del Rio, Gary Kubiak, Wade Phillips, Eric Mangini. Lovie Smith, Del Rio, and McCarthy have had success, but can they do it again? Kubiak’s team seems to be on the brink, but he hasn’t gotten them over yet. Phillips has mismanaged talent, but his team still has a winning record in his two years in Dallas, so we can’t completely rip him. Mangini didn’t get a chance to do it again in New York, but he deserved  his quick second chance.

3 – Dick Jauron, Jim Zorn, Jim Mora, Herman Edwards. Jauron’s teams play hard, but the results aren’t there at the end of the year. Zorn’s first year was up and down, but the arrow seemed pointed down at the end. Mora’s Atlanta record shows he has some ability, but it will be interesting to see if his energy translates second time around. Edwards has had success, but his team couldn’t get the wins this year. If he gets fired, he can’t complain, because his team should have had 2-3 more wins than it did last year.

2 – Marvin Lewis – Lewis had one good year in a place where it’s impossible to win consistently. Unless he pulls a rabbit out of his hat next year, it’s hard to defend him staying around. 

1- None left after the head-coaching changes.

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Filed under Football Relativity, NFL coaches, Super Bowl

FR: Super Bowl skill positions

It’s time to start the Super Bowl previews here on Football Relativity. Per Carl’s request, we’re going to play relativity with the skill-position players in the Super Bowl. In this post, we’ll rate them in relation to the whole league. We’ll compare them to other potential playmakers (skill positions or not) in this single game next week, and that scale will be different. 
At each position, we’ll list who in the league is the 10 so that you can glimpse these players relative to the rest of the league. 10 is the best score
QB
10 = Peyton Manning (Tom Brady was also a 10 in ’07; omitted here because of injury)
7- Kurt Warner
6- Ben Roethlisberger
Comments: I’m a tough grader on quarterbacks. (I think Brees is a 9, Rivers was an 8 this year, McNabb a 7). Warner is hyperproductive and doesn’t throw interceptions. The biggest negative is that he fumbles the ball more often than most quarterbacks – only 2 this year but 7 last season. Roethlisberger is almost even with Warner, but he falls a rating below because of his poor performance in his previous Super Bowl. 
RB
10=Adrian Peterson
5 – Willie Parker
4 – Edgerrin James
3 – Tim Hightower
Comments: Parker’s speed  is well above average, and he has been very productive in the past. This year, however, he was held down by injuries. James is near the end of his career, and you can tell, although he’s had a bit of a renaissance in the playoffs. Like Parker, James’ lack of work during the year actually is helping him in the postseason. Hightower is good in short yardage but really struggled when he was called on to carry the load this year.
WR
10=Andre Johnson
10- Larry Fitzgerald
8 – Anquan Boldin
7 – Hines Ward
5 – Santonio Holmes
3 – Steve Breaston 
2 – Nate Washington
Comments: Fitzgerald, along with Johnson, is as good as he can possibly be. Boldin could be a No. 1 receiver for more than half the league. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, but he’s big and physical and runs well after the catch. Ward, though smaller, is a lot like Boldin, only without the breakaway YAC ability. Ward’s phenomenal blocking does keep him up the charts. Holmes is emerging as a big-play guy, but he hasn’t been consistent on a game-to-game basis yet. I see that coming soon though. Breaston stepped up big when Boldin was out this year, and he is developing into a strong receiver. Washington is often overlooked, but he made several big plays this year. Like Breaston, Washington is an above-average No. 3 option in relation to the rest of the league.
TE
10 = Tony Gonzalez or Jason Witten
5 – Heath Miller
2 – Leonard Pope
Comments: Miller is an adequate tight end in any offense. He can match catches and gain some yards when healthy. Pope is a physical specimen but isn’t consistent at all. He had lost his job to Stephen Spach, but Spach was lost for the year against Carolina.

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Filed under Football Relativity, Super Bowl