Andy Reid, Norv Turner and Lovie Smith Firings: Writer’s Round table
If you were an NFL head coach on Monday, you were hoping that your phone did not ring. For seven head coaches, however, that phone did ring and with it came the news of their firing. A NFL record seven head coaches were fired on Monday and among those, three were some of the most successful and long tenured coaches in football. Andy Reid of the Eagles, Norv Turner of the Chargers and Lovie Smith of the Bears are all coaches that have led their teams for a number of years and to varying degrees of success.
Taking part in our first ever Surgex Sports Blitz writer’s round table are members of the Blitz staff: Scott Taylory, Jake Safane, Phil Zera and myself, Justin DeFeo, each to provide our opinion on the three major head coach firings.
Justin DeFeo: Despite multiple appearances in the NFC championship game and even a trip to the Super Bowl, I believe change was needed in Philadelphia. Reid can coach, but his clock management decisions often came into question and the Eagles have been slumping the past few seasons. Reid is a quality individual, however, and will land a job elsewhere soon. Perhaps very soon.
Scott Taylor: You want to feel bad for Andy Reid because he is a really good coach and he has been around for so long. However, everyone saw this coming. The Eagles had way too much talent to be playing the way they have the past couple weeks. Reid will be fine though, as he will probably be a head coach somewhere else next season.
Jake Safane: Despite the injuries, the Eagles had way too much talent to play the way they have for the past two seasons. Reid is a good coach, but now is the right time to part ways and start fresh. His pass happy approach won’t fit well with the Eagles trying to rebuild, as the team should lean on LeSean McCoy and develop Bryce Brown.
Phil Zera: Without Jim Johnson and Donovan McNabb, Reid has been getting exposed recently as “overrated”. Reid will continue to decline in Arizona (if that’s where he eventually winds up) with no quarterback or without a consistent running game. He would be better served in San Diego with an established Pro-Bowl QB in Philip Rivers or Kansas City with RB Jamaal Charles and WR Dwayne Bowe leading the offensive barrage.
DeFeo: Despite always having strong regular seasons, Turner’s Chargers never had much post-season success. Is that a product of coaching? Maybe, but the wheels came off this season with the Chargers only getting to seven wins. I don’t know if Turner is cut out to be a head coach, but he should be an offensive coordinator somewhere.
Taylor: With all due respect to Norv Turner, he should of never been hired as the San Diego Chargers head coach. There are some guys who are great coordinators, but just can’t get it done as a head coach. Turner is a terrible head coach and the writing was on the wall in San Diego. However, expect Turner to be hired as an offensive coordinator some team next season. The New York Jets maybe?
Safane: It’s about time! For far too long, the Chargers have had a loaded roster but disappointing results. They need a new coach who can help the team stop giving away games and get Philip Rivers back on track. I think Turner will have better results as an offensive coordinator than as a head coach.
Zera: How he kept his job so long is a bigger mystery than the ancient pyramids or the Sphinx. Turner would fit nicely as the NY Jets offensive coordinator, mainly because he is a huge upgrade over Tony Sparano’s “ground and pound” style. Also, Turner could either improve Mark Sanchez or start fresh with whomever the NY starting QB is next season. Chip Kelly from Oregon would be nice in San Diego as he can have Philip Rivers throw the ball all over the place in his pass happy attack.
DeFeo: Perhaps most shocking of all the firings, I did not see Smith’s axing coming. When you take a look at the Bears’ record the past few years, however, things start to make sense, including just one playoff appearance in six seasons. Talent + under performing is almost always a formula for firing and that’s what the Bears displayed this year.
Taylor: Smith is the victim of the “What have you done for me lately?” culture we live in. The Chicago Bears ended the season with 10 wins, but yet Smith finds himself unemployed. If the Bears started the season on a slide but ended it on a roll, Smith may still have his job. It’s all about timing in the NFL and Smith didn’t have very good timing.
Safane: The Bears would be better suited finding a new quarterback and fixing their offensive line rather than letting go of Lovie Smith. Under Smith, the Bears have consistently had a great defense, and Smith should not be blamed for their shortcomings on offense. He made the most of their personnel and will continue to do so wherever he winds up next.
Zera: Without a doubt the worst and most confusing firing of the seven head coach firings. Anyone that can take a team to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman as your starting quarterback deserves a lifetime (at least) extension, and Smith did this. He’d be a great fit in Buffalo which has a serviceable QB and a monster running game.