The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Many teams seeing new faces for ’06

By Daniel Sayers/reporter

The NFL has started its own reality TV show. It’s called Name That Coach.

Nine teams will have complete makeovers to determine which team can get a coach that can win—or better yet—keep a job.

Nine NFL teams started their off-season looking for new head coaches with six teams still searching the depths of the NFL coordinator and fired coaches’ pool, looking for their perfect man. Those teams include the Minnesota Vikings (Brad Childress), Green Bay Packers (Mike McCarthy), New York Jets (Eric Mangini), New Orleans Saints (Sean Payton), Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans.

The Vikings found their man: Brad Childress, former Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator. The Vikings believe Childress can bring the discipline and competitive edge the team needs to shape them into a playoff contender. Like Andy Reid, Eagles head coach, Childress has class and is a well-respected coach around the league. Therefore, the Vikings chose Childress over several other coaches.

The Green Bay Packers have also found their man—42-year-old Mike McCarthy, former offensive coordinator of the San Francisco ’49ers. Speculation is the hire had something to do with trying to get Brett Farve to return as the Packers’ quarterback. McCarthy was the Packers quarterback coach with Farve, and the two are good friends. The Pack interviewed several other coaches but found their guy in McCarthy. GM Ted Thompson is relieved the process is over.

The New York Jets have announced their next coach is Eric Mangini, a graduate of the Bill Belichec coaching school. Mangini had his first year as a defensive coordinator in the league last season with the New England Patriots and is the youngest head coach in the league at 35. Mangini has ties to the Jets organization since he was an assistant coach there from 1997 to 1999. The Jets have a lot of question marks on the team, but not for defense. With Mangini at the helm, the team is expected to be even stronger.

The Detroit Lions have found what they were looking for in former defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his 10 years as the Bucs defensive coordinator, his unit set the consecutive games with a sack record at 69.

“ I am not looking for pro bowlers; I am more interested in world champions,” Marinelli said.

Marinelli is a good fit for the Lions, bringing a strong defensive presence to the team. With the right offensive coordinator, this team has an immense amount of talent on the offensive side of the ball and could improve quickly.

The Oakland Raiders are once again in a coaching search, and its usual long, drawn-out process of hiring a coach is expected not to change. The Raiders will probably be the last team to fill its coaching vacancy. The Raiders, supposedly interviewed Al Saunders, Kansas City assistant head coach last season and have no more interviews scheduled. Expect this to be the least-wanted job thanks to owner Al Davis and the most exciting job because Al Davis typically makes excellent choices in coaching talent.

The New Orleans Saints have acquired Sean Payton, offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys. Payton is held in high regards by the team considering he comes from Bill Parcells coaching line, which actually started the Bill Belichec line. Payton has said he enjoys the coaching quarterback position and being involved in the offense. With the second pick in the draft, Payton will get his option of Vince Young or Matt Leinart. Either player would be an excellent choice for Payton, but if he is looking to win soon, the obvious choice is Leinart.

The St. Louis Rams are finalizing a contract with new coach Scott Linehan. As the former offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, Linehan helped them to a 9-7 record last season after serious doubts about their season. Apparently the Bears’ defensive coordinator, Ron Rivera, was the finalist for the job considering he is a defensive-minded coach, and the saints have been such an offensive-minded franchise over the last seven years. But it was Linehan who is reportedly getting the job.

The Buffalo Bills have wasted no time getting into the mix after a late start in the new coach race, interviewing Lions interim coaches Dick Jauron and Mike Sherman this week. Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell is also expected to get an interview. Now that Marv Levy is running the Bills, expect a wise decision for this team’s future, and do not expect Levy to rush the process.

The Houston Texans have all but assured everyone that Gary Kubiak will be the next coach. With the first pick in the draft, an already talent-full offense and above-par defense, this team could be the best job to get. If at any point this off-season the team gets one or two offensive linemen, then this could be an 8-8 or better team next year, especially with Kubiak’s stretch offense.

The league has several good coaches still sitting in the trenches, and they might be taking a vacation this season. Steve Mariucci has not been interviewed by one team, and Martz might also be out on the street.

These two good coaches could find themselves watching a lot of Sunday football in the comfort of their home. It was quite a shock to see these two coaches not find work especially with the Lions job and Martz’s record and experience with great wide out cast and sub-par quarterbacks. Why did the Lions over look him?

Much excitement is already building for next season, and we have not even finished this season yet. But that is what makes the NFL what it is. Fans are ready for the next season immediately following the regular season, especially if you are a fan of the Chargers, Chiefs or Cowboys fans.

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