Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tuesday 02/13 A.M. Quickie:
Pete Carroll to Coach Chargers?

Chargers fire Marty Schottenheimer. It's like the owner and GM said, "You know, on second thought, losing to the Pats in the Division Playoff really DID suck as bad as we thought it did."

Actually, the real reason is even better than anything you could possibly make up: "Dysfunction." And it's obvious that the GM won that battle. That label probably marks the end of Schottenheimer's NFL coaching career.

So what next? I have two words for you: Pete Carroll. And if the USC coach hears the footsteps of the NCAA heading toward Trojan Nation, he might just decide it's a great time to get back in the pro game. (ProFootballTalk has supporting evidence for my theory, and the NFL Fanhouse is all over the various angles.)

Hell: Who WOULDN'T want to coach the Chargers? You have the best offensive player in the game. You have the best defensive player in the game. You have the best tight end in the game. You have a young Pro Bowl QB. And you DON'T have Marty Schottenheimer.

Duke is out of the Top 25! Well of COURSE they are. The true crime would have been if they had remained IN the rankings.

And, yet, amazingly, how much do you want to bet on the NCAA Seleciton Committee's working S-curve, Duke is no worse than a 5-seed?

(Oh wow: If Duke is going to make the Tournament – and they will – I PRAY they get the dreaded 5-seed. How awesome would that be?)

More College Hoops: Tourney Bias Watch -- Georgetown! The Hoyas clobbered the team (WVU) that just beat then-No. 2 UCLA. This, coming off Georgetown's spanking of Marquette over the weekend. Yeesh!

I watched both of those Georgetown wins, and -- barring a late-season collapse -- watching them first-hand is precisely why I'm going to be in the bag for the Hoyas when the brackets come out.

No matter what their ranking, this is a team that has all the parts to make a run to the Final Four. (Including one that I think is critical: A chip on their shoulder from LAST March.)

Texas spanks Oklahoma State, 83-54: Nice little revenge ass-kicking from that 2OT loss in Stillwater a few weeks ago. Kevin Durant (21 pts) wasn't THAT dominant. Some nifty and/or gorgeous shots, sure. But hardly "classic Durant-ish." Rather, it was UT's D that was dominant.

(I spent some time yesterday discussing Durant-vs-Oden with Shoals from FreeDarko: I walked away more convinced than ever that Oden is the only choice at the top of the draft.)

But I AM rooting for Texas to make the NCAA Tournament, if only to see what Durant (and super frosh PG DJ Augustin) can do.

CBB Tourney Bias Watch, Part 2: The Flip Side. Louisville beats No. 7 Pitt. (At Pitt? At Pitt?!) Another one of those games that I will remember during bracket-picking. I'm staying away from Pitt.

Tiki Barber to "Today": Damn, this would have been so much easier to mock if he hadn't inscribed his children's book to my little son. Damn you, Tiki! (But thank you, too... Damn! See?!?)

NBA: Nash won't play in the All-Star Game. That's too bad, because the ASG can use all the pass-first playmakers it can get.

Riley to return to Heat after All-Star Break: Just in time to take over as the team begins to make its surge for the postseason. Convenient!

MLB: Kris Benson has a torn rotator cuff and will likely miss the entire 2007 season. And the O's season ends before Ps and Cs report.

MLB: Is Mariano Rivera planning to bolt the Yankees after this season? He wants a big payday. How does that gibe with the Yanks' new financial austerity, particularly considering Rivera's mileage. (I dispute that: I think Rivera could be dominant well into his 40s, a la Clemens.)

NFL: Andy Reid to take a leave of absence to help out his delinquent son. Ah, just bring him to the combine. Can't find any trouble there!

Amaechi Watch: With the book about to release tomorrow, he's on the p.r. circuit, and correctly (a) lauding most fans for their positive reactions, and (b) noting that it will take time for true acceptance of gay athletes in major sports. (BTW, I agree completely with Mark Cuban's analysis of the marketing value to an active NBA player who comes out of the closet.)

Beanpot: BU beats BC. We can all go back to not caring about college hockey now (at least until the Frozen Four).

Westminster Dog Show: I'm ready to make my pick – Harry, the terrier co-owned by Bill Cosby. Because, y'know, "God loves a terrier."

-- D.S.


CMFost said...

I hope the Yankees resign Mariano to a long term contract it will just be another contract that at the end they will be regretting. Dan I disagree with your assesment that Mariano could be great into his early 40's. Have you not already scene signs of him slowing down. And if he starts to lose speed off his one and only pitch he will start to get lit up like a christmas tree.

I do agree that Pete Carroll makes the most sense as the new coach in SD. With that team you have to bring someone in with head coaching experience. Who ever coaches that team will be a retread not a brand new head coach.

Matt T said...

Here's a big story. The Braves sale was finalized late yesterday. It just has to be approved by MLB now.

There's talk of Liberty Media selling the team again in a few years.

As long as its not TimeWarner any more, I'm pleased.

I would hope the Chargers have a plan, all the top candidates, including their own assistants are gone.

Mikepcfl said...

As a Ravens fan, I hope San Diego hires Carroll. He is not a good NFL coach. He's a great recruiter and a good guy, but he is not a good game day coach, especially if the other team is equal in talent (ala Texas in the Rose Bowl). If San Diego was smart, they would hire an up and coming defensive assistant as head coach while hiring an experience offensive coordinator.

1999 Officers said...

It's WVU not WVA. Please, people don't call Northwestern NWE, do they? I didn't even go to WVU, but it looks ignorant when it says WVA. Love the column, but I cringe everytime you bungle that.

Unknown said...

Just because Florida doesn't have a college hockey team, that doesn't mean we won't care anymore. :) (Hey! If Alabama-Huntsville can have a hockey team, the Gators can too)

'Bout time you got back on the Oden wagon. Your flirtations with Durant were unseemly.

We're crapping on Duke, but I bet they get to the S16 anyways. And, as usual, no further.

Honestly, I think *I* could coach the Chargers to the playoffs. Carroll should already be wearing Chargers gear on his recruiting trips.

Ya know.. NASCAR doesn't do anything for me...but I'm intrigued by the Toyota addition, and will be following (somewhat) the competitions to see how they fare.

Brian in Oxford said...

I could get into a GTown - Air Force matchup in the tourney....

If SD slips a peg next year, what will that say? That maybe Marty was a good coach after all? Or will it get blamed on the raid on his coordinators? Will he go back to ESPN? Gotta agree that Carroll's not the answer....can you imagine SD overpaying for him, then him sucking, and then USC getting slammed by the NCAA? That's actually not that hard to envision.

Rivera's not going anywhere. Mariano, that is. (Can't say the same, necessarily, about Ron) It's only teams that see him over and over and over, with the same players who know what to look for, that have even a remote shot against him.

I had fun teasing my wife's cat by forcing her to watch the dog show. Then I got my toe bit in my sleep last night, so revenge was apparently sweet.

CMFost said...

Mike, I disagree with you. San Diego has to many parts in place to put in the hands of someone without head coaching experience.

Here is a thought do you think this is the tyrp of Job the Bill Cowher could be lured into taking?

pv845 said...

I don't see Pete Carroll leaving unless he get s HUGE chunk of change. He just got the best recruiting class, yes better than FL. He has control over the team completely. Two names that I could see pop up are Parcells, I mean that man could win and then retire in one year, or Cower.
As for Rivera, how about the new free spending Red Sox signing him. They need a closer and would love nothing more than to screw over the Yankees by taking the Sandman.

Unknown said...

NFL is Brutal

When I read about Arrington, Pettigout and Emmons being cut by the Giants it made me think once again how brutal the NFL is. Remember charges against Bellichick (sp?)for pressuring players with concussions to play? Think about it, these guys all missed time for being injured. Nobody questioned their ability or the legitimacy of their injuries. They were high priced and injured = CUT.

The Giants did the right thing from a business perspective. When the effectiveness of a player is in serious doubt then they are no longer worth the original assessment used in calculating their contract. In football unlike any other sport, players can be cut mid contract. It seems the contract is pretty one sided to me since players can't jump ship if they suddenly are worth more.

Is there any other sports Union in the US weaker than pro football given the incredible financial strength of the league? Maybe the NFL players need to find a real negotiator and not some dumb ex-jock for their next bargaining session.

Big D said...

Couple things:

First, there's gotta be a better option than this comment moderation. I think I commented four times yesterday, but only two made their way through. It's nearly impossible to keep a conversation/argument going, not to mention it's much harder to kill time at work when new comments only get posted every half hour or so... :)
As for the actual post - Schottenheimer will probably sit out for one year, then get mentioned when the coaching carousel starts back up in January '08. Somehow, he's coming out looking good in all of this.
I'd like to find out how Benson tore his rotator cuff, considering he probably just started throwing again. Good thing the O's didn't break the bank for Zito - now they can toil in mediocrity without any threat of breaking the .500 mark.
As a BC hater (former BU student...) I'm thrilled that they're getting Duke this week, just as the Blue Devils fall out of the rankings. If Duke isn't fired up for this game (or as fired up a a bunch of white guys from North Carolina can ever get), then they're bound for a second-round exit - from the NIT.

P.S. A late congrats on surpassing the 1% of Carmelo Anthony's friend total. That didn't take long at all.

Patriots64 said...

I hope Pete Carroll will go to the Chargers!!!!!!!!

The Chargers are already a month behind the Pats and Colts with no HC.

Vegas agrees: Yesterday, the Chargers were the favorites to win next year's Super Bowl with 5/2 odds.

Today, with Marty gone the odds have dropped to 12/1. The Colts are now the favorites, followed by the Pats.

Big D said...

@ cycledan:

"Is there any other sports Union in the US weaker than pro football given the incredible financial strength of the league?"

I would say the NHL Union is weaker, considering how much they gave up just to get back on the ice last year, and then adopted a labor model based on the NFL's current CBA.

Here's the problem - the teams hold all the power in the NFL. The fans (us) are basically just cheering for laundry - we rarely get to see the players' faces or hear them speak, aside from the star quarterbacks and the "me-first" wide recievers.

Baseball & the NBA are both "star leagues" - one super-mega-star can carry a team, and therefore is more marketable. That's why the NBA & MLB Unions are stronger (although the NBA union caved back in 1998 too). The MLB Union might be the most powerful union in the country - I can't remember a time in the last thirty years that they lost a labor dispute.

The NFL knows that when it all comes down to it, we're going to support our teams more than we support "our guys". That's why they can get away with non-guaranteed contracts, cuts with no buy-outs, etc. The fans won't revolt, as long as the team keeps winning games and bringing in players under the cap.

Sorry for the rant - I've had this argument with two of my friends (both lawyers) too many times to count. I kind of had this one lined up like a hanging Zito curve...

Trey (formerly TF) said...

While Pete Carroll would be ideal for the Chargers job, he's constantly demanded complete control. AJ Smith wanted Schotty fired because Schotty wanted more control. I don't see it happening.

How about the Zags losing again? tough to figure them out...

Joe (Dayton)

Ed Lamb said...


What, exactly, is wrong with Tiki Barber going directly from the NFL to a career in broadcasting? What am I missing about him having talent on the field and on the set? Do all the other ex-pros who do radio, television, movies, ad such merit your disdain as well?

Boomhauertjs said...

Marty will definitely get a job next year if he wants one. If the Browns can't get Cowher, how about rectifying one of Art Modell's many mistakes and bringing back Marty to bring back the "gleam" to Browns football?

Mikepcfl said...

cmfost, I think because the Chargers have so many pieces in place, they should go with an up and comer, but with experienced coordinators to back him up.

Cowher would be ideal, but 2 reasons he wont coach San Diego in 07. 1. He is great friends with Marty and wont step in to replace him. 2. The Steelers still control him for the 2007 and would demand ungodly compensation for him.

Side note, the O's did not lose much with Benson being hurt. Come on, he had 11 wins and a 4.8 ERA. He will not make a difference. The o's do have the young pitching to reach 500 this year, but that is with or without Benson.

Brian in Oxford said...

Why should contracts be guaranteed? If players don't make the team, they still get paid? That's b-s....and only the NFL has it figured out.

(I will concur, however, that cutting someone to fit a salary cap, when they still deserve a roster spot, under the hopes of re-signing them for less, is a bit shady.....but the player could just as easily take his talents elsewhere.)

Sports as labor is about as tired a premise as I can imagine. Guess what, if the NFL were still about weekend warriors with day jobs selling insurance, we'd still watch. Hell, we watch games played by guys who spend half their day in biology labs or doing calculus homework, already.

Brian in Oxford said...

Is Mo the last of the active 42s from when MLB retired it? I forget who, but last year someone who had been an active 42, but later switched numbers on another team, wasn't allowed to go back to 42. (It wasn't Mo Vaughn.)

Unknown said...

Um...reason #1 why Cowher won't take SD job is because he just bought a house in NC and wants to spend time with his family. Why do so many people insist on dismissing those reasons?! If Pittsburgh was too far from North Carolina..San Diego sure as hell is, too.

I'm pretty sure I want make sweet love by the fire to Stacey Dales. Tall blondes rock.

CMFost said...

Brian I agree with you the NFL is the only sport that has it figured out. If you do not perform you get cut and do not get paid. They are the only place that has contract like the real world.

The fact that in all the other major sports a player could effectively get fired and still get paid is a joke. I mean come on look at some like Vin Baker, he was in AA and still collecting 10 million dollar checks.

All sports need a salary cap and non gauranteed contracts.

JH said...

does this mean we should begin the "Anna Benson Divorce Watch"

there's no way she can stay out of a spotlight all year

thistlewarrior said...

@ Jeff:

Funny, that was the first thing that popped in my head when I heard about Benson's injury! Poor Anna, what will she do now?!

Brian in Oxford said...

And what's Stacey's marital status? She was going by Stacey Dales-Schuman, but that seems to have subsided lately....

Natsfan74 said...

This week's bracketology on ESPN has Duke in the Tournament as an 8 seed in the South Bracket. Assuming that the higher seeded team wins through, this bracket assumes Florida's run to the Final 4 would go through a 16-seed play-in game, then 8 seed Duke, 4 seed Georgetown, and 2 seed Kansas. That would be one of the greatest tournament runs ever, if it played out like that.

Football has contracts figured out for sure. How about NBA Players getting guaranteed money after choking a coach? Football is the only sport where athletes routinely sit out to renegotiate their contracts after a good season, so teams should have some room to renegotiate down after a bad one. Want to see how much money Gary Mathews Jr. or Carlos Lee are worth in about 2-3 years, vice what they are paid? Lee got $100M, for a 260 pound guy who can't play the outfield or run the bases?

jhawkjjm said...

I don't understand the fascination with Pete Carroll. He's a failed coach not once but twice in the NFL. The reason he's been successful at USC is not because of coaching, it's because he brings in superior talent because he's a great recruiter. Last time I checked you didn't recruit your players in the NFL.

I believe OSU has yet to win a game in the Big 12 on the road, and that includes losing to Colorado.

Oyster said...

Johnny Curry should be your 2006-07 Hobey Baker winner.

Discuss. If, you, um, care.

Brian in Oxford said...


I could live without the salary cap if the contracts weren't guaranteed.

You know what's funny, is when people challenge the validity of a draft, like it's unfair that the talent pool is assigned to specific teams?

The draft is the only thing that really cuts to the heart of sports. Everyone shows up down at the field, and you just pick teams!

ToddTheJackass said...

I'd argue Dave Brown over Curry, and since one is a Notre Dame player, and the other is a BU player, I will now promptly jump off a bridge.

Still say Jack Parker looks like Dick Cheney.

Officiating last night in the Beanpot was dreadful. Basically it was okay to cross check/charge/hit after the whistle, but any stick coming within 3 feet of a person's leg was called. Was bad both ways. Very disappointed in Benedetto, who is usually a decent ref.

mcam09 said...

I agree, Pete Carroll has a tremendous personality which makes him a terrific recruiter. Players love to play for him. However, he is NOT a good in-game coach at all. Just watch some of the decisions he makes. He should stay at USC, it is the best place for him to succeed.

Anonymous said...

You still slurping Arenas Mr. Shanoff?

Sunday, when Arenas failed to score 50 on the Blazers as promised -- as part of his campaign of revenge on coaches who left him off the U.S. national team during last summer's FIBA World Championship -- he criticized Jordan for overemphasizing defense in the game. Arenas said he was playing "like a robot" for fear of being sat down for a defensive mistake.

Told about Arenas' comments, Jordan deemed his criticism "ludicrous" and criticized his leadership skills.

chitown italian said...

Pete - Remember Nancy Reagan? Just say NO!

Why leave a successful program that you have built? Why don't you ask Steve Spurrier how it turned out for him leaving UF? Then make your decision.

Dan Shanoff said...

Eh...they patched it up. Blowing the 50 was bad...but the tiff with Eddie Jordan is already over.

Unknown said...

Big D, interesting point about NFL players having less star power and therefore less leverage than in other sports. I really have to agree with that as well. Outside of starting QBs almost any player can be cut with impunity.

Nooch, sorry to hear about your brother in law's plight in the NFL. It is almost unbelievable that they ask him to negate his contract without any type of compensation. Why on earth would anyone do it? I guess the threat of being blackballed.

I agree with the posters who state that guaranteed contracts where players get paid even if they don't make the team hurt sports in general. However I was referring orinally to the 3 Giant players who got cut all related to injuries. The probability of being seriously hurt in the NFL is MUCH higher than any other sport and therefore having a contract terminated because of an injury that occured during a game is pretty rough.

Imagine if a cop got shot on his job, a fireman burned and they only paid them the remainder of their salary for one year? Of course pro athletes earn much more and it is a short term job. However I still sympathize with the large number of players who live with life long injuries and very little to show for it.

My coach in high school was drafted by the GB Packers in the 50's. He declined to go play for them. We were all surprised that he didn't go play for them but back in his day, the salary for an O-lineman wasn't so great and he was just tired of taking the punishment.

ToddTheJackass said...

So, does anyone else here actually feel bad for Marty? I just kind of feel like none of this was really his fault.

Natsfan74 said...

If an NFL player gets a season-ending injury, the Team must pay out his season contract.

If an NFL player gets a career-ending injury, the Team must pay out the remainder of his contract.

The Giants cut players who were hurt during the year, but were able to come back. Their rationale was that these players are injury prone, so paying them over 16 games next year when they might play 12 is a gamble. These players game checks are all pretty steep to not play in every game. All 3 of them have had serious injuries over the past couple of years, so they aren't a safe bet to play 16 again. All 3 of them are healthy enough to play somewhere next year (maybe in NY even), but at a reduced salary from what they made this year.

The risk/ reward for signing a guy like Arrington is huge. When healthy, he is a dominating linebacker who might be worth the $12M per season the 'Skins gave him. In the past 2 years, he hasn't played a total of 16 games, so he is worth a lot less. Some team will take a flyer on him, and if he comes back healthy next year he could be a great bargain!

Signal to Noise said...

No to Carroll heading to the Chargers. He has repeatedly expressed a desire for full control, and my guess is that he means he wants something along the lines of what Mike Shanahan has in Denver. Spanos would have to throw A.J. Smith to the wolves too for that to happen.

Marty got a raw deal. If Spanos was to do this, he should have done it a month ago -- I don't care if the whole mess was brought on by the fact that Cameron and Phillips got head jobs and that Marty and Smith were arguing over replacements.

Unknown said...

When will Dan realize that Joakim Noah makes the Gators far more easy to hate than the Duke Blue Devils?

mark said...

Why would Carroll ever want to leave USC? It's the easiest coaching job in all of sports. The USC name effectively does its own recruiting, at least to a very great extent. That's certainly only going to be true so long as USC keeps winning, but do you see any reason why that would ever change? The PAC-10, while not exactly soft, isn't stacked with USC-caliber competition either, so the schedule comes with three or four ready-made wins a year, and that's before you take non-conference games into account. And with all Carroll's recent success under his belt, it adds up to a situation in which he's got his present job for as long as he pleases; he'd pretty much have to get indicted before they'd fire him. And they pay him very, very well too.

If you compare that to the NFL, where a five-year contract often means "we'll fire you after two if you haven't won anything," and where the job is extremely high-stress even if you are winning, and where it's open season on you from the armchair quarterbacks in the press, it's hard to imagine why he'd ever leave USC for any amount of money.

rukrusher said...

Zeke for Coach of the Year, Dan you are joking right?