Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fire Sherman, Take Two

I know it's been said before, but I'm here to say it again.


I said it before Monday night's loss to Baltimore (then again, it was only 48-3). I'm saying it now. Mike Sherman is a complete, absolute, historic failure as a head coach. With Dick Jauron now collecting a fatter paycheck than earlier in the season, it's worth mentioning that Sherman isn't the worst head coach in his division anymore. Congrats, Mike. Maybe you can have someone in your family get you a shirt that says "I'M SMARTUR THAN DICK JARUON" so you have something to wear at the game on Sunday.

Clearly, you're not interested in actually coaching this team, so we might as well have some fun in these last two games, right?

This isn't to absolve the players of their responsibility in this. After all, if they had done a better job of mailing it in, the Ravens would have been convinced that their offense was practicing against traffic cones instead of playing a game against a real opponent. While I'd love to blame the team's "Who gives a crap?" mindset from last night on the head coach, I'm a firm believer in that a coach can only do so much. At some point, the onus is on the players, highly-paid and mainly finely-tuned professional athletes (and adults, too), to prepare and be ready to play when the lights go on. The Green Bay Packers didn't do that last night, choosing instead to stand around and watch.

Stand around, like Robert Ferguson did while Donald Driver tried to shake free from three Baltimore defenders and make a play when it was 31-3 in the third quarter. Don't bother blocking anyone, Robert. Just stand there and look like you'd rather be filing your fingernails. What a great example to set for the young kids watching. When the game gets out of hand, stop trying. Stop competing.

Don't worry. The coach won't do anything drastic, like, say, benching someone who doesn't want to play. He'll just leave you out there so you can continue to not give a crap.

In the end, there weren't nearly enough guys, Brett Favre included, who looked like last night mattered too much. For the first time this season, Favre looked like a guy who would rather be mowing the lawn at home than playing football. Hopefully, that's not a sign of anything. Meanwhile, the sight of players standing around and moping around the field was more prevalent than anything else for the Green and Gold. Sad, really, because the Packers looked like a team that was hardly interested in draft picks during the last few weeks. They fought hard and played hard, even if they didn't play well (and that was usually the case, as their record would indicate). Last night was the first time all season that the team was completely noncompetitive.

And Sherman just stood there. Don't bother benching anyone, Mike. Don't bother chewing anyone out for not giving any kind of meaningful effort. Just stand there with the tip of your stupid Sharpie in your mouth. Make some faces in the general direction of the field. What a great coach. Teaching and coaching to the buzzer.

Mike, you're a failure. Examples:

Your team is woefully unprepared for games. In each of the last two games, your opponent has taken a double-digit lead in the first quarter. The opponents? Detroit and Baltimore. If you combine those offenses, you still have a horrible unit that shouldn't score many points against any NFL defense. Nice preparation. And I'll say nothing about the offense making Detroit's defense look like the 1985 2005 Bears. Twice in one season. That same defense, by the way, yielded 41 points at home against Cincinnati this week.

Your team is woefully undisciplined. The stupid penalties continue. I work until 8pm and have to drive about 15 minutes to get home. In that span, along with the time it took me to take my jacket off, tuck my son into bed, and get settled in, the Packers fell behind 14-0 and took about a half-dozen penalties. The penalties have been a problem all season, but nothing has been done. Ahmad Carroll commits a dumb penalty practically every game, yet the Packers' idea of punishment was benching him for a half and then cutting his main competition for a starting job.

You have failed, miserably, to rein in Brett Favre. I know his reputation is that of the "old gunslinger". But Favre is at his best when his coaches are keeping him somewhat under control. The Packers are losing right now, in large part, because Favre has made a bad habit out of throwing uncatchable deep balls that get intercepted. He's back to 1993 form, where he constantly made bad decisions and was often bailed out by butter-fingered defensive backs. It's something he can work himself out of, but he won't do it under this coaching staff. This coaching staff has made it clear that they're not going to try to get Favre under more control. At least, they haven't yet. And it's Week 16. You'd think they would have done it by now.

The playcalling sucks. Nothing like facing a superb pass rush and throwing the ball 61 times while running less than half that. Brilliant. Sherman tried to excuse it as the team being in the two-minute offense a lot. Nope. The playcalling sucked. The team was in the two-minute offense when they didn't need to be, and they had chances to run the ball that they wasted trying to get Favre to throw short passes against a quick defense that eats those kinds of things alive.

This team has been embarrassed multiple times under Sherman. The first home playoff loss happened. Many chalked it up to some tough late-season injuries and the fact that the streak was eventually going to end. It didn't have to be Sherman's fault. But what's happened since has to be blamed, at least in large part, on Sherman. The Packers are 12-12 at Lambeau Field since that night, including an embarrassing playoff loss to a completely disjointed Minnesota team last year. The Packers have lost home games in which they blew huge leads (Kansas City in 2003), blew late leads (Philadelphia in 2003), were basically not at all competitive (Chicago and Tennessee in 2004), and where they played clearly inferior teams (Cleveland in 2005, the Giants in 2004). They lost a December home game to the FREAKING JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS.

And to top it off, they just lost on national television to a four-win team by 45 points, and it wasn't even that close.

Fire Sherman. Please. We deserve better. Don't make us march on Lambeau Field in Bears colors on Christmas Day.


Anonymous said...

One Word...


Bj said...

you got your wish. well, we all did

Buh-bye sherman, don't let the 4-12 record hit you in the ass on the way out.