Zero Tolerance For Coaches?

Recently I’ve been privy to how a sales team is motivated to achieve on a daily basis.  Via a nearly nonstop exchange of updates, encouragement, prayers and details of orders received from the field, I see in real time how this unfolds, and how it triggers my emotions and behavior as a result.  When there’s a “win”, there are fire emojis and WOOTS!, with multiple congrats fed from the top brass.  When there’s a more modest achievement, there’s polite acknowledgement for a brief flurry.  Lacking that, crickets.  Indeed, those underachievers are moved below a threshold line to underscore exactly what they have not yet been able to do.  When you see that, one can’t help but feel like a have-not.

But for as much of a pressure cooker environment that seems to create, it can’t possibly be what I suspect is being felt by NFL football coaches, particularly in the cold, cruel months of December and January.  And this year in particular has seen quite a number of heads roll, including some folks with some impressive resumes.

At the moment, a quarter of the league’s head coaching jobs are vacant.  And based upon the results of Super Wild Card weekend, that proportion could reach nearly 40 per cent.  Already, the drum rolls have begun in Philadelphia, as the hometown INQUIRER’s Jeff McLane reported:

Owner Jeffrey Lurie will have the final decision on Sirianni’s future after the Eagles lost six of their final seven games, lastly a 32-9 embarrassment to the Buccaneers in the first round of the postseason.

But when your $255 million franchise quarterback can’t summon the words to defend his coach, it seems a foregone conclusion that Sirianni won’t be back for a fourth season — just one year after he nearly guided the Eagles to a second Super Bowl title.

And in Pittsburgh, per BLEACHER REPORT’s Andrew Peters:

Mike Tomlin had no interested in answering questions about his future following a wild-card exit to the Buffalo Bills.  The Pittsburgh Steelers head coach promptly walked away from the podium when a reporter began asking him about his future with the team.  With the loss to Buffalo, the Steelers have now failed to make it past the wild-card round since 2017. They have also missed the playoffs three times in the last season.

The 17th-year head coach, now the longest tenured head coach in the NFL, will be in the final year of his contract in 2024. While Tomlin’s experience as a head coach is unmatched, his struggles over the past few seasons have been evident.

And especially in Dallas, where the fate of Mike McCarthy dangles in the wind as the Jones family huddles on a quick vacation with this little objective report from the FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM’s possibly along for the ride:

Fire ‘em. Cut em’. Pink slip ‘em. Put ‘em up for adoption. Send ‘em to the in-laws.

Pick your player, coach or favorite GM, and there is not a single member of the Dallas Cowboys who does not deserve to be dropped into a Texas State Fair-sized pot of hot grease for what went down on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.

Head coach Mike McCarthy has one year remaining on his contract, and in his four seasons the Cowboys have been “around it.” Three straight 12-win seasons in the NFL is not an accident, and yet the Cowboys have one playoff win in his tenure.

And speaking of Jason Garrett.

McCarthy is going to want another year on his deal, but with Jim Harbaugh, Mike Vrabel, Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick all available, will Jerry pay for two more years of Mikey-Mike football?

Anyone who can make people longingly wish for Jason Garrett as a leader or as a journalist has to be perceived as pretty damn poor.

And although McCarthy and Tomlin have Super Bowl rings, and Sirianni came within four points of getting one himself less than a year ago, there are very, very much on the chopping blocks.  Impetuous billionaire owners only have so much patience, and they don’t seem to be all that interested in sending out occasional encouraging signs like fire emojis to even motivate their field generals.

And even the ones who have somehow escaped the guillotine are being reigned in and were “strongly encouraged” to change their staffers.  The Giants’ Brian Daboli and the Bears’ Matt Eberflus are still employed, but between them 12 of their assistants and associates were let go, at management’s behest.

It may not even end there.  The Bills’ Sean McDermott has come under scrutiny at several points during an up-and-down season, but for the moment, thanks to that win over Tomlin yesterday that earned him a home game shot at their arch-rival Kansas City Chiefs for the first time, those cries and laments from a frustrated fan base have been quieted.  But should Pat Mahomes actually deliver his team to victory in his first true road playoff start (apart from neutral field Super Bowls), watch out.

About the only team where there was an open question about a struggling coach keeping their job where a surprising verdict was given was the New York Jets, where Robert Saleh and most of his minions are returning despite three years with an 18-33 record and not even a whiff of the post-season.  But even that may be changing, if there is any smoke to the fire reported last week by HEAVY’s Paul A. Edsen, Junior:

On Wednesday, January 10 the Chicago Bears fired offensive coordinator Luke Getsy “and members of his staff”, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

It didn’t take long for a connection to be made to the New York Jets.

Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic noted on X previously Twitter, that Getsy was with Aaron Rodgers on the Green Bay Packers from 2014 through 2021 including a stint as the QB coach from 2019 through 2021.

“Aaron Rodgers on Getsy in 2022: ‘A close friend. A guy who was a confidant. We had a lot of long conversations after the day had been done. Good hangouts outside the facility … he’s just a great human being. Great husband, father, phenomenal coach. He’s fun in the room … I loved our constant dialogue during the weeks and loved being coached by him.’ Just saying.”

Well, maybe there ARE some overly tolerant employers out there after all.  Wonder what kind of emojis and prayers are being conveyed on their channels?

Courage…

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