And Now … Random Thoughts
Since there is so much going on in sports, I thought it would be best to write a random thoughts column. But before I start, I forgot my manners last week and didn’t wish you a Happy New Year. So there it is. May you have the best year of your life.
Let’s start with the Redskins coaching situation. As you already know, Joe Jackson Gibbs stepped down to spend more time with his family. Not a bad decision for a 67-year-old with diabetes and a very sick grandchild. Thank you, Joe, for restoring my team — two playoff appearances in four years is a great accomplishment considering the previous 13 years with just one postseason showing.
I certainly hope owner Dan Snyder stays in house and hires Gregg Williams. This will allow the Redskins to continue to ride what Gibbs has built. Give Williams a two-year contract and keep the coaches and core players and let’s see if the team can maintain the momentum.
If Snyder goes outside and hires a young defensive coordinator like Jim Schwartz (Tennessee) or Rex Ryan (formerly Baltimore), then you can bet that current offensive coordinator Al Saunders will stay but there will be changes and a year or two of rebuilding.
However, the most drastic changes will come if Snyder can entice Bill Cowher to end his self-imposed two-year retirement. Cowher will be expensive (I’ve read nearly $10 million per year); he will want personnel control and prefers a 3-4 defense. In my lifetime, the Redskins have never played a 3-4 defense. That would be a complete overhaul of the team. Not the best scenario.
So please, Snyder, you said Gibbs left the team in good shape. Let’s explore if that statement is true by keeping the Redskins together. Hire Williams.
University of Richmond coach Dave Clawson is leaving for the University of Tennessee to become the offensive coordinator. That’s great news, although many Spider fans may not agree. For Clawson, it is a direct path to a head coaching position at a football powerhouse.
In addition, Clawson nearly doubles his salary after being offered a three-year deal worth $1.2 million, according to published reports.
Ironically, Clawson, 40, signed a five-year contract last week with Richmond after leading the football team to its finest season and an 11-3 record. He was 29-20 over four years with a pair of conference championships.
Good luck, Coach Clawson.
I’ve been reading about what’s going on in Michigan. Rich Rodriguez left West Virginia to become the Wolverines’ new coach a few weeks ago. Then after Michigan beat Florida in the Capital One Bowl, freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett said he was transferring. Mallett’s pro style of play does not fit Rodriguez’s spread offense that requires a running QB.
Here’s where I have a problem with the NCAA’s current system for transferring. Mallett was the second-rated prep quarterback a year ago and came to Michigan because of the pro style of Lloyd Carr. Mallett now has to SIT OUT a year if he transfers to another Division I school, per NCAA rules. (Players don’t have to sit a year if they transfer to a Division I-AA school like Richmond).
It’s a sure bet Mallett will be a professional quarterback on some level. His primary objective at this time is finding a college that helps him accomplish his goal. So why does he have to sit out a year and be penalized? It’s not his fault that Rodriguez came in and changed the system. The NCAA should allow players under these circumstances to transfer to a Division I school and play immediately.
I was 1-3 on my picks for the NFL wildcard playoffs. I’m back to try again. The winners this weekend will be Jacksonville, Indianapolis, New York and Green Bay.
OUT AT HOME: My wife declared “we need a new vacuum” late last Sunday. I shrugged and said, “let’s go to Best Buy.” We came home with a new vacuum and a stinking carpet cleaner! I have to admit the carpet cleaner has been money. We’ve done half the house and already I’ve noticed a huge difference in our air quality. Now I’m obsessed with air. This week our furnace will get a new filter.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK: I haven’t seen the new show yet, but this promo is pretty funny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSSJdEuT0p8