Lane Kiffin the Salesman

I don't know either they just keep giving me jobs?

Sports with Bob McFlurry

I don’t see what the big deal is with Lane Kiffin and why he’s a head football coach or was even considered for a head football coaching job. Yes he had some success as an assistant at USC in the mid 2000’s, more a product of the elite players the school collected than coaching in my mind. Yes Lane Kiffin took over recruiting for USC in 2005 but only after the program had restored itself as a national powerhouse. How hard is it to recruit players to a program that won a national championship the year before and finished in the top 2 or 3 in the years previous? It’s a sales job that I’m sure the Sham-Wow guy could do.

I’m not hating on Lane Kiffin as an assistant or a recruiter, I’m hating on Lane Kiffin as an arrogant son of a bitch. I’m hating on Lane Kiffin because he went 5-15 in the NFL and was miraculously given the head coaching job at Tennessee. I’m hating on Lane Kiffin because after he went 7-6 with a Bowl loss in 2009 he was magically given an even more high profile head coaching job back at USC after Pete Carroll left. So after a career head coaching record of 12 and 21 he somehow gets rewarded for not getting the job done. It’s the kind of promotions you’ll see in the government not in football.

One thing I do understand about the allure of Lane Kiffin is that he comes with his father Monte to run the defense. Monte Kiffin who is essentially the architect of the Tampa-2 defense that had the Buccaneers as one of the most dominant defenses in the NFL for 10 years or so.  I guess that really figures into the hiring process when you have your legend of a father in there with you at the interview.

He was lucky to get the Tennessee job, a job he kept for a year before moving to USC and inciting a riot on campus Knoxville. Now he’s being brought back to USC where he coached the player that got the University suspended from post-season play for the next two years. Not that it really matters. Judging by his coaching record I don’t think USC had a chance at a BCS game so the only thing USC loses out on is cash from the “INSERT SPONSOR HERE” Bowl. One thing is for sure though, Lane Kiffin is a hell of a salesman. Somehow he got 3 teams to buy his bullshit as a head coach.

Drew Brees

Terrence Copper is open but should I throw it to him?
Terrence Copper is open but should I throw it to him?

Bob McFlurry with Sports

I love Drew Brees and I mean that in the gayest way possible.  I’ve loved this guy since his sophomore season in 1998 at Purdue when he led the team on an 80 yard drive with 1:25 left on the clock and threw a 25 yard strike to Ike Jones (of a rival high school of mine) for the game winner against #4 Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl. I remember this distinctly because not only was that night the first time I had ever taken a flaming shot of Bacardi 151 and a neighbor had hit my car parked outside my friends house, but also the amazing statistic that Brees’ Boilermakers were only the second unranked team to beat a top 5 team in bowl game in history. It is still easily a top 10 College Football game I have ever watched.

Brees continued a storied College career earning Academic All-America Player of the Year as a Senior and garnering the Maxwell Award for the nation’s most Outstanding Player.  Drew also holds the record for the longest pass in NCAA history at 99 yards.

Brees was drafted by San Diego with the first pick in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft (San Diego drafted Ladanian Tomlinson in the first round).  Initially I was somewhat weary of Brees taking it to the next level given his 6 foot 190+ frame. The trend of high round QB’s drafted into the NFL was that of size and athleticism more so than cognitive function in the early 2000’s and to some extent continues today (See Jamarcus Russell).

However, Brees put my doubts to rest starting in 2004 in his 3rd year as the starting QB for the Chargers posting an insane TD to Int ratio (27-7), passer rating (104.8) and with Tomlinson led San Diego to a 12-4 record and their first playoff birth in 9 years.

Before that 2004 season though, the Chargers drafted Eli Manning, eventually trading him to the NY Giants in exchange for the rights to Phillip Rivers and several draft picks.  A protracted contract dispute between the Chargers and Rivers allowed Brees to be named started and enjoy a breakout year in 2004. Brees was a free agent at the end of 2004 and eventually would be lassoed with the Franchise Tag for the 2005 season.  Brees did go down late in the 2005 season with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

In 2006 the New Orleans saints took a chance on the once comeback player of the year and gave him a 6 year 60 million dollar contract. In 2006 he was named runner up to Tomlinson for the AP NFL MVP. The same year he took the Saints past the Eagles and into the NFC Championship game against the Bears. The next two seasons were not as good as the Saints fell back to mediocrity going 7-9 and 8-8 mostly due to defensive deficiencies. By this time though Brees had established himself as an upper echelon QB starting a Pro Bowl game. He fell 15 yards short of the single season passing yardage mark owned by Dan Marino.

All in all, Brees is, in my opinion, the second best QB in the NFL at this point behind Peyton Manning (yes above Tom Brady).  I think Brees will continue a torrid pace this year and win the AP MVP if another running back, Adrian Peterson, does not block him from it. It’s good to see that a QB of a smaller stature can thrive in the NFL given that most teams draft 6’4” athletic specimens to play QB but seem to forget that the QB needs to make decisions with the ball, not just throw or run with it.

Look for the Saints to beat the Giants this week and be a force to be reckoned with the rest of the season.

Dudes Who Need To Be Fired: NFL Edition

Sports With Bob McFlurry

Here’s My NFL List of 2009 who need to be fired in the sports world whether they deserve it or not:

Head Coaches:

Jack Del Rio: Jacksonville Jaguars

Del Rio has a regular season record of 50-46 with 3 winning seasons in 6 years and two playoff appearances including one playoff win.  That coupled with the dismal season they’re probably going to suffer through will not allow Del Rio to keep his job. Unless David Garrard turns into Peyton Manning that is and Maurice Jones Drew can prove he’s an every down back. Bottom line Jack Del Rio is somewhere else next season.

Marvin Lewis: Cincinnati Bengals

Last year 4-11-1, 2oo7 finished 7-9, 8-8 in 2006 after going 11-5 in 2005. Carson Palmer’s health has to do as much with the loses as much as the defense does but ultimately Lewis is responsible because he was brought in to fix the defense.  He’s only had one winning season from 2003 to 2008 which means after they don’t make the playoffs this year, the experiment is over.

John Fox: Carolina Panthers

In the mid-2000’s John Fox’ Carolina Panthers were the sexy pick to make the Super Bowl pretty much every preseason. He’s had 3 winning seasons in 7 years and at least has a winning regular season record (63-49). The Panthers went to the Super Bowl in 2003 when their offensive line was all juiced up on steroids and HGH and went to the NFC Championship game in 2005. They also lost last year in the first round of the playoffs to eventual NFC champion Arizona Cardinals.  All things considered, even with a winning record in the regular season and a 5-3 record in post season play, John Fox should be fired after this year when the Panthers don’t make the playoffs or lose in the first round again.


Jason Campbell: Washington Redskins

I think the Jason Campbell experiment is just about over. For all his athleticism he’ll never be a good QB in the league. The Redskins severely overpaid to get the 25th pick in the 2005 draft, giving up a 1st, 3rd and 4th round pick to acquire him. He had a good completion percentage last year but didn’t have the TD’s or yards to show for it and he couldn’t carry the team on his back during Clinton Portis’ annual end of season production halt. He’s a game manager and he’s efficient but he’s never going to be a great QB. Though he’d be a good backup somewhere.

Matt Hasselback : Seattle Seahawks

It’s time for Seattle to find a QB of the future and fast. This guy is more injury prone than a elderly hypochondriac living in a run down nursing home.  He’s good when healthy but he hasn’t been healthy since their Super Bowl run and Matt’s age is starting to catch up with his prematurely receding hairline.

Jake Delhomme: Carolina Panthers

He’s been serviceable for years and a leader on the field but are the Panthers ever going to win a Championship with this guy. The expectations are usually high for this team and even with a great ground game and great defense he’s never going to get it done.  This guy could fuck up a wet dream.


Al Davis: Oakland Raiders

Al needs to go away and I think most of Oakland wishes this would happen. He needs to retire and hand the keys off to someone who isn’t senile.  The drafts have been putrid and you change coaches every year. You can’t win that way and it’s very evident. I’m not sure this guy could field a competitive Fantasy Football team let alone a real one.

Daniel Snyder: Washington Redskins

I’m actually fine with D. Snyder captaining that ship down in Washington because the Eagles play them twice a year.  Keep spending a kabillion dollars on free-agents that don’t pan out and let down some the best fans in the NFL on an annual basis.  The only way this can be fixed is if Snyder takes a back seat and gives total control over to a guy like Bill Cowher, Bill Parcells, Mike Shannahan or some other proven winner. I think his ego is too big for that though.

Everybody In The Front Office: Detroit Lions

It was a step in the right direction sending Matt Millen back to the broadcast booth but I hope they cleaned the rest of the house and not just the attic. It’s easy to pick on the Lions for their ineptitude but there’s a reason for that.  Starting in 2003 they drafted Charles Rogers, Roy Williams, Kevin Jones and Mike Williams in the first round. All of these can be considered busts in one form or another and none are even on the Lions roster. In 2006 they finally drafted someone on the defensive side of the ball and then went right back to drafting Wr’s the next year with Calvin Johnson. Johnson may work out but 1 out of 4 ain’t is bad. Again in 2009 they took offensive players in Matthew Stafford and Brandon Pettigrew (TE) in the first round. It’s a wonder their defense is suspect, you can’t develop defensive players if you don’t draft any. Ernie Sims remains the only 1st round draft pick to be spent on a defensive side of the ball in the 2000’s.