Posts Tagged ‘Wade Phillips’

Five Fabulous Reasons to be Thankful this Football Season…

As we pause to reflect upon the people and things in life that we are grateful for, we of course think of our families, special friends – both near and far – and other wonderful blessings.  As football fans, we are also thankful for the 2010 season and the excitement it has brought us thus far.  Here is our top five list of what we are most thankful for this football season…

#5 –  The Hokie Bird

Thanksgiving has a variety of traditions, like turkey and football, and what better turkey to represent the day than the Virginia Tech mascot?  The maroon and orange turkey may not be as ferocious as a lion or tiger, but he does have spectacular spirit as he struts his stuff around Lane Stadium.  In the 4th quarter as he dances the “Hokie Pokie”, you must admit there’s really no other mascot quite like him!

#4 – Mid-Season Coach Firings

After watching two of the most incompetent NFL coaches bumble along this season, we are grateful that the Cowboys and the Vikings had the courage to fire their head coaches.  Minnesota’s Brad Childress lost control of the team early in the season.  But his handling of Randy Moss truly epitomized his incompetence.  Now at 3-7, it will be interesting to see if interim head coach Leslie Frazier can salvage the season.  The Cowboys also made the bold move of firing head coach Wade Phillips mid way through the season.  Newly appointed Head Coach Jason Garrett seems to have shaken things up, as the Cowboys are playing much more motivated, disciplined football compared to when Phillips was coach.  It remains to be seen if these coaching changes will result in any real improvement in team play.  But, at the very least, we are thankful that we no longer have to endure the awkward and embarrassing behaviors of Childress and Phillips.

#3 –  Fantasy Football

While my team may not exactly be winning (ok, ok..we are in next to last place), entering a fantasy league for the first time this season has been one of the most fun and exciting things I have done in a long time.  Each week, as I set my starting line up in hopes of achieving the perfect team to annihilate my opponent, I love the strategy involved.  With players on my roster from throughout the league, I am interested in more games than ever before.  It is a great, new way to enjoy the gridiron and I am so thankful to be in such a great league (Go, HokieHokieHokie!)

#2 – Denard Robinson

He may not be as popular as Heisman hopeful Cam Newton of Auburn, but there’s something about Denard Robinson that makes us smile!  The University of Michigan QB, known as “’Shoelace”, is just plain fun to watch.  As he leads the Wolverines with his untied shoelaces and signature dreadlocks, he poses a dual threat to opposing defenses.  He alone has accounted for nearly 70% of Michigan’s total offense.  He is the first quarterback in NCAA history to pass for more than 1500 yards AND rush for 1500 yards in a single season.  At 7-4, Michigan’s season has been disappointing, which is one of the reasons Robinson may not be as highly touted as other Heisman candidates.  But nothing beats his pure athleticism and raw talent.  He is truly one of the most dynamic players in college football today and one of our very favorite things about this football season!

#1 – Michael Vick

Is there a better story in football this year?  After 21 months in federal prison because of his involvement in dog fighting, most people wrote Michael Vick off.  He lost his QB position with the Atlanta Falcons, declared bankruptcy and became one of the most despised figures in America.  Upon release from prison, most people expected him to return to his old lifestyle and friends and fade into obscurity.  But with the help of former Colts coach Tony Dungy, who mentored him while in prison, Vick changed his attitude, his work ethic, and in the end, his life.  His story is one of redemption and should give each of us hope.

As the starting QB for the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick’s performance this season has been phenomenal.  He is a serious contender for this year’s MVP.  Under the watchful, fatherly eye of Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid, Vick appears to be thriving both on and off the field.  With his unparalleled physical abilities, he is arguably the best overall athlete in the NFL.  Like our #2 favorite, Denard Robinson, we just love watching Vick play!  That immeasurable, distinctive ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs are simply magical and make him our VERY FAVORITE thing about the 2010 season so far!

Happy Thanksgiving fellow football fans!  Enjoy the rest of the season!

Advertisements

This Cowboy is Riding Off Into the Sunset…Finally!

After the Cowboys suffered a 45-7 pounding from the Packers Sunday night, team owner Jerry Jones fired head coach Wade Phillips on Monday.  It is a move that’s not surprising, but does shows the desperation Jones is feeling as the season slowly slips away. 

The Cowboys now stand at 1-7.  They were pre-season Super Bowl favorites and are generally believed to have the most talented roster in the NFL.  The Cowboys also have the highest payroll in the NFL. 

Will firing Wade Phillips save the season?  It is hard to predict if the Cowboys will suddenly start playing better with just the firing of a single man.  But Phillips’ mid-season dismissal certainly sends a potent message to the players that their current attitude and effort is unacceptable.  For weeks, Jerry Jones insisted that Phillips would remain the coach for the season.  This latest move shows that Jones has decided he is not going to tolerate the status quo.  It is a wakeup call to the team.

Phillips will be replaced by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett for the remaining games.  Garrett has a much stronger personality than Phillips, who often appeared weak and detached.  The team has shown a lack of discipline throughout the season and at times they have appeared downright apathetic.  The penalties, turnovers and other mistakes seemed to have no consequence under Phillips. 

Garrett’s temperament will definitely change the football culture of the team.  Garrett seems to be more of an authority figure who is not concerned whether players like him or not.  But is Garrett the one to take the team into the future?  As interim coach, he has just eight games to prove himself.   

Jerry Jones has invested billions of dollars into “America’s Team” and expects to win. Five straight losses finally prompted him to do whatever is necessary to become a winning organization once again.  If it means more coaching or player changes, Jones looks like he is ready to hold everyone accountable for their actions.  Firing Phillips is likely only the first change Jones is going to have to make to save his beloved Cowboys.  There may be many more Cowboys riding off into the sunset in these next weeks and months.  One thing is certain, this is going to be one wild rodeo!

Falling Star…Is the Season Over for the Dallas Cowboys?

Last Sunday, NY Giants linebacker Michael Boley sacked Dallas Cowboy QB Tony Romo early in the second quarter, driving his left shoulder into the ground.  Romo suffered a broken left clavicle and it appears he will be out for at least 8 weeks, if not the entire season.  For a team that was 1-4 before last week’s game, the injury to Romo is devastating and will make it nearly impossible for the Cowboys to salvage this season.

So what happened to America’s Team?  The Cowboys entered this season as a Super Bowl favorite.  Most sports analysts affirm that the Cowboys have the most talented roster in the NFL, yet their performance has been abysmal. 

The Cowboys have played sloppy, undisciplined football these past few weeks.  Penalties, mistakes and an apparent lack of enthusiasm seem to characterize this team.  Why does a team that has appeared in 8 Super Bowls, more than any other team in the NFL, seem to be so unmotivated? 

Perhaps the problem lies at the top.  Team owner Jerry Jones perceives himself as a football expert and his enormous ego leaves no room for a coach who can outshine him.  Jones is a “hands on” owner and Head Coach Wade Phillips is just the kind of weak pawn Jones can use in his life size game of chess.    

A headstrong, opinionated coach takes the spotlight and control away from Jerry Jones and, in the end, it really does seem to be all about him.  In the 1990s, Jimmy Johnson coached the Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories and was responsible for some of the best draft picks and trades in NFL history.  Johnson left the Cowboys after he and Jones simply could not work together, due in large part to Jones’ insistence on so much control in the day to day coaching aspects of the organization.

One thing is for certain, the Cowboys are now facing a much more difficult challenge since Romo’s injury.  With the trade deadline passed, Dallas must rely on backup QB Jon Kitna to lead the offense.  Is it just me, or is it absolutely shocking that the 38 year old Kitna is the backup QB on a team as prestigious as the Cowboys?! 

Kitna came into the Giants game last Sunday and seemed totally unprepared and overwhelmed.  Isn’t it his JOB to be ready to go into the game at a moment’s notice? A quality, heads-up coach would not have a QB the caliber of Kitna as their backup.  Sorry, but there is simply no excuse for it!

Today the Cowboys face the 3-4 Jacksonville Jaguars at home.  The Jaguars defense has been struggling, especially against the rush.  But the Cowboys haven’t had an effective rushing game this season, so in all likelihood, the Jags will be able to control this part of the game.  This means Kitna will be forced to throw the ball to his very capable receivers.  The problem is Kitna’s tendency to drop back deep to pass.  Expect the Jaguars to aggressively pass rush and hit Kitna hard and often to rattle the backup and give the Jags a victory.

It seems unlikely that the 1-5 Cowboys can make the playoffs.  So at this point, they need to look to next season and the future of the organization.  Will Jerry Jones be able to put his ego aside and hire a new coach capable of instilling discipline and motivation to this very talented roster?  Or will his thirst for fame make it impossible for him to give up control of the team to someone who is more knowledgeable about the game? 

This year’s Super Bowl will be held at Jones’ new, beloved Cowboys Stadium.  Jerry Jones will be relegated to spectator, rather than participant, despite all the predictions his team would be playing for the championship.  This humiliation alone may be enough to force Jones to hire a more capable coach who can do the things necessary to start winning. 

The injury to Romo cannot be used as an excuse the rest of this season for poor performance by the Cowboys.  That was happening long before the loss of Romo.  Instead, the Cowboys need to use the injury as a wakeup call and make the organizational changes that will allow this gifted roster to continue the winning tradition.  It is time for Jones to bring the Cowboys back to their “America’s Team” status.

%d bloggers like this: