Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank's New Year's Day firing of Head Coach Jim Mora, Jr. was not a good business decision. The simple reason is that his record not just of 26-22 will be hard to top but his record of winning the NFC South division and his development of Quarterback Michael Vick as well.
The problems the junior Mora had were very fixable. The real focus should be on the defense, but the media's fixation with Vick seems to have infected the Falcons ability to adress this area. The counter to this is that they did make trades to improve the defense, but more change is needed in the area of scheme. Their defense is far too predictable. Perhaps making a change in defensive coordinator would have helped. Indeed, certainly it would. But Blank has thrown out the baby with the bathwater.
I think what did in Mora Jr. was his comment that he would want to coach at Washington. I understood what he meant, but it was taken far out of context. It was the focus of too much anger and in some cases way over the top. But what's done is done. It should not have cost him his job.
Arthur Blank will be hard-pressed to find a coach that will be as successful as Mora has been. I know that watching his team lose game after game this year was hard. But he needs to take a long terms view of the firm under Mora Jr. and take a few steps back. His decision seems based more on emotion than on cold hard analysis. For example, after three years of development of Vick into a passer, the Falcons now leave themselves without a guarantee of continuity in his training. This is a bad situation. What's the plan? I'll bet there's not a business plan in Blanks's office that answers this question. There should be one.
The weeks ahead will show what kind of owner Blank is. Does he have a good plan? Can he make a coaching choice that will cement the progress of Vick as a passer? We shall see.
Monday, January 01, 2007
Posted by Zennie Abraham at 11:04 AM