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Monday, February 12, 2007

San Diego Chargers' GM A.J. Smith's Constant Fucking With Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer Reaches Boling Point - Schott Fired

Yep. That headline sums it all up. "Chargers' GM A.J. Smith's Constant Fucking With Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer Reaches Boling Point - Schott Fired"

It has been known and well-told that San Diego Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith has not worked to get along with Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer. Indeed, A.J. Smith doesn't have the best image with a number of people. In my book, and that of others, this is stupid. The GM's supposed to get along with the coach -- indeed, supply the coach with a steady stream of capable players that the coach can teach his system to and hopefully win a Super Bowl or two.

But A.J. Smith doesnt' see life this way. Indeed, Smith can be considered as one who was openly screwing with the desires and fortunes of Coach Schottenheimer, from not only failing to retain star quarterback Drew Brees, but earlier passing on Michael Vick -- a sure jersey-seller if not star quarterback -- and basically stocking up on look-alike immoblie White QB's A.J. Feeley, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, and Eli Manning for a New York minute. You can't fault Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips or Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron for taking head jobs, you know and I know that typical teams at least lift a wallet to retain their most talented teachers.

This is weird.

Everything about it reads hollow. Look at Chargers' President Dean Spanos statement:

"Today I made an extremely difficult decision: Marty Schottenheimer is no longer the head coach of the San Diego Chargers.

"This decision was so hard because Marty has been both a friend and valued coach of our team. But my first obligation is always to do what is in the best interest of our fans and the entire Charger organization. I must take whatever steps are necessary to deliver a Super Bowl trophy to San Diego. Events of the last month have now convinced me that it is not possible for our organization to function at a championship level under the current structure. On the contrary, and in the plainest possible language, we have a dysfunctional situation here. Today I am resolving that situation once and for all.

"My decision means that our organization will be obligated to pay the last year of Marty Schottenheimer's contract and will begin an intense search for a new head coach at this relatively late date, but these are sacrifices that I believe are necessary to give the Chargers the best possible chance to win on the field this season.

"Our fans deserve to know what changed for me over the last month. When I decided to move ahead with Marty Schottenheimer in mid-January, I did so with the expectation that the core of his fine coaching staff would remain intact. Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the case, and the process of dealing with these coaching changes convinced me that we simply could not move forward with such dysfunction between our head coach and general manager. In short, this entire process over the last month convinced me beyond any doubt that I had to act to change this untenable situation and create an environment where everyone at Charger Park would be pulling in the same direction and working at a championship level. I expect exactly that from our entire Charger organization in 2007."

Dean Spanos must be smoking a big one to think the Chargers are going to have "the best possible chance to win on the field this season." In one fell swoop, he took the best-team in the NFL from early 2008 Super Bowl favorite, to possible division cellar foder for the Oakland Raiders, much to the delight of the Raider Nation.


Dean and A.J. have taken a big risk and there's no high reward. Keeping their head guy - a renowned teacher -- was the action that had the best upside. Now, that's gone.

I'm going to go out on a limb and state that Spanos decision was one based on emotion, a snap-judgement, and an argument with Marty. It wasn't calculated at all. How could it be? Spanos himself described the climate as a 'dysfunctional situation.' What does that tell you? It explains that at some point in the recent past, someone had a big angry discussion. I'm betting it was Smith and Schott, with Spanos getting in the middle.

Nick Campena laid it out first back in March 6, 2006, when he wrote: "Looking out from shore, it appears the reluctant marriage between Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith and coach Marty Schottenheimer is this close to the rocks – and the surf's up. There's trouble in what not long ago was perceived as a replenishing paradise."

Campena pointed to the Drew Brees matters, and a February 26th article by Jim Trotter of the San Diego Union-Tribune, where Trotter noted Schottenheimer as stating "I think it's important that there always be communication between the coach and the general manager,” he said during a break at the annual NFL Scouting Combine. (of 2006) “I've sought to see that realized, but, quite frankly, there hasn't been as much communication as I would like.. I think we all understand that ours is a very difficult, competitive enterprise, and in my opinion it's important that everybody is aimed in the same direction.”

Is that the case with the Chargers?

“We'll have to maybe wait and see,” he said.

Well, apparently it's not -- the Chargers are apparently torn apart. And the last time this happened, Bobby Ross was the head guy and Bobby Bethard was the GM. The Chargers never smelled a playoff end-zone after that affair.

Some online newhounds -- the people at Profotballtalk.com seem to think that A.J. Smith is the next person to be fired. This corner says "great" but I also state that allowing rumors of hiring Pete Carroll to replace Schottenheimer is wrong-headed. First, there's nothing to state that Carroll will be a great NFL head coach, second, you don't need the Rooney Rule to know their are great Black and Latino head coaches out there.

Indeed, if the Chargers can't find a good Black head coach out of the 131 assistants in the NFL game, they must be totally stupid. I hope I'm wrong.

But now that I think about it, racism is borne of stupidity, so the Chargers shoud be careful.

Young wants to finish as a 49er

Although a deal isn't yet near, the San Francisco 49ers have begun negotiations aimed at accommodating the wishes of star defensive tackle Bryant Young to play at least one more season, and to finish his career with the only team for which he has ever worked.

Bryant Young
Defensive End
San Francisco 49ers

Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
52 42 10 0 6 0

Young, 35, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 2, and the 13-year veteran and four-time Pro Bowl performer wants to play again in 2007, as long as it's with the 49ers.

One of the NFL's premier defensive tackles during his tenure in the league, and also one of its classiest performers, Young is clearly nearing the end of a celebrated career. But he demonstrated in 2006, when his playing time was purposely reduced in an effort to maximize his production, that he can still be an effective defender.

In 16 games, most of them at tackle, Young posted 52 tackles and he led all 49ers' defensive linemen in sacks, with 5½. The performance earned him a spot as a Pro Bowl alternate. Young played some at left end, when San Francisco was aligned in a 3-4 front, a scheme coach Mike Nolan wants to use even more in 2007.

"He still has something left," Nolan said. "And you always want people like him around your football team. Any organization, any community, wants guys like him."

Flush with plenty of salary cap space this spring, San Francisco figures to add some veteran players as the team continues to transition to a 3-4, but the feeling is that Young can still contribute as a strongside end.

He earned a base salary of $2.25 million and part of the current negotiations are based on finding financial ground that meets the needs of both sides.

The reduced workload, something on which San Francisco coaches have been working the past several seasons, has helped extend Young's career and his effectiveness. He has missed only three games the last two years and has never been sidelined more than four games in a season.

In 192 career games, the former Notre Dame star, a first-round choice in the 1994 draft, has 570 tackles, 83 sacks, 10 forced fumbles and six recoveries.

Cowboys Owner Jones Fully in Charge Again

Jones Back Atop Cowboys' Hierarchy-see my comments at the end.

AP Sports Writer

IRVING, Texas -- Jerry Jones insists Wade Phillips will have as much input into personnel decisions for the Dallas Cowboys as Bill Parcells had. It even says so in his contract, Jones added.

Then came the kicker: Dave Campo and Chan Gailey had the same wording in their contracts.

So forget what's on the legal documents and focus on the reality. After four years of working alongside Bill Parcells, Jones is once again taking full advantage of his dual titles as owner and general manager.

"It's just not correct that I don't have the ability or the energy or the skills to do what I do every time I make a decision," Jones said Thursday, following the hiring of Phillips. "I talk to a lot of people and get a lot of different perspectives before I make a decision. I get a lot of input and I factor it. If I didn't get the input and didn't do the homework, shame on me."

Jones views the Parcells experiment as vindicating. He sucked in his ego and appeased his critics by bringing in a proven "football guy" to help shape the organization.

And while Jones says "We are better off in a very significant way because Bill was here," he couldn't help but point out that the Cowboys won as many playoff games under their high-falutin' coach (zero) as they did under Gailey and Campo, who were mocked for being Jones puppets.

"It didn't work," Jones said of the Parcells Era. "We had some success, but at the end of the day we did not have the kind of success we wanted."

Thus, Jones feels free to doing things another way. His way.

He went into the coaching search looking for someone who could develop quarterback Tony Romo. Norv Turner was his best bet, although Jones was so impressed with Jason Garrett that he hired him away from Miami without knowing what role he'd have.

Jones liked the idea of Turner and Garrett working with Romo and the rest of the offense. Problem was, Jones still had to fix the team's bigger problem: defense.

He could've hired Ron Rivera to put in the 4-3 scheme Rivera used to get the Chicago Bears into the Super Bowl. But Jones, the general manager, decided he really wanted to stick with the 3-4 scheme that Jones, the owner, had spent so much time and money putting together for Parcells the last two years.

"I looked at it with an open mind," Jones said of changing defensive styles. "But at the end of the day, I decided I didn't want to. I wanted to keep going in the way we were going. ...

"I think it is fair for somebody in my role to make those decisions about the way you're going and the schemes in general, the philosophy," Jones added. "Now, that doesn't mean I'm going to tell (the coach) how to line up and whether to shade or stunt, those sorts of things. That's not what I'm going to do. But I can decide we are going to play the 3-4."

That led him back to Phillips, with Garrett running the offense.

"There's no question his availability opened some possibilities up with going with a more defensive-oriented head coach," Jones said.

Jones knows that he's taking a risk by entrusting Romo's development to Garrett, whose only coaching experience is two years as Miami's quarterbacks coach.

But it's a risk the former oil wildcatter is willing to take.

"Jason will be operating without a net," Jones said. "I like that. I think that brings out the best in people."

Garrett definitely has a good pedigree.

The son of a longtime NFL scout who spent many years working for the Cowboys, Garrett graduated from Princeton and played for the Cowboys, breaking in under Turner while backing up Troy Aikman. He later played for offensive gurus Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay and Sean Payton in New York.

Jones said he was thinking about hiring Garrett before Parcells retired. Now that he's here, he's already considered the front-runner to eventually replace Phillips.
Maybe yes, maybe no. But one thing is certain: When that time comes, Jones will having the final say.

OMG: so Jones thinks that BECAUSE Bill Parcells ONLY went 34-32 and lost 2 Playoff games in 4 years that HE(Jerry Jones/Owner/General Manager) knows more about football then Parcells, or even Jummy Johnson?? Come now...we have been down this road....Jones has come a long way since 1989,..but still, He's not Paul Brown. Lets remember Mr. Jones' comment when he and Jimmy Johnson parted ways: I can get Barry Switzer to run this team.....and so he did...but it was still Johnson's Team and scheme that won. I'm a better Talent Evaluator then Jerry Jones is. So is my Late Father Btw...and all he ever did was Play Millitary service Football in Post war Germany, and then coach our Team in the NYC Housing Authority Athletic leauge.....
If the Cowboys are successful again it will be because of WADE Phillips,..not Jerry Jones....

Former NFL Field Official says he was fired over race issue.

This is an AP wire service report from over the weekend.

NFL Official Says Firing Spurred by Race
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK -- A former supervisor of NFL officials sued the league in federal court Friday, claiming he was unfairly fired after some referees lodged false complaints that he was racially biased.

Earnie Frantz, a head linesman in the NFL from 1981 to 2001, said he was fired as associate supervisor of officiating in the spring of 2005.

In a lawsuit filed in Manhattan, Frantz said part of his job as a supervisor included grading the performance of officials after each week of play.

But while performing that role, the suit said, Frantz became a target of complaints by "a vocal component of the minority officiating crew," who complained that he was racially biased and graded minorities more harshly than whites.

"In terminating Mr. Frantz's employment, the NFL bowed to the pressure of the minority members of the officiating crews whom he supervised," the suit said.

Frantz, who is white, claimed in the suit that he was essentially fired "because of the color of his skin."

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed that Frantz was let go by the league, but disputed the former official's account of how it happened.

"While we have not seen the specific allegations, we know that Earnie Frantz's departure from the NFL had nothing to do with issues of race," Aiello said in an e-mail message to The Associated Press.

He declined to elaborate.

Frantz, who lives in Massachusetts, is seeking unspecified damages, penalties and back pay. His attorney, Scott Korenbaum, did not immediately return a phone message Friday.

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