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No. of Recommendations: 2
Lure Bill Cowher, any cost
1) Cowher - Would be a dream.

I don't want Cowher.

I respect the hell out of him as a coach. His teams played hard all the time, were tough & physical, great D and strong running game. Don't want him.

First, I don't want any established head coach. I want a hungry assistant, getting his first-ever head job, who is going to go balls-out, eat-sleep-&-breath trying to win. Not a guy who's made his bones and decided to retire, and then decided to come back. That rules out Parcells too, not just Cowher.

Second, I never liked the way Cowher ran his offenses. In terms of offensive philosophy, I want someone in the lineage of Norv Turner / Bob Bratkowski / etc. Cowher was all over the place offensively in his career, burning thru crappy OCs and running gadget plays etc. Not my first choice.

As I've noted before, I don't want Marty either, mostly due to him being Mr Total Control; but also because I've never really liked how he's run his offenses.


Pup got me thinking about this last year, so that in my mind there are two "kinds" of candidates:

1. The established coordinator, who's proven his readiness and hones his technical skills.
2. The young firebrand leader, who doesn't have the experience but may be a star.

The first category might describe someone like a Norv Turner, or a Norm Chow or a Rex Ryan: a guy who has worked his way up the ranks and really, really learned his trade. There's no question about whether he's "ready" for the job, in terms of knowing the NFL and running things on gameday and putting together a staff. There might be a question about his leadership, whether he can motivate & inspire.

The second category might decribe someone like a Mike Tomlin, or a Mike Singletary or a Jason Garrett: a guy who blows everyone away, whom everyone earmarks as a future star coach. A motivator, a leader. There might be some question about whether he's "ready" for the job, whether he needs another couple years at the coordinator level.

The thing that Pup got me to realize last year, when the Steelers hired Tomlin, is that those guys in the second category, you only get to hire them too early. You never get a chance to hire them at the "right" moment, when they have "enough" experience, because someone will have hired them last year. If you want one of those guys, if you really think he's going to be a star, then you have to grab them when you have the chance. And the other important thing about those guys, that Pup got me to look at last year and that Tomlin's results this year highlighted for me, is that the quality of leadership a guy like that can bring is really worth something.

A further point I'd like to make about dividing the candidates along those lines is that Rex Ryan really belongs in that firebrand leader category. His players go balls-out for him. But with his level of experience, you can't keep him out of the first category. He has certainly worked his way up and distinguished himself at every level. So does that make him a must-hire? If he's a top choice in either category? It really might.


2) Garrett
3) McDaniels
4) Rex Ryan
5) Mike Singletary
6) Norm Chow

I don't want Josh McDaniel. I might be eating these words in 5 yrs; but he hasn't been in the league enough, he hasn't done enough. Plato's point about him is precisely correct: hire a guy just because he's got Tom Brady throwing to Randy Moss? I mean, if Brady & Moss came with him, that'd be great. But he inherited the system Weis installed, he inherited Brady, and he got Moss & Welker basically on the backs of Pioli/Belichik. He hasn't done anything on his own yet. Plus, that Pats coaching staff has been pretty picked over in the last few yrs. My gut feeling is that the guys still there are the leftovers. The right guy is somewhere else, right now.

I don't want a college guy; although the Baltimore Sun mentioned today that Kirk Ferentz was asst head coach/offense here in Baltimore from 1996-8, when the Ravens were passing it all over the place and sending Vinny Testaverde to the Pro Bowl. So maybe he's a better candidate than I think. I've excluded him below.

I guess my shortlist is very similar to the above. Maybe like this:

Rex Ryan
Jason Garrett
Mike Singletary
Norm Chow

From all of them, I want to know how they plan to handle the offensive side of the ball and the tutoring of QBs. Even from Garrett and Chow: do they plan to do it themselves, or are they going to hire someone? If hire, who are they going to hire? If themselves -- well that's awesome, but that raises some questions of its own.

Then I would wonder about a guy like Bob Bratkowski or Tom Moore. Why don't they get a mention as future HCs? Do they like being coordinators, and they don't really aspire to being the head guy? Or have they just gotten pigeonholed as coordinators?

And I guess the last thing I wonder is, do the Ravens almost have to hire Rex Ryan? I mean assuming no one else snatches him away. Here you've got a guy who's worked his way up the ladder from position coach, whom you've consistently described as a guy who's ready for a head job. He's top-notch at Xs and Os; he's excellent at player development; he's at least good and perhaps excellent at talent evaluation; he works great within your system of scouting etc; and his players friggin run thru walls for him. And he's YOUR guy! You've developed him for a decade. If you don't name him, then you're sort of sending the message that development and rising from within really doesn't mean anything, when the chips are down. And I don't know if that's the message you want to send.

I said last year that Rex Ryan is going to make some team very happy as a head coach. Should that team be Baltimore?

Of course he needs to be grilled on how he's going to handle the offense. And how he's going to handle the D, when it comes to that, since he won't be the DC anymore -- unless he plans to be the DC. But I wonder if he ought to be the front-runner. Unless Garrett or Singletary blow them out of the water in the interview process.

It'll be very interesting to see how this process plays out.
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