We all hope for a speedy recovery by John Fox and Gary Kubiak. Their respective health ailments need to be taken seriously. Hopefully both are resolved quickly. Bad enough having players on injured list, even worse when the coaches are getting banged up too. So let’s hope for a quick recovery.
John Fox’s heart aorta valve problems sounds very serious. His surgery is likely to be long and intense. Possibly taking him off the sidelines for the rest of this year.
No one can fool with your health. Even less when it is your heart health. It is fundamental to living a good life; football or not. Hopefully he gets through the surgery with flying colors and has a speedy recovery. Whether he coaches the game again or not is to be seen once his very serious condition is taken care of.
Gary Kubiak’s unspecified condition is, so far, the less sever of the two. He might be back to coaching this week. His hospital stay was likely more precautionary than necessary. Let’s hope so anyway. And quick recovery for him as well.
Kubiak and the Houston Texans have the luxury of having Wade Phillips as a defensive coordinator. I say that because Wade Phillips has head coaching experience as recently as the Dallas Cowboys head coach from 2007-2010. He is the son of a recently departed Bum Phillips, himself an NFL coach. It is nice to have good leadership on the sidelines. Of course, maybe not so much as the Texans squared an 18 point halftime lead to lose by 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.
John Fox and the Denver Broncos also have a former NFL head coach on staff to lean on. Their interim head coach is Jack Del Rio who was the Jacksonville Jaguars hard coach from 2003-2011. Del Rio has been hinted/rumored as one of the possible head coaches for USC, his alma matter. Since the Broncos were on a bye week, it is yet to be seen what if any effectiveness Del Rio’s experience will bring.
The Texans loss might be more indicative of the disarray the team is in. Their 2-6 record is well below most people’s preseason predictions. The Texans are starting an undrafted [even by them] rookie at QuarterBack (QB). Most teams scouted Case Keenum as unable to make the critical throws that an NFL QB needs to make. [Side note: Those scouting reports might be wrong. Keenum has close to a 60% completion rate for over 600 yards in two games with 4 touchdown and no interceptions.] Still those Super bowl predictors are eating a bit of crow at this half way point.
The Broncos are hopeful that their team, specifically their defense; can keep winning without their head coach. But they have a decent defense that gets more slack than the stats show. The common believe is that the offense can continue outscoring. Which is really how they have won all but their 1 loss. Handed to them by the Colts. Both Peyton Manning’s old team and the team that beat the Texans on 3 November 2013.
But as Lee Corso says on ESPN College Game Day; “Not so fast.”
There were experts last year who predicted the same status quo by the New Orleans Saints when they lost Sean Payton their head coach to a less serious league suspension. Both experts and fans alike talked a lot about the team and Drew Brees and other factors that would keep the Saints on top. But their paltry 7-9 record last year combined with missing the playoffs says otherwise. Can’t just throw an offensive line coach in and hope for the best.
Now Drew Brees is not Peyton Manning. I acknowledge that. They have different skill sets. Different experiences. Both are in the elite QB category. But Peyton Manning is four time league Most Valuable Player (MVP) to Drew’s none. Of course they both have a Super Bowl MVP.
Bottom line matters as the saying goes: “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense”. Their needs to be a confident and competent head coach leading every NFL team. Saints learned that the hard way.
The NFL is a business. The owners want to turn a profit. These franchises are not “toys of the rich”. Look at Robert Kraft. He is working to have a Super Bowl every year. Not the playoffs, a Super Bowl ring. He is in charge of a huge corporation but he wants to see victory out of the New England Patriots.
The passion for good and successful business goes beyond. Look at How personal it was to the team when Myra Kraft passed away last year. How much effort Both Kraft and the team put into wining. How quickly the team protected there image in the wake of the Aaron Hernandez incident. That is too much passion for something casual. This is serious business to him.
Same with Clark Hunt. In the 2012-13 season, the Kansas City Chiefs had an abysmal record of 2-14. Clark Hunt could be like David Glass Kansas City Royals owner who doesn’t increase the salary despite increasing revenues. Glass is just fine with mediocrity in a small market. Pittsburgh Pirates have about the same size market and they were in the playoffs this year.
But Clark Hunt was not going to allow there to be a Truman Sporting Complex curse. No. He got an effective [so far] General Manager in Jon Dorsey. He went out and got Andy Reid to coach the team. He brought in players like Alex Smith, Marcus Cooper and Shaun Smith who have all contributed to the team. They drafted aggressively. They paid Dwayne Bowe. As a result, the Chiefs are sitting at 9-0 going into their bye week.
Trust if John Elway, the Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations, made the choice to not have a head coach and it worked, he would hailed a genius. He would be saving Fox’s salary which is $13 million over 4 years or $3,250,000 per year. That is money that can be used toward the cap to get more players. That type of move gets things like executive of the year.
I doubt he or any other football executive will do that. Because despite the words, the teams need head coaches. The league needs head coaches from a management standpoint. The individual teams need head coaches. Can’t eliminate them.
So I am sure that the Broncos and Texans want their head coaches to get well soon. That is a business move. These guys have to get better for their own lives. Make sure their quality of life improves. And that they take care of themselves. I wish them both a long and healthy life.
And That is a lot from an Oakland Raiders fan.