Just after Bobby Petrino was hired by the Atlanta Falcons as their head coach, my friend Dave said “College coaches never work out. Never. I don’t know when people will learn this.” At the time I laughed it off. “Petrino’s a great hire,” I told myself. Now? I’m crying instead of laughing. The Falcons’ season (and possibly franchise) has been destroyed…not solely by Petrino, but there was definitely blood on his hands. Given this horrific episode, I agreed with Dave, and decided that the Falcons should not even consider a college coach this time around.
I was pretty confident that I didn’t have a lot to worry about. Blank was pissed off after the Petrino ordeal, and in subsequent press conferences he almost implied that he made a mistake by reaching into the college ranks to get his coach. Some of the first names I heard in his search for a new coach were Bill Cowher, Mike Singletary, etc. Pro guys. Guys that our players would immediately respect. Heck, I was even happy (well, maybe not happy, but “not pissed off”) to hear Brian Billick’s name–if only because he’s not a college guy.
Then the rumors started swirling yesterday: “Arthur Blank is going to reach out to Pete Carroll to see if he might be interested.” Wait. What? More accurately: What the fuck? Pete Carroll? The guy that coaches the USC Trojans? A college team? Yes, that Pete Carroll. Ohhhhhhhh, shit.
Before you tell me that Pete Carroll was a head coach in the pros, and that he was a coordinator in the pros for a long time, let me make clear where my aversion to college coaches lies. I believe that college coaches (especially the more successful ones), get too used to winning all the time–and conversely, rarely losing. A great college coach (like Carroll) may lose 10-15 games total over a 5-7 year period (Carroll has lost 14 over 7 seasons). A bad NFL coach may lose 10-15 games in one season.
Consider that most times when an NFL team is looking for a coach, it’s because they fired their previous coach for the team’s poor performance (of course there are some situations where a coach leaves a very successful team just to face a new challenge–but I think we’d all agree that this instance is rare). So, look at the ingredients. You have a college coach who is used to a 12-2 record, and an NFL team that is coming off a 4-12 record. Mix those together and you have a big boiling pot of shit stew. What invariably ends up happening is that coach gets the hell out of Dodge as quickly as possible to head back to the comfortable and secure world of college football.
So the argument that Carroll has NFL head coaching experience doesn’t hold water with me. He’s addicted to winning. Once you taste the sweet nectar of victory, it becomes addictive. When you go from winning 10+ games a season to losing 10+ games a season, you want to go back to where you can feed that addiction. Atlanta is not that place.
Arthur, please read my blog. If anyone out there (I guess that means you, mom, since you’re my only reader) knows Arthur, please forward this to him. Ask him to read it, and to give me $100k…but most importantly, to read it. Help me to rest easy…on my bed of 100 thousand $1 bills.
Atlanta Sports Fan